Exercise has many benefits for your skin. In addition to the short-term benefits of giving you an “instant glow,” increased blood flow and the stress-relieving qualities of exercise can also prevent acne and slow the skin aging process.1
Exercise for Clear Skin
Because exercise increases blood flow and circulation throughout the body, regular exercise can help mitigate skin problems. Exercise causes pores to dilate, which allows sweat to remove any oils or bacteria that could cause acne2. Those who suffer from acne should promptly wash acne-prone areas with a gentle cleanser after exercising to prevent breakouts3.
Additionally, with careful mitigation of body temperature, hydration, clothing, and oncoming outbreaks, people with skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea can find exercise activities that work for them, such as swimming, exercising indoors or wearing skin-friendly clothing.4,5
Exercise and Aging Skin
As skin gets older, it replaces cells more slowly and loses elasticity, which can make skin appear “saggier” over time. A study with male and female participants showed that, separate from sun damage, participants who exercised more frequently had younger-looking skin than their counterparts.
The study showed that “after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneum and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than that of others their age, even if they were past age 65.”6 This study also discovered that when volunteers aged 65 or older began an exercise regimen, their skin changed from “normal skin for their age” to “very similar to those of 20- to 40-year-olds.”
Exercise and increased blood flow throughout the body benefit the skin both “externally” by stimulating skin to appear younger and helping prevent acne and “internally” by helping the skin maintain its elasticity and overall health. You’ll see the immediate benefits of healthy, glowing skin.
Skin Care Tips Before and After Exercise
If outside, make sure to use a mineral-based SPF to protect your skin from sun damage. It’s not just for summertime, either. Skiing, for example, requires sun protection, since the daytime sun exposure, plus altitude, plus UV rays reflected in the white snow means an increased risk of sun damage.
If indoors, use a hairband or elastic to keep hair out of your eyes and face, to reduce the irritation and sweat barrier on your skin.
Dress for the season, and use layers to manage your body temperature and sweat. Try UV-blocking clothing year-round for easy sun protection. Find lightweight, wicking layers for cooler weather, especially when going from different temperatures (a warm car to a cold gym, or a cold car to the warm outdoors).
A cooling, hydrating mist can replenish the skin after strenuous workouts. This helps the skin return to its normal temperature and can help reduce redness.
If a mist isn’t at hand, rinse with cool water, gently cleanse, and follow with a moisturizer. Now’s the time to let our post-exercise glow shine through.
- 1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/the-beauty-benefits-of-exercise/
- 2. https://www.dermascope.com/scope-this/the-connection-between-exercise-and-skin-health
- 3. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/the-beauty-benefits-of-exercise/
- 4. https://nationaleczema.org/eczema-exercise/
- 5. https://www.dermascope.com/scope-this/the-connection-between-exercise-and-skin-health
- 6. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/younger-skin-through-exercise/