OK, OK. That might have been a shocking title, but it is  a shocking problem, isn’t it? With all the health benefits of working out, you might think there could absolutely never be a downside. Well, it’s time to face the facts. Your workouts might really be ruining your skin – or at least, aggravating it.

Why is that? You may ask this, especially after hearing about the countless benefits working out has been purported as having for your complexion including purging toxins from the skin and boosting collagen.

Unfortunately, it often has to do with already pre-existing problems and an exacerbation of it due to your skin’s inability to detoxify itself efficiently. For example, a problem especially for females happens to be breaking out with acne, bumps and clogged pores after a workout. While this may be due to having acneic skin, it can also be because you’re not washing directly after your workout or simply insist on working out with a full face of thick foundation or cover up – ensuing in clogged pores and congested skin.

While that seems to be one of the most common problems and complaints when it comes to workout-related skin problems, there are plenty more examples we want to address once and for all!


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For people with medium to dark skin tones, the redness is not an issue as much as it is for those with fair skin or for those who suffer from rosacea and sensitive skin. Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center explained that this is especially the case for those who have rosacea as they have more broken capillaries. Any agitation of those capillaries tends to make the redness much, much worse.

While a slight flush is normal with any heart-pumping activity, there are some steps you can certainly take if you’re feeling self conscious or concerned. Your best bet is to start using anti-redness moisturizers formulated for sensitive skin to avoid further irritation. There are plenty of options on the market, but we’re big fans of First Aid Beauty ($36). Too late for prevention? Make sure you wash your face directly after your workout and splash yourself with cold water. If you’re heading home after the gym and have some time to spare, try an oatmeal mask as it will calm any inflammation.

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