Regular exercise is great for our physical and mental health, it's a powerful tool for reducing stress, due to the endorphins and serotonin released while
exercising. These hormones lowers feelings of pain and stress, improves our mood and sense of
happiness. Exercise also creates new neurons in the brain and helps us to process and store information more
What we we might not often reflect on when it comes to working out, is the benefits it has on our skin. Exercise encourages blood flow and - circulation to the surface of skin, which keeps it healthy, as blood circulation help deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin, as well as carry away waste products, from the cells.
Sweating is a vital part of our skin functions to keep the body from getting overheated. When your body gets warm, your body's temperature regulation starts to kick in. This is done with pores opening and sweating sipping out. The sweat evaporates off your skin and the heat with it, resulting in your body temperature staying even.
If you work out outdoors and live closer to the equator, the importance of air humidity becomes an important aspect to be aware of. When the air humidity is high, sweat can not evaporate off the skin as quickly and your body wont be able to cool itself off. This makes your body produce even more sweat, leading to you loosing an excessive amount of fluid, salts and minerals. Eventually this will make you feel nauseous, and in the long run your body can be overheated.
An extreme example of when the body's normal temperature regulation is made difficult, is from the World Championship marathon race during the Olympics in Doha 2019. With water humidity up to 80% and a temperature of over 30 degrees Celsius, the marathon runners were forced into extreme conditions as sweating wasn't functioning properly. Participants had to cool down their bodies by carrying ice with them and many participants didn't even get to the finish line.
Skin care pre workout
Start by washing off your makeup before working out, to prevent your pores from getting clogged or irritated (in particular if you have congested, sensitive or eczema prone skin). If you don't feel comfortable in working out with naked skin, use non-commedogenic makeup such as natural mineral powder or lightweight pigmented sunscreen.
For people with sensitive skin, working out might cause flare ups and irritate eczema - in this case choose a workout where your body temperature keeps steady, or try swimming as the water or pool will keep your body cool. If you work out outdoors, remember to add some sweat-proof sunscreen, also during winters together with cold cream to shield you cheeks from frosty winds.
If you keep a towel with you, pay attention to the fabric. Preferably the towel should not have any plush to prevent bacteria from sticking to it, and always have a new, clean towel with you.
Skin care post workout
Even if you don't care for cleansing your face pre-workout, ALWAYS cleanse your face post workout! Sweating is good for your skin, but don't let the sweat sit on your skin for too long, as it develops into grime and may cause blemishes and irritation.
Use a gentle cleanser and cool water to remove sweat residue and bacteria (yess, we do touch our faces a lot, as COVID-19 have taught us); a calming, hydrating mist and end with a light moisturizer, to enjoy your post work out glow.
Below you'll find some terrific product recommendations for pre- and post work out:
Pretty Athletic, the Brittish skincarebrand with ingredients of 95% natural origin, provides active women with high-tech products to care for skin that is frequently exposed to sweating & showering. Pretty Athletic have a full range covering every workout skin care need you might have, I got to try three of their products, the Workout Glow Hyalyronic Vitamin Tonic, Invigorating Shower Scrub and Gel Body Moisturizer . and have been very pleased with them!
The Workout Glow Hyalyronic Vitamin Tonic, can be used pre work out to cleanse skin, and post workout to calm and hydrate your complexion. A multivitamin cocktail with calming rosewater, coconut derived cleansers, skinbarrier strenghtening niacinamide, and hydrating hyalyronic acid that works wonders on the skin by soothing and hydrating blushing cheeks after a sweaty workout. Perfect for the ones sporting lunch-hour gym and need to show up refreshed (and with neutral colored face) for a meeting afterwards.
The Invigorating Shower Scrub
is a cooling shower gel with tiny jojoba sphres and raspberry seeds
that'll wash off sweat residue and impurities, but without irritating
the skin as the 'exfoliating' beams are very light. The shower scrub
contains menthol and eucalyptus - the cooling effect resembles of
ice-power gel, which at first slightly confusing, but it'll surely help you cool down and provide a refreshed feeling after a sweaty workout.
The cooling Gel Body Moisturizer gives you an instant hydration kick and absorbs in a glance. Packed with hydrating ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, and patented multi-mineral complex, zink and vitamin A, this fast-absorbing gel moisturizer has a comfortable cooling effect when stroked onto the skin. A lovely way to pamper your skin after hours of sweating, giving you an instant cooled down refreshed feeling, whilst deeply hydrating without any stickiness.