Contrast someone who works out with someone who doesn’t, and you will see the striking difference. Exercise, indeed, affects every aspect of our being. When you work out regularly, especially with a personal trainer, you experience the many benefits of exercise, from overall good health to a positive outlook on life. However, as great as exercise is, it may have a downside when it comes to your skin.
Among the advantages of exercise is increased blood flow, which can carry vital nutrients to your skin and get rid of horrid skin radicals. However, this can also cause breakouts. When your blood circulates more freely, the increase in flow causes the pores to open up. This traps your sweat and, perhaps, your pre-workout moisturizer or makeup, resulting in enlarged and clogged pores.
So does this mean you need to ditch working out altogether? Of course not! Exercise is indispensable to your quality of life and should remain a staple among your activities. To continue enjoying the essential benefits of exercising and still be able to have great-looking skin, check out these tips on post-workout skincare.
Tip#1: Drink some water.
Drinking water is just as important after a workout as it is before and during exercise. For your post-workout gulp, the American Council on Exercise recommends drinking, on average, about 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after your exercise routine. Keeping your skin hydrated can flush out the toxins that accumulate during exercise. These toxins clog your pores and lead to pimples and acne. A study published in 2015 showed the relationship between maintaining skin hydration levels and the positive effects on skin appearance.
However, note that our bodies can only excrete so much within a certain period. Excessive hydration can create imbalances in your sodium and fluid levels. This causes confusion, fatigue, and headaches, and worse, even seizures and comas. So drink water after your workout, but make sure you’re drinking the right amount.
This should be second nature, right? However, you would be surprised at how many exercise buffs just dry up quickly, proceed to breakfast (or whatever meal comes after their workout), and then take a bath. After cooling down, hit the showers!
During exercise, your sweat and natural oils accumulate on your skin, which can create a waxy build-up. This after-effect can cause skin inflammation, resulting in breakouts. If you are doing your exercises outdoors, there is the added risk of dust and environmental toxins that can harm the skin. If your routine is particularly intense, you can also develop heat rash, breaking the skin barrier and making it more susceptible to bacteria. Remember to start your shower at a moderately warm temperature after cooling down.
Tip#3: Use a mild cleanser on your face.
When you shower, your skin benefits from getting rid of all the grime and dirt. Remember, though, to avoid using your regular soap or body wash to clean your face. The skin on your face is more delicate in structure than the rest of your body. Harsh soaps and body washes can eat away the protective outer layer of the skin, causing it to be hyper-reactive and lose its radiance. Make sure you use a separate facial cleanser or facial wash according to your skin type. Is it normal, oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin? If your skin care product is reputable, it should indicate what skin type it should be used with.
Also, do look out for phthalates, chemicals that are usually found in scented skincare products. These plasticizers not just irritate your skin, but they are also endocrine disruptors that can cause cancer, among other diseases.
Hydrating on the outside is as important as hydrating on the inside. The reason for this is that the epidermis, our outermost skin layer, needs to stay quenched if our skin is to retain its elasticity, making it rough to the touch.
After your shower, pat dry (not rub dry!), then use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. This acid acts as a humectant that helps the skin hold water.
Tip#5: Use a tinted sunscreen.
Sunscreen protects your skin from collagen breakdown. How so? Collagen is the protein that keeps our skin from sagging, ensuring a plump, elastic, and youthful appearance. Though our body produces collagen, the production declines as we age, making wearing sunscreen more crucial than ever. When we wear sunscreen, our skin is shielded from UV rays and protected from free radicals that wreak havoc on the collagen structure.
Tinted sunscreens are even more effective than untinted SPFs. They not only protect you from UV rays but also shield your skin against the photo-damaging effects of visible light, blue light in particular. Even indoors, your lighting fixtures and the light coming from your computer screen can cause skin pigmentations and even expose you to the risk of skin cancer. So quit putting off applying sunscreen. Your gorgeous glowing skin will thank you for it.