How Working Out Affects Your Skin

lady working out

• Regular exercise can help reduce wrinkles, improve circulation, and give your skin a healthy glow. 

• Sweating during a workout helps flush out toxins and bacteria while unclogging pores. 

• Dehydration, sun damage and skin irritation are potential negative effects of working out on the skin. 

• To prevent skin problems, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, clean gym equipment before use, and use cosmetic skin solutions.

Working out is a great way to stay in shape, keep your body healthy and strong, and even improve your mood. But did you know that working out can also affect your skin? Regular workouts can positively and negatively affect your skin health, depending on how you approach them. Here’s a look at how regular workouts can affect your skin.

Positive Effects of Exercise on Skin Health

There are plenty of positive benefits of regular exercise on the skin. You may have noticed that after working out, you have a glow that is both invigorating and attractive. This “glow” is caused by an increase in circulation that comes after a good workout session. With increased blood flow, skin cells can get the oxygen and vital nutrients needed to maintain healthy and strong skin.

Here are the benefits of working out regularly on skin health:

Reduce Wrinkles

One of the most visible signs of aging is wrinkles. Fortunately, regular workouts can reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time by improving circulation and keeping skin toned. Exercise helps to keep the body fit and toned, which will also help with elasticity in the skin. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less collagen—the protein that helps maintain firmness in our skin—so it’s important to keep up with regular workouts to keep our skin looking young and healthy.

The Power of Sweat

Sweating during a workout helps release toxins from the body through the pores, which can help unclog them and prevent acne breakouts. Additionally, sweat helps flush out bacteria that could otherwise cause infection or irritation in the skin. However, it’s important to cleanse your face after a workout, as sweat can contain dirt and bacteria that can irritate or infect pores if left on the skin for too long.

Glowing Skin

Regular exercise increases blood circulation in the body, including in the face. This improved circulation brings oxygen-rich blood cells closer to the surface of your skin, resulting in a glowing, healthy-looking complexion with fewer breakouts and blemishes caused by clogged pores or bacteria from sweat buildup. Additionally, exercise releases endorphins—the “feel-good” hormones—which make you feel happier and more relaxed, which can be reflected in healthier-looking skin overall.

A happy sweaty woman after a workout

Negative Effects of Exercise on Skin Health

While working out has benefits, there are still negative effects if not done correctly or safely. If you notice these happening to your skin after workouts, you may push yourself too hard.


One of the most common negative side effects of working out is dehydration. When you exercise, especially in hot weather, your body can sweat out more water than it can replace, leading to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is more prone to breakouts, rashes, and redness due to its lack of moisture.

Sun Damage

When working outdoors or in a gym without windows, it can be easy to forget the sunscreen. But just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean the sun isn’t damaging your skin. Even when you’re inside, the sun’s rays can penetrate windows and cause damage to your skin. Apply sunscreen before outdoor workouts or indoor gym sessions to protect your skin from sun damage.

Skin Irritation

Sweating heavily during exercise can cause irritation or block pores, which can lead to breakouts or other conditions like eczema or psoriasis becoming aggravated. Using unclean gym equipment also puts you at risk for bacterial infections such as folliculitis (inflammation around hair follicles) or impetigo (a contagious rash), which can cause redness and irritation.

A woman looking at an acne on her face in the mirror

Ways to Prevent Skin Problems

If you want to maximize the positive effects of exercise on your skin while minimizing the negative, you can take a few steps to ensure your workout routine is healthy for your skin.

  • Stay Hydrated: The most important way to prevent dehydration and protect your skin is by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after workouts.
  • Wear Sunscreen: Cover up with sunscreen before heading outdoors to protect your skin from sun damage.
  • Clean Equipment: Make sure you clean off any equipment you use in the gym. This will help prevent bacterial infections that can cause irritation and redness.
  • Use Cosmetic Skin Solutions: Cosmetic skin solutions such as moisturizers and serums can help keep skin healthy while still allowing you to work out. Pick a product with ingredients that won’t clog your pores, such as hyaluronic acid or ceramides.

While working out offers natural skin benefits, it’s important to be mindful of how your workouts can negatively affect your skin. When done correctly and with proper precautions, you can enjoy healthy skin that glows from the inside out.

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