Feature Image by Carl Barcelo

Working out can have quite an effect on our bodies. For instance, working out speeds up our metabolism, and it also boosts our mood tremendously. Not only that, but regular exercise also affects the skin!

Some refer to the superfluous redness that occurs post-workout as the “post-workout glow.” But, what does that really mean? What really happens to our skin when we exercise?

The good stuff that happens to our skin during our workout

  • When you exercise, you increase your blood flow (hello, redness).
  • As you work out, and as your blood flow increases, you are actually nourishing your skin cells and keeping them vital.
  • Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin, ridding itself of the useless gunk that percolates through your skin.
  • When you exercise you’re (hopefully) experiencing some mood-boosting goodness thus reducing your chances for stress and anxiety.
  • Exercise promotes skin elasticity, which is just a fancy way of saying exercise can make you look and feel young.

As you exercise, you’re giving your mind, body, and skin some love and life. But you should always be cautious of what workouts might be causing trouble for your skin (more on that below).

The not-so-good stuff that happens to our skin during our workout

  • When you exercise, you sweat. And sometimes that sweat can lure some sweet, sweet bacteria to your skin.
  • Bacteria will work its way into your pores and cause some serious issues.
  • Sweat is all salt baby, which can also irritate your skin.

The good thing about the bad is that you can take care of this issue as it presents itself.

According to Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., FAAD, “If you’re taking up sweaty workouts as part of your 2021 resolutions, be sure to protect your skin from some of the potential adverse effects like body acne and folliculitis.” That fancy last word is a skin condition where follicles become inflamed.

The ways you can combat yucky side effects from working out include changing out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible, integrating a medicated body wash into your hygiene game, and utilizing absorbent body powder and barrier creams to fight against chafing and folliculitis.

Do different types of exercises affect the skin differently?

In short, the answer is no. Doing yoga versus doing a HIIT workout will not make a ton of difference as both are working to get the blood pumping. However, if you are taking a hot yoga class, chances are your skin will react differently than if you were to say do cardio outside when it’s super cold. A hot yoga class is sure to get you sweating a lot more as well as apply heat to the skin. Depending on your skin type, this could be beneficial or it could be a detriment. It’s best to weigh out the pros and cons of each exercise and how it pertains to your skin.

As always, please consult your doctor if you have more questions.

xx, The FabFitFun Team