Have you ever wondered how exercise affects your skin? It’s a commonly known fact that working out regularly has many benefits physically and mentally. Increased energy levels, improved mood, and muscle maintenance - of course, more right swipes and increased pick-up rate. But you might be wondering, “What does my active lifestyle have to do with skincare?’
The Good (& Bad) Ways Exercise Affects Your Skin
Does it really need to be said that exercise is good for you? A good workout can make you glow, but on the flip side it can exacerbate your skin conditions.
The post-workout glow is real, but it lasts only for a couple of hours. In addition to the post-workout glow, in the long run - exercise helps keep your skin looking and feeling healthier. Thanks to its stress-relieving properties, the benefits of working out go beyond uplifting your mental health and extends to your skin. A regular fitness routine, reduces the effects of stress that would otherwise show up on the skin.
Dr. Marisa Garshick, a New York City-based dermatologist, told INSIDER that "Exercise, by getting the heart rate up and improving blood circulation, can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin which keeps the skin healthy, promotes collagen production, and promotes new skin cells which keep the skin looking glowing and is also helpful for anti-aging."
While the act of exercising, itself isn’t harming your skin - your bad pre and post-gym habits could be the reason for breakouts, infections, sunburn, chafing, or rashes.
Sweating can build up oil, dirt, and bacteria on your skin - all of which can lead to acne. "We know that when sweat sits on the body for too long, it can attract bacteria and clog pores so if not properly rinsed off, can make someone more prone to breakouts and acne," Dr. Garshick told INSIDER.
When working out outdoors, your skin is exposed to more than just the sun (UV rays); External aggressors like pollution, cigarette smoke, weather, and smog tend to irritate your skin. During the warmer months, exercising outdoors leads to sweat, sunburn, oily skin, and even chapped lips. When the humidity level drops and it starts getting cooler outside, your skin could dry out and (to no surprise) the winter sun just as much causes sunburn which damages your skin.
On the other hand, if you’re training at the gym, using dirty shared equipment puts you at a risk of skin infections like ringworms. Additionally, the combination of tight-fitted active wear, sweat and high friction could lead to problems like rashes in folded areas, such as the inner thighs, knees and elbows, can worsen with chronic rubbing from running or weight lifting routines.
This does not mean to get the clear skin you would have to stop working out. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the bad so you can reap more of the good by building healthier pre- and post gym habits.
Before You Hit the Gym
It never hurts to be prepared whether it’s for a client meeting, a blind date, or a workout. Put your best face (see what we did there) forward by prepping your skin. All you really have to do is just make sure your asset (which of course, is your face) is cleansed, preferably gently so your pores are not irritated and lightly moisturized so sweat won’t clog your pores. A safe bet with no headaches is the Bettr You Set, locked and loaded with three simple skincare products with natural ingredients that’ll keep you acne-free.
While You’re on Beast Mode
Think of how much you sweat while you bench press. Now imagine if the guy before you had sweats equally or more and you used the same sweaty equipment without sanitizing it? If you think of it, gyms basically have a bunch of sweaty people sharing the same equipment, potentially without disinfecting it properly, touching everything from the water fountains to the lockers to the dumbbells. How disgusting is that? But yet, we all do it without giving it a second thought. Not only that, we touch our faces right after touching the sweat equipment then complain about breakouts or even skin infections. If you think you don’t touch your face, you’re probably wrong. It’s been said that the average person touches their face between 2,000 and 3,000 times a day. Mind-blowing? As a rule of thumb, avoid touching your face as much as possible, whether it’s at the gym or anywhere else for that matter.
After You Break a Sweat
After pushing yourself hard in the gym, don’t forget to hit the showers to get rid of the stench and sweat. If nothing else - always, always, always be sure to wash your face post-workout; as sweat, bacteria, and oils can build up in your pores and if they linger on your skin, it could cause breakouts. Not cleaning your face and body after a workout is like growing bacteria in a petri dish. But thankfully, that’s where skincare comes to the rescue.
Dermatologists like Dr. Hartman recommend, “The best way to control the negative effects of exercise on skin is to remove all sweaty workout clothes as quickly as possible after a workout, especially those that are tight-fitting. ... Taking a shower promptly after a workout also helps to keep bacteria numbers manageable.” Consider investing in an oil-free sunscreen if you’re working out outside to prevent clogged pores. Before and after your workouts, prevent acne by washing your face with a gentle yet powerful cleanser that removes bacteria and prevents clogged pores without irritating your skin. If you have acne or acne-prone skin, dermatologists recommend maintaining a clear complexion with a multi-tasking skincare product such as the Bettr You Set.
