Break A Sweat, Without Causing Acne Breakouts: A Derm-Approved Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine

January 01, 2021
Break A Sweat, Without Causing Acne Breakouts: A Derm-Approved Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine

Acne is typically caused by a combination of factors including excess oil production, external pollutants, sun damage, and bacteria. Identifying your acne’s triggers is an important first step toward treatment and prevention.

One area of our daily routine that may be causing acne breakouts is working out. While physical activity is great for both the body and mind, it can take a toll on your skin’s health if proper skincare measures are not taken. The gym environment is a host for bacteria and pore-clogging. Incorporating a few simple lifestyle changes can help leave your skin’s health uninterrupted by exercise-induced breakouts.

Hormones & Sweat During a Workout 

Our skin’s excess oil production during a workout can be attributed to hormones, more specifically androgens, which stimulate the activity of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands. Working out increases the skin’s oil production because physical movement triggers sweating which leads to an increase in the production of sebum.

We all need sebum to naturally moisturize and protect the skin, but excess sebum production can trap pollutants in our pores. Acne-prone individuals are more susceptible to exercise-induced breakouts and should take measures to properly care for the skin both before and after working out to prevent flare-ups. 

Pre-Workout Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

When we workout, we sweat more and are prone to touch our face to wipe away moisture. Our body heat increases when we sweat and the pores open, which leaves the skin vulnerable to clogging. Pre-workout skincare is therefore vital to ensure our open pores are protected.  

It’s best to remove makeup prior to any sweaty gym session. Makeup can settle into open pores and cause breakouts after a workout. Avoid wearing makeup to the gym or stick to non-comedogenic products that are formulated with ingredients that do not clog pores.

Hair is another important factor when preparing for a workout. When we sweat, our hair often soaks up excess moisture. Hair should be tied up and pulled away from the face to avoid trapping oil and sweat in the skin’s pores. Wearing a headband is a great way to help keep flyaways away from the skin and wick moisture away from the scalp. 

Lastly, consider your gym towel choice carefully. Thicker and plusher towels may seem like a good option to dab excess sweat but can also be a host for bacteria. Opt for a thinner microfiber towel instead that will host fewer bacteria.

Post-Workout Skincare Routine for Acne-Prone Skin

The most important step in your post-workout skincare routine is to cleanse the skin as soon as possible. The longer that sweat from a workout stays on the skin, the higher your chances of a flare-up! Wash your face with a acne targeting cleanser as soon as you can to remove sweat, oil, and bacteria. Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser gently cleanses the skin from impurities and excess sebum while penetrating deeply to remove buildup from clogged pores and prevent the formation of blemishes.

Next, use an exfoliating solution to unclog the pores and accelerate the removal of dead skin cells. Dr. Zenovia’s Glycolic Acne Control Peel Pads contain a powerful combination of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids to effectively target acne and post-acne scars. These pads are also convenient and easy to pack in a gym bag or store in your car.

Follow up with Dr. Zenovia’s Aloe Vera Blemish Soothing Moisturizer for ultra-light, oil-free hydration. This advanced formula helps reduce the appearance of redness and promotes the look of even tone and texture for a supple, glowing complexion. 

Along with cleansing facial skin as soon as possible, changing out of sweaty gym clothes and showering off is imperative to prevent body acne. Don’t forget to wash your towel and clean your headphones between each workout session too!


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