5 Ways Your Workout Is Ruining Your Skin

What’s the one thing you should do to save your skin before you exercise?


Whether you’re addicted to the endorphins or hate every single minute of your workout, the downside (other than the pain, oh the pain) is that you could be messing up your skin big time ─ and in some surprising ways.

1. Breakouts

Working out after work: Good. Not removing your makeup: Bad, bad girl. And you know why ─ sweat, oil and dirt combined with your makeup will result in clogged pores and, ultimately, breakouts.

Quick fix: Always cleanse your face before and after working out (if you can’t manage a shower till much later). Makeup wipes are a godsend. Use them.

2. Sun damage

Prefer hitting the great outdoors? Of course you sunblock your face. But what about rest of your body that’s exposed to the elements, like your neck, décolletage, arms, back of hands and legs? Whether you’re outside or indoors, you’re exposed to UV rays ─ yes, even when you’re running on a treadmill by a window.

Quick fix: Always prep two kinds of sunblock: One for your face and one for your body. Apply and reapply if necessary. Training for a marathon? Reapply during your water break.

3. Chafing

Speaking of marathons: It’s not uncommon to discover, urm, sore bits after a particularly gruelling endurance workout. Chafing is a real thing, and it’s caused by the chronic rubbing of your skin, either against clothing or another body part (hello, inner thigh rash!).

Quick fix: Lubricate before you work out. Moisturisers, body oils, ointments or, in a pinch, good old Vaseline petroleum jelly all provide glide so rubbing is minimised.

4. Bacne

You’ve been a good girl, working out at least three times a week. Then you wake up one day to discover acne… on your back. What gives? Blame those T-shirts you’re wearing, which will get saturated with your sweat — and ultimately lead to bacne.

Quick fix: Invest in breathable clothing such as Nike Dri-Fit or Uniqlo’s Airism. These high-tech fabrics really help to wick away sweat from your skin. Bonus: You don’t overheat during your workout. 

5. Sagging

Not on your face, but your boobies. When you run or do an aerobics-type activity, your breasts will move (bounce, mostly) an average of 15cm! But breasts don’t contain any muscle, and are supported mainly by your skin and ligaments — so think of the wear and tear you’re inflicting on them.

Quick fix: Get fitted with the correct sports bra, not just size-wise but also for the activity you’re doing. And always hand-wash your sports bra. Tumble-drying them may be convenient but will accelerate wear and tear.

For more on Beauty, head here. Or check out 3 Waterproof Mascaras You Can Even Swim In and How To Banish Smelly Hair In 3 Steps.

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