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Headed to the Gym? Work Up a Sweat, Not a Breakout

Breaking a sweat can lead to breaking out. Here are some tips to keep your skin clear after a workout.

Working out is supposed to improve your health and happiness. So it seems unfair that taking a trip to the gym so often ends up actually making your skin worse. Luckily, there are ways to prevent fitness-induced acne, so you can enjoy a worry-free workout.

Wash Those Pores Clean

The most obvious way to prevent flare-ups after physical activity is to rinse all of that grime off, which rings doubly true for those prone to body acne. After all, it’s not the actual act of working out that makes your skin flare up — it’s the resulting sweat that breeds bacteria. Showering as soon as you’re done working out is the most efficient way to rid your body of any pore-clogging residue.

Even if you prefer to shower in the comfort of your own home rather than at the locker room, bring a fresh set of clothes and change out of your sweaty duds at the end of your workout.

Towels Aren’t Just For Showering

You never know what kind of bacteria might be lurking on exercise machinery. Whether you’re showering at the gym or not, you may want to bring an extra towel with you to lay down on the equipment you’re using. Even if you wipe down the machines yourself before use, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

If you have an extra-roomy gym bag, bring a small hand towel for wiping sweat off your face and chest as you work out. The longer sweat stays on your skin, the more likely it will be to irritate your pores — so wick it away as you go!

In addition to showering, we recommend keeping pads containing zit-busting formulas like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in your gym bag. Swipe one over your face and other problem areas — for the hard-to-reach spots, there are also body sprays that can get the job done.

Style Choices Matter, Too

It can be tempting to look your best when burning calories in a room full of strangers, but wearing makeup to the gym will likely clog pores even further and will make it more difficult to wash your face when you’re done. If you just can’t part with your cosmetics, stick strictly with mineral-based loose powders.

The type of athletic wear you choose can also affect your skin. Opt for breathable activewear made from materials like cotton or hemp. Silver-lined, sweat-wicking apparel can also keep you extra dry. If you know what parts of your body are prone to breakouts, try to avoid covering them with tight clothing, which can further aggravate acne.

If you’ve followed our suggestions and are still suffering from fitness-related breakouts, contact a dermatologist to come up with an acne-fighting plan that works with your workout.

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