Aside from all the zits, I have noticed a less-than-dead look to my complexion. Surely fitness has got something to do with it, right? “All of our skin health, cellular vitality, and tissue function is largely contingent upon our cutaneous circulation and a steady supply of oxygenated blood and nutrients running through,” explains Ava Shamban, a board-certified dermatologist based in Beverly Hills. “This supports pores working and our natural moisture network conditioning.” She goes on to say that when we exercise, our heart pumps more blood, and results in improved oxygenation and circulation to all of our skin cells for vitality and repair. She calls our bloodstream a “fast-track highway system” for our cell’s essential nutrients and its waste removal. Basically, when we exercise, we eliminate more efficiently and clear out impurities. Other benefits? It supports our immune system, and, of course, results in that post-workout glow, as well as our anti-aging processes. “A workout is a great part of our overall rejuvenation,” she says.
When it comes to the downsides, Shamban says that sweat creates bacteria, which can contribute to acne or folliculitis, chafing, rash, or seborrheic/atopic dermatitis. This is why, she says, wearing clothing with wicking fabrics is very important, as well as showering immediately afterward (something, I grossly admit, I don’t always do when I don’t think I’ve “sweat as much.” No wonder I’m breaking out! NASTY). “The irritation and increased perspiration with bacteria trapped by tight-fitting workout clothes may lead to a form of acne aptly called acne mechanica,” adds Dr. Shamban. She says that it’s best to not use much skin care before a workout. “A gentle cleanser [if you have makeup on] and sunscreen is best, even just tepid water and sunscreen for the early morning.”
Keep scrolling to see what products I use for my workout beauty routine, from anti-chafing products to no-rinse body wash.