Is Exercise Bad For Your Skin?

Photo: Goutte De La Lune

Photo: Goutte De La Lune

It’s not exactly breaking news that exercise is good for your health, but what about the health of your skin? In the vain of anything else that is good for your body, working out should be great for your skin too, right? In short, it is, but does involve other factors.

Exercise gets the blood moving, and anything that causes healthy circulation of the blood is great for healthy, glowing skin. By increasing blood flow, exercise brings more oxygen to the skin, an important neutralizer to skin damaging free radicals. Exercise is also useful for handling stress, a major cause of many skin problems (anyone else here get stress pimples? Oh, all of you?)

So how could exercise ever be considered bad for the skin? There are easily preventable external factors when it comes to exercise related breakouts. Here’s a few of the common reasons:



I used to work at a spa located inside a gym and all the fitness instructors were in excellent shape but had bad skin. Do you think it had anything to do with the layers of foundation I had to remove to even see their skin? This seems like a no-brainer but let me be clear: makeup mixed with sweat is a sure fire way of clogging your pores.



Anything touching your skin while you’re working out can cause friction-related acne, or acne mechanica. If possible, switch to breathable fabrics such as cotton.


Sun Exposure

When working out outside, we are at greater risk of sun damage. Premature aging is the main factor here, but some people also get breakouts from sunburns.


Not maintaining a proper skincare regime

If you’re not taking care of your skin, you’re at greater risk of breaking out. Always wash your face after working out. I always recommend keeping a toner in your gym bag as well, an excellent way to balance out your skin post-workout.

So there you have it, you now officially have no excuses for skipping your workout.