Can Exercise Be a Form of Skincare?

Skincare and exercise have a complex relationship. While some dermatologists out there who will tell you that sweat is amazing for your skin, there’s another who will caution you about the impending pimple risk it poses. So, is your twice-weekly gym session helping or hurting your complexion? Well, it’s technically doing both. Sweat does various things for skin: some of it bad, most of it good.

Benefits of Exercise for Skincare

Brightening: When you exercise, your blood vessels expand, and more blood and oxygen flow to the surface of your skin, which helps give the skin a brighter appearance. Sweating is the body’s way to protect us from overheating, which as a result, translates into a brightened glow rather than an intense flushed appearance to the skin.

Protective Barrier: While sweat can bring on breakouts, it also offers some protective processes, and skin type doesn’t matter. It works as a barrier to the skin and releases an antimicrobial peptide called dermcidin. Dermicidin can help to fight against bacteria and prevent infection. It also helps to stimulate oil production, which helps keep skin from drying out.

Wrinkle Reduction: Exercise helps maintain healthy levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can cause breakouts or even cause the collagen in your skin to break down, increasing wrinkles and sagging. A good workout can actually help your body stimulate collagen production, which keeps your skin firm and supple.

Muscle Tone: When you have more muscle tone, your skin will look and feel healthier! Skin is the largest organ of the body and when your skin has better support from strong, firm muscles, this will lead to stronger-looking skin. And a bonus is that toning your muscles could help minimize the appearance of cellulite.

Improved Sleep Pattern: “Beauty sleep” is not a myth! When we are deep into sleep, our skin recharges and rejuvenates itself. When this time is cute down with sleepless nights, your skin is not going to look and feel its best. If you’re having trouble getting the recommended 8 hours of nightly sleep, the Mayo Clinic suggests adding regular physical activity to your daily routine.

In fact, it is common to notice that it is easier to fall asleep on days you go to the gym. Exercise can not only help you fall asleep faster, but it can also improve the quality of the sleep you get. When you are well-rested, it’s only expected for your skin to look the same.

It is important to make sure you’re getting enough exercise, but make sure you’re not exercising too close to bedtime. Working out can increase your energy levels, which won’t help if you’re trying to fall asleep.

Stress Control: Stress can take a toll on your body—and your skin. The facial tension and a general malaise that can be caused by stress can lead to your skin appearing less radiant. Pair that with skincare neglect that often occurs when we’re feeling run down or lousy, and it’s possible that periods of high-stress cause increased breakouts and a dull appearance.

To help reduce stress, the Mayo Clinic suggests working out – even going on a brisk walk outside can be helpful. Exercising relieves stress and also releases those feel-good hormones called endorphins. They can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. And when you’re relaxed and stress-free, it can help you achieve beautiful, healthy skin.

Exercise is good for your body and your mind and now you know it’s good for your skin. If you’re looking for ways to improve the overall appearance of your skin, give Sereno Santé in Los Gatos a call.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.