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The Link between Exercise and Acne

Jun 17, 2008
Not only is a moderate amount of exercise good for maintaining a healthy body and for managing stress, it is also very beneficial to your skin. There are people who think that exercise makes their acne worse, but if your acne gets worse due to exercise, it is normally because of something you are putting on your body rather than what you are doing to it. There are certain factors to consider when determining if exercise is actually aggravating your acne.

An initial factor to examine is any cover-up or makeup applied to the skin. Though there are very light makeups available that contain no oils or work not to clog the pores of the skin, clogging and accumulation in the pores can still occur in strenuous activity. The best recommendation is to wear as little makeup as can be worn, and ensure that said makeup is cleaned off immediately after the activity is complete.

Although there have been studies that have concluded sunlight in small amounts can help to lessen acne, prolonged exposure has been proven to clog pores and cause damage. Some kinds of acne medicine can even elevate how sensitive you are to the sun's rays. You should, therefore, always use sunscreen if you plan on doing your exercises outside. Make sure the sunscreen you choose has no oil and an SPF factor of at least 15 for both UVA and UVB rays. After completing your workout, make sure you wash off the sunscreen as soon as possible, because these products can clog your pores as easily as your make-up does.

The clothes you wear can also affect your skin. When you wear manmade materials, heat and moisture can get trapped next to your skin. This will create the right environment for bacteria to grow, which contributes to acne outbreaks. Two particular fabrics to avoid are lycra and nylon. If you exercise heavily, you may want to try out some of the newer fabrics that have come out recently. They have specially designed to keep wetness away from your skin.

Ensuring that your outfits fit correctly is the easiest way to make sure you don't get breakouts that are caused by rubbing. For example, if your wetsuit is too tight under your arms, some friction may occur. Helmets should fit securely on your head without too much sliding occurring as you move. You can also line your helmet with an old cotton shirt that will absorb sweat.

A great tip for your after exercise routine is to remove the saturated clothing and get into the shower and then dry clothing quickly. Wearing wet clothes for a prolonged period of time can breed bacteria and worsen the blocking of pores in the skin. If showering isn't an option, cleaning the skin in places where irritation is common with a treated wipe or towel can reduce the amount of moisture on the skin and clean out any dirt or blockage of the pores. Pay particular focus to the face, making sure to blot the pores instead of simply wiping. This will ensure that any sunscreen or makeup that you have applied will not sink into the pores and dirt will be drawn out of the pores into the wipe or towel.

It is best to shower immediately after working out. However, no matter when you shower, you may want to use a medicated exfoliate cleanser. Remember to always be gentle with your skin. Scrubbing hard will not make you cleaner or cause acne to vanish. In fact, it may irritate existing lesions or develop new ones.

A good exercise routine is vital to our overall health. It is more likely to obtain healthy skin if you have a healthy body. Become aware of the factors that may be the cause of your aggravated acne, then take care of them accordingly. After you have adjusted your routine and removed those factors, you will be on the path to breakout-free workouts.
About the Author
You may be wondering if there is a light acne treatment that really works. If so, you may find David Warple's articles on acne information very helpful.
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