We all know that working out is great for our health overall, so it makes sense therefore, that our largest organ, our skin, would also benefit from getting our blood flowing. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we need to be careful of.
Today we’ll be exploring why your skin loves the way you move as well as some things you need to be wary of while working out and our top three tips for preventing the post-workout breakout blues. Plus, we’ve worked out the perfect, post-workout skincare routine and laid it out for you at the end of this article.
Top Ten Benefits Of Working Out For Your Skin:
Apart from our liver, our skin is the organ most responsible for the expulsion of toxins and other nasties from our bodies. These are flushed out when we sweat so working out is one of the best ways to help detox and release free radicals, pollutants and grossness.
By removing these toxins from our bodies we improve our overall health and wellbeing but the great thing for our skin is that sweating these nasties out also pushes out dirt and bacteria that have gotten caught in our pores. This means that those who exercise regularly are less likely to encounter skin concerns, such as breakouts, that stem from pollution finding its way into their pores. You just need to be careful to remove the results of your detox from your skin as soon as possible after a workout or they may settle back into your skin and cause issues.
Now depending on how you work out, this one could be a double edged sword as the wrong kind of exercise for your body can actually cause inflammation. But, if you match your gym routine with some stretching or yoga and focus on workout activities that are suited to your current fitness level, exercise can actually help reduce inflammation.
This is great for your skin because when it isn’t busy being inflamed and trying to heal said inflammation, it can focus on repairing itself and keeping cells strong and healthy. This, in turn, can provide great anti-aging benefits, helping you keep that youthful appearance for longer.
No, you’re not imagining that post workout glow. Because raising your heart rate also gets your blood pumping, the increased circulation helps you glow up from the inside out. Not only do you get the immediately visible results of a brighter complexion, you’ll also be helping your cells take care of themselves and regenerate which results in a much happier, healthier complexion over time.
Improved Sense Of Wellbeing
Because exercise both boosts our happy brain chemicals (like dopamine) and helps us release stress ones (like cortisol), it can lead to an increased sense of wellbeing. This is great for our skin because stress is known for attacking skin cells meaning that we will experience skin concerns more often (and more severely) when we’re constantly under pressure. Plus, when we feel better, we look better so your complexion will thank you in more ways than one.
Carry Nutrients Around The Body
When we live sedentary lifestyles, nutrients can be hoarded by vital organs meaning our skin and extremities can often feel a little left out when all the good stuff is being passed around. By getting everything moving, you help deliver nutrients to where they’re needed most at any given time and ensure that all the goodness you’re putting into your body can actually do its job. This, in turn, boosts our skin health as well as our overall physical wellbeing.
Working out is a great way to increase your confidence and when you feel better, you look better, literally. When we feel confident, our brains release more happy chemicals and we experience less stress, this translates to happier, healthier skin as our cells are able to focus on repairing, renewing and protecting themselves.
Like any other part of our body, our largest organ requires a good night’s rest to function at its best. Working out helps us to get to sleep more easily and improves the quality, length and restfulness of our shut eye. It can also reduce our stress levels, boost endorphins and even assist anxiety sufferers in finding relief.
These benefits, in turn, help our skin repair itself overnight and boosts its ability to protect us, and itself, from external toxins, pollutants and free radicals. This leads to better health overall as our skin is our main defence against the outside world.
Timing your workout schedule to align with your chronotype will be particularly beneficial both for performance during your workout, and achieving those sweet dreams and benefits so make sure you give this quiz a go before you start overhauling your schedule.
Toner, Younger Appearance
Because working out tones your muscles, it also results in a toner appearance. This is great for those fighting off the signs of aging as skin that sits over toned muscles will always look firmer and less wrinkled than skin that is permitted to just do whatever it wants.
Healthy Habits Breed Other Healthy Habits
Another great way that working out can benefit your skin is how healthy habits breed other healthy habits. By investing the time and energy it takes to maintain a proper exercise routine, you’ll be training your brain to stick to programs that are beneficial for your body. This means that keeping on top of your skincare after your workout will become second nature very easily, and as you build, improve or expand healthy habits in other aspects of your life, they’ll become easier to implement and stick to.
