All types of exercise are good for your skin but how and when you exercise can affect the health and look of your skin too.
Exercise increases your blood flow which helps to deliver nutrients to your cells and remove waste. All types of exercise will deliver the benefit but how and when you exercise can also affect the health and look of your skin.
1/ Vigorous Cardio: Vigorous workouts, such as running, spinning, boxing or dancing, that get you really sweaty are a great way to open congested pores. The benefit is similar to having your skin steamed during a facial.
The important thing to remember is that the sweaty workout is the starting point and not the treatment. Sweat does not detox your body or skin. For your skin to realize the benefits of a sweaty workout you still have to wash, exfoliate and moisturize your skin afterwards — and if you have acne prone skin, the sooner the better. Noncomedogenic cleaners will clean your skin without irritating it.
2/ Low Impact: Less vigorous forms of cardio deliver all the health benefits of working out but can also be less irritating if you have dry, itchy skin. Both swimming and walking reduce perspiration and if done in cool air or water may also sooth inflamed skin. Just be sure to wear flip-flops to protect your feet from fungal infections commonly transferred at public pools and showers.
3/ Outdoor Activities: Vitamin D is commonly referred to as the sunshine vitamin. It is produced by the body when your bare skin is exposed to sun. To keep your bones and immune system healthy, you need to get sensible sun exposure several times a week.
What is sensible sun exposure?
In short, it’s brief exposure to sunlight during non-peak hours. Early morning before you apply sunscreen is likely the easiest time to incorporate sensible sun exposure into your routine. If you have a deck or yard, you could simply sit outside and read or meditate for a few minutes. Or you could take a short walk around the neighborhood.
Sun, fresh air and exercise makes people feel happy. It’s no wonder that so many people like working out outdoors. If you’re one of them be sure to take adequate precautions to protect your skin. Sweating reportedly increases your risk of getting a sunburn which does long term damage and increases your risk of skin cancer.
A tan is not a healthy look. It’s your skin’s injury response to excessive UV radiation. To reduce the risk to your skin be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing that deflects light and workout in non-peak daylight hours.
4/ Yoga and other forms of mind body exercises such as Tai Chi and Qigong can make your skin less sensitive and reactive to the hormones that tell your body to make oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin issues.
There are many different types of yoga. If you have chronic skin issues look for restorative practices and Iyengar classes that are less sweaty. If you have congested skin try power yoga or other style done in a heated room. Just be sure to clean your skin after and follow with a good skin regiment to keep your skin looking it’s best.
Some of our favorite products from Dr. Dennis Gross: