Does Exercise Cause Acne?

Exercise won't cause acne, but poor hygiene after workouts can.

Though many acne sufferers cycle through numerous treatments before finding something that finally works, the cause of acne is pretty simple. Sebum, the technical term for the oil your skin produces, can get trapped in your pores. When it mixes with bacteria and other debris, acne is the inevitable result.

Oily skin is particularly prone to acne. Hormonal changes that occur with puberty, pregnancy, health conditions, and medical treatments can increase oil production.

Given that exercise makes you sweat, and sweat looks a lot like oil, it's understandable if you're worried that exercising might make your acne worse. After all, many acne sufferers find that just touching their skin in the wrong way can ignite a breakout.

The good news is that you can exercise to your heart's content, because a workout won't directly cause acne. Coupled with poor skincare, though, exercise may make your skin more oily, so it's important to embrace a healthy skincare routine. Once you do, you may find that exercise actually improves skin health.


Does Exercise Cause Acne?

Oily Skin, Acne, and Exercise: The Trifecta

Exercise doesn't harm your skin. The problem occurs when sweat pools on your skin, seeps into your pores, and sits there. Sweating can be especially bad for your complexion if you wear makeup or sunscreen when you exercise, because these products may mix with sweat and become trapped in your pores.

Likewise, exercising and then going straight to bed without washing your face makes you more vulnerable to acne. Put simply, you must attend to your complexion before and after you exercise.

Keeping Your Skin Clean When You Exercise

So how should you care for your skin when you exercise? Begin by removing every last trace of makeup with a gentle cleanser. Anything too harsh can dry your skin, causing it to produce more oil. If you get especially sweaty mid-routine, blot or wipe your face with a clean towel.

After you finish working out, it's time to wash up with an oil-fighting acne cleanserSkinstitut Glycolic Cleanser 12% is a great one to try. This product removes excess oil, sweat, cosmetics, and dead skin without excessive drying.


Does Exercise Cause Acne?

How Exercise Improves Skin Health

If you've struggled with acne for a long time and are nervous about working out, take heart. Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your health, your waistline, and your well-being. Exercise also benefits your skin in the following ways:

  • Increased blood flow: Better circulation can help you shed dead skin more quickly, reduce irritation, and control inflammation.
  • A more even complexion: Regular exercise can help your skin produce oil more uniformly, eliminating dry spots and oily patches.
  • Stress reduction: Stress won't cause acne, but it can exacerbate other skin problems, such as psoriasis.
  • Improved overall health: A healthy body means healthy skin. Good circulation, highly oxygenated blood, strong immunity, and a well-conditioned heart all improve the function and appearance of your skin.

Does Exercise Cause Acne?

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