Sweat Vs. Skin. Can both sides win?

  • 5 min read

We all know that getting a sweat on is good for mind, body and soul. Sweating also does a lot of good for the skin - helping to flush out bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities. Why else would steam rooms and saunas be so popular??

However... (there's always a 'but'!) the impurities that sweating helps flush out can stay on your skin, and when the skin begins to re-absorb them, pH factors change and can lead to irritation and rashes. So, we've got to be careful. How can we capture the positives and avoid the negatives? It's a question that we'd love the answer to in all areas of life to be honest! Regardless... for this post, we'll stay focused!

Let's hand over to our guest blogger Molly, a fitness correspondent and creator of London Style Active, who's going to share with us her tried and tested methods for workout / breakout balance... Over to you Molly!

Five post-workout skincare rules

We all know exercising has many benefits for body and well-being, but did you know that working out can have less than positive effects on your skin? Blocked pores, skin inflammation and hidden bacteria can affect skin post-workout if you don’t take action. Don’t let your biggest workout give you an even bigger breakout! Have a read of my 5 post-workout skincare rules to help keep sweat and skin in the winning corner and pimples and backne in the losers corner!

1. Wipe down carefully

Sweating is a great way to detoxify your skin, but bacteria can easily be spread after touching equipment that has been used by gym-goers before you. First things first, try not to touch your face after your workout and if possible wipe your face with a clean towel. This will minimise the number of germs left on the skin that could cause infections and breakouts, says New York City dermatologist Dr. Julie Russak, Founder and CEO of Russak Dermatology Clinic.

2. Cool Cleanse

One of the best things to do post-workout is to remove sweaty clothing as soon as possible and cleanse your body. Hot water can strip the surface of the skin of its vital natural oils, so opt for a quick cool shower instead. Showering with cool water will help close pores - and yes, admittedly this is much easier to enjoy in the summer than the winter, but take the plunge and think of the skin benefits!

3. Exfoliate and moisturize

Our skin goes through a lot when we exercise, so it needs lots of hydration to maintain a healthy balance. I use UpCircle’s Citrus Blend Face Scrub to gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells, leaving my skin smooth and clean. What’s more, the scrub contains rosehip oil and shea butter which moisturise the skin post-scrub, ensuring a rejuvenated complexion. Double whammy!

4. Ditch harmful chemicals

It’s important to look at the ingredients used in your skincare products, including in hygiene essentials like soap bars. Any harsh chemicals or fragrances can cause irritation to your skin, that’s why UpCircle’s chai spiced palm oil free soap bars are 100% certified natural, vegan and cruelty free. Help restore your skin after a sweaty workout by using either of the UpCircle soaps with water. Then rinse and enjoy that post-workout glow. The best thing is they're gentle enough for both body and face, so you don't need to pack too many products in your gym bag... another double whammy!! 

5. Drink plenty of water

Hydration is key when it comes to clear skin. Dr Julie Russak advises to keep a water bottle close to you, ‘because your body loses so much more moisture in heated environments, you’ll need to keep hydrating post-workout for your skin to recover.’ Prefer a post workout shake? Add in a little coconut water – it is filled with potassium which plays a massive part in re-hydration.

Summer workout tips:

What better time than the summer to boost your fitness? Break a sweat whilst catching a tan? Yes, please! Exercising outside is so rewarding, but there are a few things that you need to take into account before you go rushing out the door. If you are looking to improve your fitness but unsure where to start, don’t panic, here’s my top workout tips to keep you fit this summer.

Treat yourself to new gear

Whether it’s buying a new sports bra, leggings, or those trainers you’ve wanted for ages, treating yourself to activewear can cause a massive boost in motivation. Unsure what style of sportswear will suit you? Check out my activewear reviews here for the ultimate guide for looking good whilst working out. It's amazing what difference a great outfit can make to your confidence and motivation to workout. 

Create a motivation playlist

There’s nothing worse than being stuck on the treadmill listening to other gym goers panting and grunting. A study by Brunel University found listening to music can increase endurance by 15%. With that in mind, it’s time to turn up the tempo and create a playlist packed with your favourite tunes. Just try not to sing aloud if you're in a gym... it doesn't usually go down too well with the super serious types!!

Take your workout outdoors

Shudder at the thought of doing a boot camp? You might surprise yourself, sometimes having a trainer can push you further than you think. If you can't be persuaded, then why not grab a group of friends and come up with your own circuits at your nearest park? Take advantage of stairs, benches and grassy areas. Being outdoors will not only improve your fitness but you’ll soak in some vitamin D too!

Train for something

Working towards a goal is a great way to keep fit this summer. Pick something that will help motivate you to stay consistent with your fitness. Whether that’s a charity sports event, obstacle course or even a marathon, sign yourself up (or even better) drag a friend along too so you can support each other’s fitness journey.

Keep positive

Your body is with you 24/7, it's not seasonal. Remember that fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle rather than a step to becoming ‘summer body ready.’ Whatever on earth that is supposed to mean... *eyeroll* Your health is far more important than that bikini pic, it’s important to remind yourself to take care of your body consistently. It’s the only one you’ve got.


A bit about me...!

My name is Molly, I am a fitness correspondent and creator of London Style Active, where I share my passion for activewear to help motivate women to feel strong and confident whilst working out. I believe that ‘if you look good, you'll feel exceptional,’ My aim is to make a positive impact on women by embracing the latest activewear trends, sharing my motivational tips and promoting a positive body image that can be adopted by today’s society.