There are a lot of obvious pros to working out—a hot bod, for one….plus boosted confidence, a happier outlook thanks to all those endorphins, and face time with that cute guy in your running club, just to name a few. But all that sweating (and running, and crunching, and sports-bra wearing) can take some surprising tolls on your skin. I mean, you’re already getting up at the crack of dawn for a 6 a.m. boot camp class…should you really have to deal with acne or a rash or irritation? I think not. Here, three easy fixes to workout skin woes:It’s actually a myth that the act of working out causes acne—in fact, regular sweat sessions will improve the look of your skin (just a little perk we like to call the post-workout glow). What does cause acne? Sitting sweat. If you’re someone who works out on their lunch break, hits up a spin class then brunch with friends or works out in the evenings and doesn’t shower until the morning, you’ve probably experienced bouts of face and body acne. The reason? Sweat that isn’t washed off your skin post-workout can breed bacteria, which in turn causes breakouts to occur. An easy solution: once you hop of the elliptical and pack it up for the day, do a quick wipe down of your face, chest and upper back with a clarifying/acne specific wipe, like Murad’s Clarifying Wipes for Blemish Prone Skin. They’ll remove any traces of bacteria, so even if you’re headed home to shower, you won’t risk breeding some blemishes on your way there.
A word to the very sweaty: moisture-wicking workout clothes are a must. High-tech workout gear may seem like an unnecessary indulgence (trust me, I work out in old college tees as much as the next girl), but they really are worth their weight in…um, sweat? If you have sensitive skin, you’re more likely to develop rashes or eczema from frequent workouts (irritation tends to develop at “tight” areas, like around the arm pits and band of your sports bra). Tops and gear that boast “moisture-wicking” features are designed to help move heat and moisture away from the skin and keep skin (and subsequently you) cooler and more temperature controlled. I swear by Nike’s Dri-Fit line, and Under Armour has some great pieces as well. Trust me—once you go moisture-wicking, you’ll never go back (that’s totally a saying, right?)!
Chances are, if your thighs rub together like 99% of the population, you’re going to have to deal with chafing. The irritation, causes by the repetitive rubbing together of your skin, is especially common in runners and can be super super painful if it goes untreated or isn’t prevented. I’ve heard of people using deodorant to ward of thigh rubbing, but products formulated especially for this problem, like Glide sticks, are just as (if not more) successful in preventing skin irritation. How it works: pre-run or workout, put a few coats on your trouble areas (typically the thighs, although it can be the armpits too). The stick will prevent that friction from building up, leaving you without a painful and blistery rash at the end of your workout. I’d say that’s a win, no?