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Does Exercise Help Acne? The Surprising Truth

Shiloh Garcia
Written by
Shiloh Garcia
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Working out: For anyone that has done an exercise or two, you know just how exhilarating it can be to give your all and push through your limits. A calorie-burning, out-of-breath burnout session where sweat is glistening and legs are moving can make you feel alive and put you in the mindset that you can do anything.

 

 

Who doesn't love that feeling of accomplishment, knowing that you've just done something amazing for your body and mind? The exciting part is that exercise is not only good for those areas; it's also good for the skin.


A strenuous workout will give you the full cardiovascular investment you seek and the skin you've always dreamed of. Now, you might be thinking, "How can exercise help my acne go away?" This is an entirely valid question.


On your acne journey, you've probably heard a lot of different options and solutions to get your breakouts under control. And it might seem like every conversation is laced in new mind-numbing advice that might or might not work. But when it comes to exercise, there is proof in the pudding. 


What affects your internal health also affects your external health. 



Does Working Out Really Help Acne?


It is no secret that exercise is an essential part of everyday health and vitality. The issue is that most people don't actually take the time to do it. 


It wasn't until I saw the benefits of consistent exercise that I realized a unique correlation between working out and clear skin. Coming from a person that had breakouts on the regular, I began to notice that my skin not only got better, but it looked hydrated and full of life. 


Here is how it all works:


When you exercise, cortisol (a stress hormone) increases, and while it can cause some people to experience a short wave of breakouts (more like a pimple or two), it doesn't last long. Dermatologists say that with constant and regular exercise, your skin will "improve naturally." 


So does that mean that you can just put in a good two weeks before a big event and expect the clear skin fairies to sprinkle their magic? No.


In your quest for clear skin, your main goal should be skin health. That means you need to have less inflammation, irritation, redness, and pimples to reach this goal. How do you achieve this? With time and effort. 


Integrative dermatologist Cybele Fishman explains, "...For any inflammatory disorder, to improve it, you want to be the least inflamed person you can be. Exercise of all types decreases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and increases endorphins, which improve mood and reduce the perception of pain." Noting that this process does not happen overnight, she strongly advises people to find an exercise routine that they know they can stick to and indulge in the particular exercise that makes them feel good. This will ensure less inflammation and give you the kind of results you seek both internally and externally.  


So, how exactly does exercise benefit the skin?

 

 

When you incorporate a consistent pattern of working out, you can expect:


-Increased oxygen to cells that help the overall appearance of the skin

-Decrease in breakouts, excess inflammation, and redness

-Increased blood flow for skin cell renewal and a more youthful appearance

-Fatigued and dull skin to disappear

-Less stress on your body

-A more balanced complexion


So much good can come from a consistent exercise routine. But don't be fooled; exercise is only as good as the care you show your skin. Here are a few tips to keep your workout skin-gains and progress intact. 


Tips to Avoid Acne While Working Out 


While working out for acne can help you achieve blemish-reduction, exercise can also create the perfect conditions for acne-causing bacteria and yeast to thrive (if you're not careful). Here are a few tips to keep your skin glowing before, during, and after your workout. 


Pre-Workout Tip

+Skip the makeup- Dermatologists recommended cleansing your face before each workout session to remove dirt build-up, excess sweat, and makeup. While you're exercising, blood flow to your face increases, and this can cause the pores to open and trap in the sweat, bacteria, and pore-clogging makeup. What does this lead to? Acne. In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests an oil-free makeup remover, like our Completely Clear Gelee Makeup Remover, to both cleanse and free the face of makeup residue. 

 

During Workout Tip 

+Wipe down exercise equipment (personal or shared)- What is the number one rule of exercise (especially if you're in a gym)? Wipe down the equipment! Hands carry various forms of bacteria that could cause acne, rashes, and more if introduced to the face. Getting in the habit of wiping down the machines every time you're about to use them helps remove some of the troublesome dirt and oils that could find their way to your face. 


Post Workout Tip

+Cleanse your face after working out- Similar to cleansing your face before working out, you need to cleanse your face after you work out to ensure that sweat and dirt are not just lingering for an indefinite period. What happens when dirt is allowed to sit on your skin for any length of time? If you said "breakouts," you are completely correct. Our waterless cleanser, the Radiant Cleansing Nectar, is the perfect all-in-one gym-mate. You never have to rinse, so that means it can go wherever you go.


Bonus Tip

+Wear SPF- If working out outside, protect your skin with an SPF. Without it, your skin can be exposed to harmful UV rays that can cause premature aging, discoloration, damage, and even cancer. In addition, cloudy days still have their share of UV rays. So a good rule of thumb is to keep the SPF handy any time you go outside. 


 

Acne-Free Skin, Always 


Working out is an essential part of a clear skin journey, and it can be enjoyable. It definitely takes determination and perseverance, but the reward is pure gold.


Exercise + An effective skincare routine has helped thousands see unbelievable results. It can help you too. Don't you think your skin is worth the investment? 

 

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Shiloh Garcia
Written by
Shiloh Garcia
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Shiloh is a Copywriter at Averr Aglow. A wordsmith by day, she loves all things creating. If she's not blogging or writing an Instagram post, then she's singing to everyone and dreaming of California summers. If there is ever a time that you can’t find her, know that she is somewhere talking to complete strangers. Seriously.