Exercise, whether in the gym or outside is great for your skin. It allows increased blood flow, increases oxygen levels and brings new glowing cells to the surface. However at Winslow Skincare this month, we are seeing more and more clients coming in with breakouts. So why, if exercise is so great for your skin, are so many of our clients seeing congestion and acne that they didn’t have before?
The answer is very simple. Make Up.
So many of us wear make up to the gym, whether it’s the full face or just a touch of concealer around those imperfections. In this blog we are going to tell the do’s and don’ts of wearing make up to the gym and why it can be harmful to your skin.
Clogs the pores
Make up, or more specifically cheap make up, often contains cheaper filler ingredients such as mineral oil or lanolin. These ingredients are comedogenic which means that they block the pores of the skin, often causing breakouts and congestion. Sweat is released through pores in the skin, when we exercise these pores relax and enlarge allowing whatever is on the surface on the skin to be absorbed deep down into the epidermis and dermis (the deeper layers of our skin)
Sweating is detoxing!
Sweating is your skin’s natural way of detoxing. We use it in the treatment room all the time in the form of hot towels and steaming for two reasons, firstly to open the pores and secondly to allow the masques and serums we apply to the skin thereafter to be absorbed more deeply. So sweating is not your skin’s enemy. lets not stop it from doing it’s job? By applying make up to the skin we are creating a layer of ‘debris’ over the skin which means the skin natural detoxing process that occurs during exercise aka sweating cannot occur. This debris builds up and creates an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment for bacteria and eventually breakouts to breed.
Your sweat is naturally acidic which means it’s great at removing all the toxins from your skin. However post-workout this acidic mixture can change the pH of your skin. Ideally you want to remove all those toxins that have been brought to the surface as quickly as possible. A great way to effectively and quickly remove sweat and make up post workout is Dermalogica’s PreCleanse wipes. Using an oil based make up remover, these wipes are lanolin and mineral oil free and non comedogenic. Great for skin health as well as removing sweat and debris.
To wipe or not to wipe?
We are constantly given different advice on our skin, what’s good, what’s bad, what products to use or to avoid.
However one thing that nearly all skin therapists agree on is wiping/touching your skin during exercise. Hot, humid environments such a gyms and swimming pools are a breeding ground for bacteria, this in itself is not issue. Our bodies are not designed to live in a sterile environment and know exactly how to combat and kill these bacteria if we come in contact with me. However these bacteria when you touch your face during your workout are transferred onto skin causing the bacteria to spread, causing congestion and breakouts.
What about my fine lines?
If you are exercising but not suffering from breakouts then don’t worry we haven’t forgotten you! Did you know that when you exercise you create free radicals making your skin it highly reactive. These free radicals attack your healthy skin cells, they lead to premature ageing. Rather than leaving your skin unprotected, apply a thin layer of antioxidant based serum at least one hour before your exercise (this allows your skin time to absorb the serum) This will help protect your skin from these free radicals and the first signs of premature ageing.
What Can I Wear when Exercising?
For many of us although the above facts about your skin are shocking we still want some light coverage just so we feel a little more human when we exercise! Below are the products that we are Winslow Skincare are happy to recommend when exercising and how when to apply it
- a light weight oil free tinted moisturiser -this will allow for a light coverage without blocking the pores. Apply at least 1 hour prior to exercising. An great example is Dermalogica’s Ultra Sensitive Tint with SPF 30
- Apply a light weight moisturiser with SPF if working out outside to protect the skin from free radicals
- If you really need that extra colour on your lips then opt for a lip tint rather than a gloss or a lip stick