Four Ways to Protect Your Skin While Exercising

woman-man-stretching-before-a-runWe all know that exercise is great for your heart, lungs, mental health, digestion and more, but did you know that regular exercise can also benefit your skin health? The increase in blood flow helps to nourish and vitalize skin cells while flushing excess cellular debris out of your system. Additionally, exercise can ease stress which can help to improve the appearance of skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Even though exercise can greatly benefit your skin health, there are still important steps you should take to ensure that your skin is protected.

#1: Wear Sunscreen

You should wear sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF every time you leave your home, especially when you plan on spending time outdoors or driving in your car for long periods of time. Sunburns can increase your skin cancer risk and age the appearance of your skin which erases any benefits your skin may gain from exercise.

If possible, you should try to exercise indoors or avoid exercising outdoors during peak sun time, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you do workout outdoors, you should always wear sunscreen, clothing that covers your skin and a hat to shade your face. Since sweating can remove sunscreen from your face, make sure to reapply throughout the day with sweat-resistant sunscreen.

#2: Avoid Tight Clothing

Wearing tight clothing during exercise can lead to chafing, rashes and irritation. Because your skin is sweaty and unable to easily breathe, tight clothing can also lead to acne breakouts. Solutions include wearing looser, moisture-wicking clothing and showering immediately after exercising.

#3: Cleanse Before Your Workout

Since pores can easily become clogged during exercise, it’s important to cleanse your face before your workout. You should also avoid touching your face and wearing makeup of any kind while you exercise in order to prevent possible acne breakouts.

#4: Keep Your Skin Cool

Flare-ups of skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and psoriasis can occur during exercise. In order to minimize large increases in body temperature, working out in a cooler environment is a great solution. Swimming, exercising indoors in air conditioning or waiting until the evening to workout outdoors are all great options. If your skin does get flushed or overheated, you can apply cool compresses to your skin immediately after your workout.

Ultimately, regular exercise has enormous benefits in all areas of your body. Knowing how to properly protect your skin while you workout can help to improve your skin’s health and appearance. To learn more about how to care for skin, schedule an appointment with Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today. Additionally, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more skincare insights and recommendations.