We’re now a month into the new year. For most of us, that means we might not exactly be all-in with our New Year’s resolutions anymore, but they’re at least still on our radar.
If your resolution involves hitting the gym more often (or if you’re just a better body-owner than I am and you already work out consistently), you already know how all those reps are improving your body. Have you thought about what they’re doing to your skin, though?
As it turns out, your exercise routine can have a major impact on your skin – in good ways and bad ways. It’s a good thing there are ways to keep the unfortunate side effect to a minimum.
Overall More Vibrant Skin
As much as you might hate it when your trainer talks about “getting your blood pumping,” that’s a part of your workout that your skin thanks you for.
Your blood is what carries oxygen and nutrients to various parts of your body, your skin included. The enhanced circulation makes sure your skin has a steady supply of everything it needs, which makes your complexion look brighter, healthier, and more colorful.
That doesn’t end soon after your workout, though. By boosting your cardiovascular health, a great workout routine will give you better circulation on a daily basis so you can keep enjoying that healthy look, even on days when the gym doesn’t fit into your schedule.
More Blemishes or Fewer Blemishes…Depending on Your Routine
When you work up a sweat, that sweat pushes out through your pores. It can do a fantastic job of clearing dirt and debris out of your pores to prevent blemishes from forming. Think of it like a hose, flushing out all those acne instigators.
Of course, the opposite can happen, too. Have you ever touched your skin after having sweat dry on its surface? It feels just as gritty as if you’d just stepped off of a beach. Ew.
As you can imagine, that grittiness can also clog your pores if too much of it makes its way in. That’s why so many workout buffs wind up with facial and body acne, and why you might notice an uptick in blemishes when you get back into the gym.
The key is to wash your skin as soon as possible after your workout with a gentle cleanser. After you’ve sweat, all the debris from inside your pores is out on top of your skin where it’s vulnerable and you can get rid of it in one fell swoop.
Temporary Redness or Rosacea Flare-Ups
If you’re one of the millions of people with rosacea, you already know that this chronic skin condition causes intense facial redness when certain triggers happen. Exercise is one of the most common rosacea triggers that leads to flare-ups, but you might also notice symptoms when you drink alcohol, eat spicy foods, or encounter other triggers that wouldn’t otherwise seem skin related.
It isn’t just people with rosacea who notice changes in their complexion, though. Working out can dilate the blood vessels in anyone’s face. Those blood vessels are more visible under the skin when they’re dilated, which looks like redness on your skin’s surface.
For some of us, this is just a side effect we need to live with. The redness typically fades within minutes after the workout, so it’s a small price to pay for lifelong health.
If you want to keep it to a minimum, though, you can steer clear of other triggers or actions that can make your face red, like hanging out in the sun without facial sunscreen or being in temperatures that are too hot or too cold.
Fewer Stress-Related Skin Symptoms
Is there a single aspect of your health that stress doesn’t affect? I’m pretty sure the answer is “no.”
Stress can wreak havoc on your skin. For one, it manipulates your body’s hormones, and many of those hormones help to regulate the delicate balance of oils and other natural substances in your skin.
Stress also tends to cause symptom flare-ups for certain chronic skin conditions, like eczema. In some people, too much stress even causes hives. Ouch.
Working out is a proven way to manage and reduce your stress levels. After all, biologically, stress hormones are meant to give your body energy so our ancestors could run away from animals or other threats. Exercise gives you a chance to get rid of that anxious energy and bring your body back to stability.
Making Your Workout Even More Beneficial
There’s no doubt that an ongoing, frequent exercise regimen is an important way to protect your health. And hey, who doesn’t want a powerful body that lets them do anything they want? If you play your cards right and follow the tips above, you can let your skin reap the rewards of your hard work too.