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Friday, April 10, 2015

Don't Sweat It! Tips on Sweat & Your Skin From Dr. Patel

Photo courtesy of flickr user Chris Hunkeler
 If you're regularly at the gym in sweaty workout clothes and sneakers, we applaud you. But while burning calories and sweating it out at your favorite hot yoga class is great for your core, it can have negative effects on your skin. When you sweat, your pores open up, releasing moisture and making your skin highly vulnerable to bacteria. You might not realize that your awesome gym routine is what is actually causing your skin to break out, so here are a few tips to help keep the breakouts at bay while you work up a sweat. Here are a few tips from Dr. Purvisha Patel on sweat and your skin.

  1. Don't wear makeup while working out. Although it is tempting to look good while you’re cranking it out on the treadmill, sweat and makeup do not mix well. Most makeup contains ingredients that clog open pores and lead to acne. If you absolutely must have something on your face, go with a loose mineral powder that shields your skin from sweat and is less likely to cause a breakout. 
  2. Wash your face before and after a workout. Rid your skin of any bacteria before and after you workout to cut down on clogged pores. Wash your face gently and avoid heavy scrubbing. Blot your face with a clean towel afterward. 
  3. Wear lightweight material. Choose a lightweight and breathable fabric such as cotton to work out in so your skin has room to breathe. Clingy, synthetic fabrics lock in moisture and can create a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  4. Keep sweat off of your face. Try to keep as much sweat off of your face as possible by wearing a headband or hair wrap. Also, avoid touching your face with your hands. You never know what kind of germs and bacteria are lurking on the gym equipment! 
  5. Cleanse your face daily. Use a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These medications treat acne and come as lotions, gels, soaps and liquids.
  6. Wipe down the equipment. Always wipe down all equipment with a disinfectant wipe or spray before and after use. 
  7. Exfoliate your skin. Gently exfoliate your skin a few times each week with a scrub. Scrubbing your skin too hard or too many times a week can lead to dryness, so keep it gentle. 
  8. Change your workout clothes. As tempting as it may be, do not wear the same workout clothes twice in a row, especially if you sweat heavily. Make sure you wash them and your towels in between workouts.  
  9. Be careful with your towel. Do not just lay your towel anywhere. Avoid putting it on the treadmill screen, gym mats or any other equipment that may contain other people’s sweat.   
  10. Avoid equipment frictionAvoid clothes or equipment that will cause friction, such as a tight helmet. Areas that are extremely tight can retain the moisture and clog pores. If you do need to use a helmet or other restrictive equipment during a workout, make sure to cleanse your forehead well afterward. 
Sweat is natural and is healthy for you, but there are ways to keep it from ruining your skin. We want your skin to feel good and look good. Have any questions about sweat that we didn’t address here? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll try to answer them there. 


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