*May* Boost Collagen Production
Some studies have also shown that working out can help boost collagen production, although the jury is still out on this one.
Five Things You Need To Be Careful Of When Working Out:
Just because working out is great for our physical and mental wellbeing and can have fabulous benefits for our skin doesn’t mean that everything is sunshine and roses. There are some things that you need to be aware of before implementing your new workout routine and we’ve listed five of the most common issues below:
Clogged Pores And/Or Ance
When we work up a sweat we expel toxins and other nasties from our bodies through our skin. As noted above, this is a great way to give our body’s natural detox processes a helping hand, but if you’re not careful, all of your hard work can easily be undone.
Anything that is left on our skin will eventually be absorbed to some degree, and what we’ve sweated out is no exception. When these pollutants are absorbed back into our systems, they can clog our pores and cause acne or nasty breakouts. This is the most commonly noted concern from our skin conscious gym friends, so we’ve put together a section further down this blog with our top three tips for preventing post-workout acne.
Working out in and of itself obviously cannot cause sun damage, but if you’re exercising outside, the risk is always there. To help minimise your exposure, we recommend only working out in outdoor areas when UV levels are lower (the time of day for this will vary depending on your location) and always making use of a high quality SPF product.
Due to increased friction and body temperature, some individuals may experience skin irritation when working out. If this is a persistent issue for you, we recommend switching up the type of exercise that you are doing and consulting a medical professional if required.
Thick thighs may save lives but they’re unfortunately also super prone to chafing. To help prevent this nasty little skin concern, we suggest wearing lightweight, breathable materials when working out and always following your workout session with some good old-fashioned pampering with your favourite body butter.
Skin Conditions Could Temporarily Worsen
Some skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea, may temporarily worsen following an intense workout session. We suggest managing these conditions as directed by a qualified medical professional and keeping on top of your general skincare routine to help keep these conditions under control.
The good news is that some studies have shown that having a consistent workout routine can actually help decrease the severity of some skin conditions over time so, as long as your doctor has told you it is safe to do so, you can consider this temporary worsening as simply short term pain for long term gain and continue training however makes you happiest.
Our Top Three Tips For Preventing The Post-Workout Breakout Blues:
We get that it isn’t always practical to shower straight after a gym session but the sooner you can get clean, the better. Showering ASAP helps prevent the toxins and free radicals you’ve just sweat out from getting back into your body and greatly reduces the chances of your pores getting clogged up and breaking out. If you’re not sure what kind of love your skin needs after a workout, we’ve put together a nifty little guide in the next section of this blog for your convenience.
Don’t Wear Makeup*
Makeup is a great way to express ourselves and help us boost confidence if we’re not 100% loving the skin we woke up with on any given morning, but that doesn’t mean it needs to come everywhere with us. Hitting the gym with nearly any type of makeup on is a recipe for breakout city later on so do your skin a favour and cleanse before you get started.
*If you want to wear a full face to the gym, it would be wise to consider switching your cosmetics out for mineral makeup. As mineral cosmetics are non-comedogenic they won’t clog up pores no matter how hard you’re sweating and they’re fairly workout proof as well. Plus, mineral makeup can also provide skincare benefits so you’ll be winning on two fronts.
Bring A Change Of Clothes
Change. Out. Of. Your. Workout. Gear. When. You. Finish. Your. Session.
We cannot stress this enough. Staying in sweaty gear post-workout is one of the best ways to breed acne causing bacteria and clog up pores, so if you’re experiencing body breakouts, your sports bra or leggings could be the culprit. Plus, it’s just generally uncomfortable to go about your day in wet, sticky clothing so why put yourself through that?
The Perfect Post-Workout Skincare Routine:
For Your Face:
Step One: Cleanse -
You want to get all of the toxins and free radicals that you’ve expelled off of your skin as soon as possible. Plus, sweat that’s left to sit on skin can cause a shiny appearance and uncomfortable texture. Our Dermassure Clear & Calm Toning Cleanser is perfect for this step as it gently cleanses while removing excess oil that may have been produced during your workout.