So, why should you bother with skincare?
If you’re not looking out for your body’s largest organ you might be leaving yourself susceptible to conditions like skin cancer that, which can be pretty serious. Not to mention, you could be the most jacked guy on the planet but if your skin looks unhealthy, you’re going to miss out on a lot of dates. You’re committed to your workouts, why not your skincare?
Bettr Skincare is a proven multitasking at-home professional men’s skin care solution to combat sweat acne. Consisting of just three products - a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a serum, the Bettr You Set keeps your skin fit, healthy, and strong like the gym does your body. The Bettr You set is formulated with award-winning ingredients that have been hand-picked by an expert team of dermatologists to solve sweat acne from the root.
Suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin - the set undeniably heals acne-prone skin by balancing natural oils, unclogging pores, and protecting from external aggressors. The best part? Bettr men’s skin care routine takes just 60 seconds - nothing more one could ask for.
After a grinding session of an low impact or rigorous workout, it’s absolutely essential to wash not only your body but also your face to prevent breakouts. “It’s always important for men to wash their face, but, more importantly, to do it correctly,” Dr. Keaney says. “Men are often overaggressive in how they cleanse the skin by scrubbing too hard.” To offset and protect men from their own strength, picking a gentle cleanser, like Clean Bettr, is key. Clean Bettr is the perfect gentle cleanser that avoids over stripping your pores, yet effectively removes external aggressors.
Moisturizing is very crucial all year long, no matter the weather. “Men produce more sweat and sebum, so finding the right moisturizer that doesn’t make you feel too greasy [or break out] is important. Retaining moisture in your skin prevents dry, irritable skin,” says Dr. Keaney. However, it’s not about just picking any moisturizer, but getting the right moisturizer for your skin and lifestyle. A poorly chosen moisturizer can do more harm than good by clogging pores and causing breakouts.
For you to get the most from your moisturizer with the right results, mindlessly picking one off the shelf isn’t going to cut it. Nailing your moisturizer can be overwhelming with the variety of formulas and brands out there. If only there were moisturizers formulated for all skin types so you could slap some on and go back to your game of FIFA. That’s where Moisturize Bettr comes in - a lightweight moisturizer for men that feels invisible but still provides hydration for up to 72 hours.
You’ve probably heard it a million times before but we’ll say it over and over again - sunscreen should be a crucial part of ANY skincare routine. As an expert, Dr. Keaney says, “The most common mistake that men make when it comes to skincare is to not wear sunscreen. Protecting your skin from UV rays is the most important thing you can do and helps prevent wrinkles. Every day men should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or greater. It should be a standard part of every guy’s daily routine.” For added protection, if you’re outdoors for long periods reapply every two hours, wear protective clothing, or stay in the shade since long periods of exposure could be harmful.
How to Pick the Right Sunscreen That Goes With The Bettr You Set?
Don’t panic just yet, we know choosing sunscreen can be overwhelming with all the different options. Don’t give up and skip on sunscreen, because if you do your facial skin isn’t getting the full benefits from your Bettr routine, and that’s unacceptable. The good news is that Bettr’s formula plays well with most sunscreens.
Look For SPF 30 or Higher
When looking for sunscreen, the most crucial element would be the SPF level. Keep in mind that your sunscreen should be of SPF 30 or higher to ensure your skin’s protected on cloudy days or even indoors.
Go for Broad-Spectrum Protection
Broad-spectrum sunscreen is responsible for protecting the facial skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays preventing premature aging, sagging skin, and wrinkles.
Get One That Suits Your Skin Type
Unfortunately, though Bettr has done the hard work and formulated skincare for all skin types, that’s not always the case. Experts suggest oil-free and non-comedogenic sunscreens for oily and combination skin types to avoid clogged pores. If you have dry or normal skin, dermatologists recommend picking a sunscreen with hydrating properties.
Ultimately, the best sunscreen is the one you would use. So find one that you like and stick with it.
In conclusion, if you’re willing to watch over your physique, immune health, and food intake — you should be prioritizing your facial skin as well.