As a long time athlete and runner for MANY years, workout acne prevention has been something I’ve paid a lot of attention to.
I learned that what to do post run isn’t just about fuel, but cleaning the face.
At 16, a volleyball teammates mother turned to me one day and said “geez what are you, like a walking Noxzema ad?”
Yup, I was the lucky teen with clear skin.
I didn’t get what people were going through, until suddenly at 35 my skin started to change and I had breakouts like never before!
- I learned early the right skin care routine around our workouts was key to prevent acne.
- It took me months of experimentation at 36 to final get my skin back to those happy clear teenage days. And it turns out lots of this tips work for anyone.
- Here’s my tips for skincare in your 30’s!
I’m not here to promise magic for skin care issues, but these tips will help help prevent breakouts after working out.
Workout Acne Prevention Routine
Does sweat cause acne on the face? No! It’s actually more about what you do because of that sweat.
According to Acne.com:
“Removing makeup before a workout is super-important. The most important time of the day to wash your face is before you exercise. Not after,” Dr. Schultz explains.
“When you sweat, you don’t like sweat so you want to wipe it away. When you wipe it off, you’re pushing all of the dirt that was on your face that you didn’t remove when you got to the gym including makeup, dead cells, dirt, debris, oil, air pollution into your pores. That is what makes you break out.”
- Wash face before workouts to remove make up
- Wash face after workouts
- Moisturize!! all that washing dries out the skin which can lead to breakouts
- Face masks
Read on for details of each.
Fun little tip is to wash your face with cold water as often as possible. It generates collagen and has some other health benefits for both your skin and body, so just embrace it.
Does Sweaty Hair Cause Acne?
As if figuring out the dry shampoo situation wasn’t enough after your workouts, your sweaty hair could actually be interfering with your quest for clear skin!
According to The American Academy of Dermatology, hair is one of the main causes of adult acne.
Which is why a great skincare routine is super important, so let’s talk about how to keep you glowing even after the workout because you often ask me about it on Instagram Stories!Do you know the biggest key to preventing workout acne?? #fitness Click To Tweet
Find The Right Facewash!!!
For me that has become Insta Natural because it helps to brighten skin, while still clearing away anything that might cause breakouts, a new issue to me in my 30’s.
It doesn’t leave your skin dried out, which can aggravate skin and lead to more breakouts.
- Wash BEFORE your workout. Any dirt on the skin once you start sweating is what leads to breakouts.
- Wash in the morning to help clear your skin, after rolling around in that unwashed hair all night.
- Use a toner after washing to remove any remaining dead skin or hair products. In my 30’s this was one of the keys to getting my skin back on track because we don’t clear dead skin as well.
- DON’T OVER WASH, your skin will just try to produce more oil.
It’s easy to assume you want the acne face wash, but that’s often causing more issues. If you keep drying out your skin with first a acne face wash, then toner, then putting on zit cream, the body just keeps producing more and more oils.
Try moving to a moisturizing face wash and then using the 10% Benzoyl Peroxide spot treatment.
Exfoliation for Acne
As noted above with the toner, the more dead skin cells or dirt that remain on our face the more likely we are to breakout.
I was never one who liked face masks because they did often cause me to breakout, so I went in search of something that was really going to work.
Option 1: Microdermabrasion
If you’re in the midst of a big breakout, this would be the first step.
You’ll get your skin deep cleaned, which then allows you to start fresh with a new less harsh face wash, toner, spot creams and moisturizer. I basically feel like this is hitting the reset button!
Option 2: Glam Glow Mud Mask
This is still the only mask that I’ll do because it doesn’t cause me to breakout and leaves my skin feeling glowy!
In complete transparency, I listened to a podcast about the founders on a business show and the more they talked about all the stars using this, well it sold me.
But now, I use it once every few weeks (especially around hormonal changes) and it seems to keep any potential breakouts away and clears out clogged pores to prevent workout acne.
Plus, it helps to keep evening out the skin tone, which is helpful as we age.
Sunscreen Prevents Acne
I have to admit face sunscreen when running usually bothers me..a lot.
I sweat and suddenly in my mouth I can taste it or I just feel sticky. Coola Organic Face Suncscreen and moisturizer is a great moisturizer that happens to also have 30 SPF!
- Sun exposure can cause sunspots and skin damage, along side the big scary C word.
- Look for hypoallergenic formulas, like this one, to ensure it doesn’t clog your pores or cause itching as you get warm and sweat.
- Look for water-resistant so that it doesn’t run when you sweat.
- The combo moisture and SPF means it’s one less thing to think about!
Collagen Helps Acne
Ok so we’ve washed away anything left over from your hair products and sweat, we’ve protected you from the sun…now is the bonus step.
The one that helps to keep your skin glowing and healthy looking all the time: collagen.
I wrote a whole post about how to supplement with collagen, which I started to help my knee injury, but it helps your hair and skin too!
Especially for those of us 30 and over, collagen is produced less by the body so we need to help it along. I won’t recap it all here, so go read it!
We don’t want to overload the skin with products. Instead, it’s about using just a couple of well made items for great results, so I hope this has helped.
My Exact Workout Skin Care Routine
A few of you ladies in the 30+ crowd said you’ve gone through the same crazy skin breakouts that just appeared out of no where! Whether it’s age or workout acne, here is what’s been working for me.
I wanted to share with you the exact routine which got my skin back in shape – basically the tips above with my details.
Morning: Wash my face immediately upon waking with water
Post morning run:
- Wash my face with Simple Sensitive Skin moisturizing face wash
- Clinique 2 Toner – probably every other day
- Use 10% vanishing acne cream on any potential acne spot, but not all over
- Vitamin C Serum – brightens skin and moisturizes (one bottle lasts me 6 months)
- Coola Moisturizer with sunscreen
Repeat post run process, except I then use Counterpeptide Moisturizing Cream. This has a plant based Retinal to even out the skin tone, BUT unlike Retinal found in common moisturizers this won’t make you more sensitive to the sun!
I found out using Olay that my skin looked great until I was in the sun a couple days and then my brown spots went crazy because it makes you so sensitive.
Looking for more workout skincare tips?
- Does running make you look older? Avoiding runner’s face
- Workout hair mistakes that cause damage
- Best Running Hairstyles
- How to avoid blisters from running
- Why we lose toenails from running
Have any tips that have been great for your skin?
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