Regular Exercise: The Hidden Key to Better, Healthier Skin

woman drinking after a run

In 2020, 1.68 million individuals in the U.S. spent $500 or more on skincare products. Some popular items include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, body lotions, and so on. And while $500 may seem like a ridiculous amount to spend on things to put on one’s face, it’s for a good reason.

A good skincare routine is important for people of all ages. But it’s especially important for people in their 20s and 30s. During these years, people need to pamper their skin and keep it healthy so that it will stay smooth and flowing even at old age.

But one thing that people can do to improve their skin health, without spending too much, is exercise. It’s not surprising that physical activity can also affect skin health given that exercise does play a huge role in holistic wellness. Although, not everyone knows about the link between exercise and skincare.

How Exercise Affects the Skin

The skin protects your body. Your skin is responsible for regulating your temperature and preventing bacteria from easily entering your system. You need to exercise regularly to improve your skin’s health. More specifically, here are ways in which physical activity helps your skin:

Get Rid of Impurities

Anyone who went to a beauty institute or medical school will tell you that impurities make your skin more vulnerable to skin problems, such as acne and dry skin. You can get rid of these impurities through exercise.

When you sweat during exercise, your pores open up and release impurities. That said, it would be ideal for you to perform exercises that will make you sweat a lot, such as aerobic exercises.

Protect Your Skin

Another benefit of exercising is that you release dermcidin when you sweat. It’s an antimicrobial peptide that attacks bacteria clinging onto your skin, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus. If not addressed, these bacteria can cause infections and irritations.

Thus, when you exercise, you’re doing your skin a favor because your sweat helps you add a protective barrier to your skin.

woman with glowing skin

Achieve Glowing Skin

Those who exercise regularly tend to look younger because they have healthier skin. When you work out, your heart will beat faster. So it will work harder in pumping blood around your body. This increased blood flow adds a slight glow to your skin. What’s fascinating is that this effect of better blood circulation stands even after exercise.

Reverse Signs of Aging

Many people think that the importance of exercise in terms of aging is only on mobility. But that’s not the case. Regular exercise can also help in reversing the signs of aging on the skin.

As mentioned earlier, exercising improves blood circulation in your body. This improved circulation means that oxygen and nutrients are more quickly distributed in the body. And as a result, you will preserve your skin’s elasticity. This is backed by a 2018 study that found that exercise reduces wrinkles.

Relieve Stress

Stress can negatively affect your skin. For instance, when you have high cortisol levels due to stress, you increase your skin’s oil production. This makes you more prone to clogged pores and acne. Stress can also indirectly lead to eczema since stress is associated with some of this condition’s symptoms.

Exercise is known to be a great solution to stress. Exercise can reduce your cortisol levels. It will also help you produce more endorphins, which are your body’s “feel-good” hormones that can boost your mood.

Skincare Routine Before and After Exercise

Depending on where and when you exercise, it may also affect your skin negatively. For example, if you go for a run under the hot sun but don’t put sunscreen on, you’ll damage your skin. So before you exercise, consider doing the following things to ensure that your physical activity will do more good than harm to your skin.

  • Put sunscreen on when exercising outdoors and in indoor centers with windows that let the sun in.
  • Take a shower after exercise to wash off the sweat. Use a cleanser on your face to remove built-up sweat and germs.
  • Always change clothes after working out. Otherwise, you’ll let built-up sweat and other debris stick to your skin, which can cause irritation.
  • Put on sunscreen again if you’re going out after a workout.

Maintaining healthy skin can take some work. You need to be diligent with your skincare routine and choose the right products for your skin. You also need to eat healthily. But even more important is to exercise regularly as it allows your skin to heal and protect itself.


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