6 simple steps to tackle post-workout breakouts

There’s no denying that finding the motivation to work out can be difficult (hello, winter!) ), and the unpleasant acne that can occur after a workout can make exercise even less motivating.

While exercise is good for the skin (PSA: it’s known to help minimise the appearance of ageing!) ), but post-workout acne and pimples are enough to make you think twice about going to the gym.

According to Sydney dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook, exercise has the potential to increase the risk of sweat-induced acne if you’re prone to acne or other physical ailments.

“We have found that exercise can lead to the occlusion of sweat follicles, increasing the risk of conditions such as folliculitis (bacterial pustular infection of the hair follicles) and heat rash,” says Dr Cook.

“The risk associated with acne is less, but if you have acne-prone skin, exercise may exacerbate this,” she added.

But don’t stress – there are actually some very simple steps you can follow before, during and after a workout to ensure your complexion stays clear.

Before. Working out without makeup
Unsurprisingly, not wearing makeup while working out makes a big difference. The wicked mix of make-up and sweat can lead to a build-up of dirt and oil, clogging pores and potentially encouraging breakouts, blackheads and skin irritation.

If you’re heading straight to the gym after work, make sure you keep a packet of face wipes in your gym bag so you can easily remove your makeup on the way.

Try it. Neutrogena® Hydro Boost® Wipes.

The process. Avoid touching your face as much as possible
Exercise equipment such as yoga mats, bars, weights and bike handles are perfect breeding grounds for germs. So. Disgusting. Most gyms have antibacterial wipes, so wipe down every surface with them before your workout (don’t trust people to do this after they’re done!) ) and try to keep your hands off your skin until you’ve washed them properly and taken a shower.

After. Cleaning up after your workout
Clean your face. As soon as possible. It’s not a good idea to let sweat sit on your skin for long periods of time (read: breakout cities). To avoid dryness and remove sweat effectively, Dr Cook recommends using a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser before applying a serum. to prevent congestion and breakouts, follow with a serum containing salicylic acid, fruit acids or both. These ingredients will stop the occlusion of hair follicles and gently remove dirt and sweat, preventing rashes and breakouts. This will also leave your skin glowing”.

After. Choosing the right moisturiser
To prevent irritation, redness and to hydrate your skin after intense exercise, Dr Cooke recommends using a non-inclusive moisturising moisturiser.

Try. Avène Tolérance Extrême Cream

Afterwards: jump in the shower
Lazing around in sweaty clothes after a workout is a big no-no – it can lead to body acne, and no one has time for that.” After your workout, take a shower. On your body, you should use a mild to moderate acne wash like BENZAC AC 5% (it contains 5% benzoyl peroxide), but mix it with a mild product like Cetaphil so it’s not too harsh,” advises Dr Cook. Not familiar with benzoyl peroxide? It is a powerful anti-acne ingredient that works by attacking and reducing the bacteria and inflammation that cause acne. It also works very quickly, so it’s a great weapon against those clogged pores

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