Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Link between Exercise and Acne

The Link between Exercise and Acne
The Link between Exercise and Acne
by David Warple

Moderate exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy body and manage stress; it is also great for your skin. Some complain that their acne is aggravated by exercise. In truth, exercise-related acne is usually caused by something you are using on the body, not the actions of the body. Here are some factors to examine if you find your acne is aggravated by exercise.

One factor is make-up. There are oil-free and non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) products available, but they will still clog the pores if worn during heavy exercise. Wear as little make-up as possible while exercising. When you are finished, wash it off as soon as possible.

Secondly, overexposure to the sun could cause your skin to worsen in condition. Though some sunlight is beneficial to the skin, overexposure can result in damaging spots and pore damage beneath the skin's surface. Your medications and makeups can also make your skin more sensitive to the effects of the sun. As a result, wearing a sunscreen is a must for outdoor activity. In choosing a sunscreen, utilize a type that works well for your skin, with a SPF factor of at least 15 for both UVA and UVB rays. Again, as with makeup, wash your skin and the sunscreen off after exercising.

Clothing is another factor. Synthetic fabrics can trap heat and moisture against your skin, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, thus contributing to acne. It is best to avoid clothing made exclusively with lycra or nylon. Loose clothing and natural fibers permit the skin to breathe. Lightweight, loose-fitting cotton is best for moderate exercise. If you follow a vigorous routine, you may consider trying the new fabrics that are designed to draw moisture away from the skin.

Proper fitting clothing and equipment are also crucial to consider, as they can lead to skin irritation as a result of friction. Wearing outfits that are too snug in places like armpits and crotches are prime areas for irritation. Helmets need to fit properly and snugly to the head, and should be lined with a soft fabric that can be removed and washed regularly, such as cotton.

A great tip for your after exercise routine is to remove the saturated clothing and get into the shower and then dry clothing quickly. Wearing wet clothes for a prolonged period of time can breed bacteria and worsen the blocking of pores in the skin. If showering isn't an option, cleaning the skin in places where irritation is common with a treated wipe or towel can reduce the amount of moisture on the skin and clean out any dirt or blockage of the pores. Pay particular focus to the face, making sure to blot the pores instead of simply wiping. This will ensure that any sunscreen or makeup that you have applied will not sink into the pores and dirt will be drawn out of the pores into the wipe or towel.

Showering quickly after a workout is a great habit to get into. Using an exfoliating cleanser while showering combined with the quicker shower will allow dirt and other accumulation on the skin to be removed quickly. Being gentle in cleansing the skin is optimal, as scrubbing or being overly abrasive can irritate skin further and possibly lead to further skin blemishes developing and current blemishes worsening.

Maintaining a healthy exercise schedule is beneficial for every person, and a healthy body is naturally conducive to healthy skin. You will be more likely to have one if you have the other. Know what causes your skin to become irritated, and take care to avoid those things. Once you have removed those irritants from your exercise routine, your workouts will always be free from breakouts.

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