A group of girls sitting on exercise mats after taking an exercise class

Sweat pimples and irritation after exercise

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic who’s always ready to HIIT the gym, or prefer a more leisurely approach to working out (swim, yoga? Yes please!) the benefits of a bit of exercise on your skin can be amazing. Just think: increased blood flow to your skin not only nourishes skin cells by bringing fresh oxygen to them, but boosts your circulation and helps remove cellular waste products and free radicals, too. Now that’s a win-win!

The downside? Well, exercise is always good news, but extra sweat, more oils on your skin’s surface plus bacteria can cause sensitive skin to feel irritated. We’re talking anything from sweat pimples to sweat rash after exercise. But there’s no need to stress over sweat! With a little know-how, it’s easy to manage skin irritation from sweat and exercise.

Sweat it out

One of the main things a solid workout does to our bodies (and skin in particular!), is make us sweat. Its purpose is to cool us down when things hot up, and regulate our body temperature. But, when left to sit on your skin, this friend can become a bit of a foe. When mingled with natural oils, dead skin cells and make-up on our skin, lingering sweat can lead to inflammation, and you’ve guessed it: sweat pimples.

Heat rash after exercise is also a common problem: the rash is caused by sweat being trapped under the surface of the skin by blocked sweat glands. If you’re getting this kind of skin irritation from sweat, don’t panic – sweat rash usually fades once you’ve cleansed and the skin cools down. 

Keep skin clean before and after working out

So, what you can you do? A two-fold, pre- and post-workout cleansing routine. Gently cleanse your skin before your workout, to wash away dirt, make-up and any other surface particles that could contribute to clogged pores. Just make sure you gently cleanse your skin before your workout, and once your class is over, whip off that sweat with a trusty face wipe or a gentle cleanser to help stop impurities from sitting on your skin. A toner, too, can help remove excess oils and dead skin cells that may lurk on your face after washing.

Gearing up for your next workout? Take note of our gym skincare routine for tips and tricks.

Hydrate your skin when you exercise

Naturally when we sweat we lose water, so it only makes sense to replenish what’s been lost. And, when you’re dehydrated, skin can look sallow and dull. If you are prone to dry skin irritation, you might need to take extra precautions against a rash caused by sweat and dehydration as a combination. Cleanse with a gentle face wash and follow it up with a hydrating moisturiser. And of course, keep a full bottle of H20 mat-side to sip between those lunges and stretches.

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