Step Two: Treat -
Now that you’ve cleansed any nastiness out of your skin, it’s time to show it some love and give it what it wants and needs to thrive.
Your main goals at this point will be to rebalance and hydrate your complexion so we suggest using our Dermassure Clear & Calm Flaxy Balance Serum paired with our Erda Firming Serum Concentrate. As suggested by the name, our Dermassure serum will help balance your skin’s levels out and our Erda Firming Serum provides firming, anti-aging benefits with a sneaky hit of super hydration.
This is also the stage at which you want to apply your eye treatment. Our favourite is the Immortajell Wrinkle Diffusing Eye Cream but if you’re after something a little more lightweight, our Erda Eye Gel Concentrate will give your sensitive eye area some love and work to fight off dark circles and puffiness.
Step Three: Moisturise -
Even those with an oily skin type need to moisturise, and this step is particularly important for anyone after exercise. Because our skin has been working hard to expel toxins and impurities while we were exercising, we want to give it some vital nutrients at this stage as it will be hoping for some love and can also best absorb any products applied at this point. Our fabulous new gel cream moisturiser, OzFraiche, is the ideal hydrating and soothing solution for most skin types. Those with particularly oily skin should reach for our Dermassure Clear & Calm Matte Comfort Moisturiser and those who are prone to dryness will benefit from our Immortajell Wrinkle Diffusing Cream.
For Your Body:
It is just as important to cleanse the skin on your body post-workout as it is to cleanse your face. That’s why our Cranberry Face & Body Cleansing Bar is such a wonderful addition to your routine. Specially designed to cleanse, balance, hydrate and nourish without upsetting your skin’s natural pH levels, this delicious cranberry soap is the perfect way to refresh after working up a sweat.
It is also important to give your body a little extra love after an intense session and our Pure Tranquility Whipped Body Butter is here to help with exactly that. Full of delicious goodness such as Shea and Cocoa Butters and deeply nourishing Coconut, Wheat Germ and Jojoba oils, this gorgeous butter can help your skin bounce back happier than ever, even after the most strenuous workout.
Optional Extras To Help You Glow:
While the steps outlined above are essentially just standard housekeeping and should be done daily to keep your skin in optimal condition, the options below are designed to take your skincare routine to the next level and should be completed as noted in each section:
While you were working up a sweat, there’s a good chance that you also dislodged some dead skin cells (working out is great for helping our skin renew itself after all) so it’s important that you exfoliate once to twice a week while working out. As long as they aren’t too close together, we suggest incorporating this step on your two most intensive days of the week.
For this step, you can use either our cult favourite, best selling Manuka Honey Peel or our gorgeous at home spa treatment, the Erda Activating Thermal Peel Collection.
You can also give your body a nice refresh with our Summer Lychee Exfoliating Salt Scrub which can be used once or twice a week. We suggest lining the days that you use your salt scrub up with the days that you also exfoliate your face for the ultimate pampering experience.
Love Your Lips -
It’s easy for our lips to be overlooked when doing our post-workout skincare but they need just as much care as any other part of our body. To help you glow all over, we suggest adding a touch of our Manuka Honey Lip Balm so your lips can feel the love too.
Mask Up -
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about the type of mask that we all had to run around wearing last year, we’re talking about our wonderful facial treatment masks. The Dermassure Clear & Calm Pore Refining Mask is great for giving your skin that extra deep clean after an intense workout and our Immortajell Wrinkle Diffusing Mask will give your skin a fantastic hydration boost.
Just remember not to do your mask on the same day that you exfoliate if you’re using a cleansing mask as you don’t want to irritate your skin.
Nourish Deeply -
Finally, if you want to show your skin some major pampering and love, our Green Caviar Super Natural Butter makes a great overnight treatment. Those who aren’t focused on combating the signs of aging just yet can use this magical moisturiser as a weekly overnight mask for the ultimate nourishing, hydrating and strengthening treatment.
So there you have it, the good, the bad and the dirty effects that working out can have on your skin. Plus, your perfect post-workout skincare routine and our top tips for avoiding breakout blues. Let us know your thoughts on this blog and share your favourite workout ideas in the comments and we’ll see you next time!