The Different Ways Exercise Affects Skin

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We all know that a post-workout glow lasts a few hours at most, but exercise can actually have several long-lasting effects on our skin. That’s why it’s important to educate both ourselves and our clients on how to nurture the skin with an active lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know:

Fight the Friction

Ways Exercise Affects Skin - Man Exercising

One common skin issue when it comes to working out is blisters. These typically appear when there is friction between the skin on your client’s foot and excessive sweat. The American Association of Dermatology states that this extra foot moisture comes from wearing the wrong socks. Aside from blisters, friction between skin and excessive moisture can also cause chafing. This occurs when loose clothing is constantly rubbed against sweaty skin, thereby causing it to be irritated. 

Blisters can be extremely painful, but as we’ve previously discussed here on the FitSW blog, prevention is the best cure. Inform your client to avoid cotton socks, as they hold the sweat from your feet, and advise them to wear moisture-wicking polyester or wool socks instead. To avoid chafing elsewhere, ask them to wear fitted clothing, preferably made of wicking material, before they come to training. 

A change in wardrobe might seem like a small change, but proper activewear can go a long way. Brands like Gymshark and Fabletics come with a stamp of approval from us, so do check them out if you need a little help finding the right types for your client.

Not Too Much Fun in the Sun

Ways Exercise Affects Skin - Woman In The Sun

Who doesn’t love getting some sunshine when working out outdoors? Although a dose of vitamin D is beneficial for our bodies, too much of it can be damaging for the skin. 

Melasma and sunspots are common forms of sun damage. Medical News Today defines melasma as a pigmentation disorder caused by sun exposure that leaves brown or gray patches, mostly on the face. And despite being smaller in size, sunspots are a form of hyperpigmentation, which means they appear more in number and last longer. These might not seem like a pressing health issue, but they can be a bother, as they can leave unsightly marks on you or your client’s skin. 

To help your clients achieve the best version of their bodies, urge them to invest in quality sunscreen — the American Cancer Society recommends the SPF to be 30 or higher. Shape’s list of workout-friendly sunscreen includes favorites like Coola Sport Face SPF 50, which is great for physical activity with its lightweight formula and high SPF content. But for clients that already suffer from dark spots, it would also be good to recommend products that can help them even out their skin tone. In this regard, Pretty Me’s review of Navarro’s bleach soap points out how ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids and milk can help lighten dark patches and sunspots caused by sun exposure and damage. However, before your client tries out any of these skincare products, be sure to advise a visit to a dermatologist who can help them choose the best ones based on their unique skin requirements.

Beware of Breakouts

Ways Exercise Affects Skin - Breakouts

We are bound to sweat in any exercise we perform. In fact, as personal trainers, we should be pushing our clients to sweat more often, since this is an indicator of one’s fitness level. Although, when it comes to skincare, there is a common misconception that sweat causes acne. Leading dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz clarifies that sweat only produces acne when you don’t cleanse your face before a workout. That’s because all the oil and dirt on your face is pushed into your pores when you wipe away sweat during exercise. To avoid a breakout, implore your clients to thoroughly wash their face before hitting the gym or the track.

This is a good opportunity for your clients to give their skin some TLC. You can ask them to extend their skincare collection to their gym bags by investing in face wipes. For instance, Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes can be a part of their workout essentials, not only because they rid the skin of any impurities or makeup, but they are also easy to bring anywhere.

Here, it’s important to remember that acne goes beyond the surface level since it can also affect our mental health. By encouraging our clients to take care of their skin, we are ultimately helping them build their self-confidence and have a healthier body image.

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