Exercise & Pimples: How To Avoid Gym-Induced Breakouts

Breaking out on your forehead? Dealing with zits on your chin? Have embarrassing bacne and other body breakouts? Your workout could be to blame!

As you huff and puff during your workout classes, your pores open, you start to sweat and your skin begins to release pore-clogging toxins. (Sounds cleansing, huh?) Well, it should be.

Sometimes, though, you get in the way of your body’s cleaning process and the benefits of exercise on your complexion backfire.

Ideally, when you sweat at the gym (which you should for a healthy body, clear mind and clear complexion!), your body releases salts and toxins, allowing your skin to detox and your pores to breathe. A few wrong moves at the gym, though, and this cleansing process can go seriously wrong.

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Clean machines before and after use. A lot of us make the effort to wipe down the workout machines we use after we use them – we are, after all, thoughtful exercisers! – but make sure to clean the workout machines you’re using before use too. Hey – you don’t know if Sweaty Steve cleaned the machine before you and you don’t want his gross sweat getting anywhere near your gorgeous self.

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Don’t touch your face. As the sweat drips down your brow, it’s can seem all too easy to wipe it away with the back of your hand.

Keep track of your towels. That towel you use to cover the floor during pushups gets flung over your shoulder in between sets and, well, the next thing you know the floor-side of the towel is wiping sweat off of your face. If you bring your own towels to the gym, bring a big one for the floor and machines and use a small one exclusively for your face. If your gym provides towels, find a way to keep your face towel separate.

Shower immediately. It’s all too tempting for your weekend workout to run into smoothies with your girlfriends. A few errands later and, well, you’ve been marinating in your sweat all day. Remember: sweating is your body’s way of releasing toxins and you don’t want your skin to reabsorb those toxins.

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Wear breathable fabrics. Bottom line: your toxin-filled sweat needs a place to go. If you don’t wear fabrics that allow your skin to breathe, the bacteria and toxins will go right back into your pores – leading to little red bumps and exercise induced breakouts!

Clean you yoga mat. It may be obvious after a sweaty Bikrim yoga class, but even after your Hatha yoga class wipe down your yoga mat to avoid body breakouts. Try using makeup removing wipes or throw your yoga mat in the bath tub and get soapy!

Keep hair off your face. The oils in your scalp that make your hair thick, shiny and gorgeous aren’t exactly a recipe for crystal clear skin, so be sure to keep them on your head and not on your face. For most women, pulling hair back and off your face is enough. If you sweat a lot on your scalp, though, you may need a sweatband to keep the sweat from your scalp from dripping onto your face and back.

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