Getting regular exercise can work wonders on your overall health and wellness, but it’s not always so great for your skin. Whether you’re hitting the bike trail this summer or pumping some iron in the gym, your workout could be contributing to some of the unwanted skin conditions you can’t seem to get rid of. Fortunately, with the right skin care routine, you can have the best of both worlds: a healthy workout regimen and clear, youthful-looking skin.
The Effects of Exercise on Your Skin
From maintaining a healthy weight to promoting excellent heart health, exercise comes along with so many great benefits for your body. Unfortunately, it can also lead to some common skin care concerns if you’re not careful. These include:
- Oxidative stress. When you perform aerobic exercises like running, jogging, and biking, your body’s antioxidant defense system may not be able to perform as well as it usually can . This means that your body can build up more free radicals than it can neutralize, which is known as oxidative stress. Free radical damage and oxidative stress are responsible for many signs of aging on the skin, including the formation of lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
- Clogged pores. Many people believe that the presence of sweat is what causes acne breakouts, but what is actually happening is that the excess sweat is trapping dirt, oil, makeup, and other debris inside your pores. Once your pores become clogged, bacteria can grow inside them and lead to the pus filled, inflamed blemishes characteristic of acne.
- Sun damage. If you tend to work out outside or even near lots of windows, your skin could be exposed to the sun’s UV rays more than you might think. Though you’re not lying on the beach or by the pool, your skin is still susceptible to UV damage and the signs of premature aging that come along with it.
Skin Care Tips for Athletes
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your healthy exercise habits in order to have great skin. Follow these four skin care tips for athletes to help get your skin back on track:
- Cleanse before and after. While many athletes know that they need to wash their face after a workout in order to remove excess sweat, it’s less well-known that you should also cleanse your skin before your workout. That way, any makeup, dirt, and oil that’s already on the skin’s surface won’t become trapped inside your pores as you start to sweat.
- Protect your skin from free radical damage. You can boost your skin’s antioxidant defense system by using skin care products that contain antioxidants and amino acids, which have been shown to possess antioxidant qualities . You should also keep your skin protected from sun damage by wearing sunscreen anytime you’re going to be working out outside, and by using an anti-glycation product to help protect your skin against oxidative stress.
- Moisturize. Exercise can deplete your skin of its natural lipids and barrier function, which can lead to dryness, flaking, and dehydration . To combat this, apply an amino acid moisturizer to help replenish your skin’s natural moisturizing factor and maintain a smooth, hydrated, and healthy-looking complexion.
- Treat wounds properly. Whether you’ve suffered a minor skin injury like a cut, scrape, or even turf burn, or you’re prone to severely dry, cracked feet, make sure you treat your wounds quickly and efficiently. To accelerate your skin’s wound healing process, you can apply an amino acid formula like HEFF, which has been designed specifically for treating the toughest skin conditions, including cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.
Don’t give up on your skin just because you want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Instead, take a few simple steps to keep your skin protected from environmental stressors like oxidative stress and UV damage, and use amino acid based products to help replenish and rehydrate it.
 Asian Scientist