You know how great you feel after a tough workout — a long run, bike, exercise machines, or a good game of tennis. Though you’re sweaty and exhausted, you notice the exhilaration shows in your glowing skin. Your skin is flushed from more than that healthy sweat you just worked up — exercise can really improve your overall skin health and quality. Exercise offers a number of benefits for your skin, and should be considered an important part of any skin care regimen. So add a vibrant complexion to good health and a toned body when you reviewing your reasons for getting in a daily workout.
Beyond heart health and bone building, exercise has a positive effect on your skin’s appearance, too. Here’s why:
1. Exercise makes you sweat. Sweat purges your body of toxins that can clog pores and plague your skin with pimples and blemishes. “The body only has so many mechanisms to rid itself of toxins — the kidneys, the liver, and the skin,” says Sandra M. Johnson, MD, a dermatologist with Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Ark. “Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, increases neuronal stimulation, and allows the sweat glands to increase their functions and rid the toxins.” Once you sweat out those toxins, it’s important to wash them off — you don’t want to leave them sitting on your skin. Always shower after a workout to prevent bacterial or fungal infections that may occur from dirt clogging up your pores.
2. Exercise tones your muscles. The more toned you are beneath your skin, the healthier your skin will look and feel. The stronger and firmer your muscles are, says Johnson, the more support your skin will have, and the more firm and elastic it will appear. Toning your muscles may also help to minimize the appearance of cellulite, the dimply fat that often strikes thighs and buttocks. You can’t exercise cellulite away, but you can help it look better.
3. Exercise boosts oxygen and blood flow to the skin. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts blood flow enough in type 2 diabetics to help reduce the risk of skin problems that lead to amputation. Exercise gets the blood flowing, and that increased blood flow carries more oxygen to the skin. The boost in blood flow and oxygen to the skin cells also carries nutrients that improve skin health, supporting all the effort you make with moisturizers and other skin care products on the skin surface.
4. Exercise eases stress. Exercise has long been known as a great way to relieve stress. Those mind-body benefits may extend to your complexion. Though studies are small, some show that stress may worsen, if not actually trigger, acne. Stress may also trigger flare-ups of psoriasis. It’s known to boost hormone production and suppress the body’s ability to heal, but regular workouts can keep stress — and possibly hard-to-manage skin conditions — under control. When you’re feeling tense, let exercise keep any frown lines at bay, too.
5. Exercise gives your complexion a beautiful, natural glow. When you exercise, your skin begins to produce more of its natural oils that help skin look supple and healthy. While that can naturally moisturize skin, remember to cleanse your face gently as part of your skin care routine when you shower to prevent any breakouts.
Make exercise your secret skin care ingredient for a young, healthier, and smoother complexion.