How to Tell If Your Workout Is Messing with Your Skin


Staying fit and active is a key part of maintaining overall health and beauty. But what do you do when your workout starts affecting your appearance – and not in the way you would have hoped?

Your sweat session can unknowingly cause breakouts, rashes, and even wrinkles. Here are some signs your workout is messing with your skin, along with tips on preventing further skin issues.

1. You are breaking out… a lot

If you are noticing acne more often than usual, or in places you are not used to getting it (hello, back-ne!), you may need to make some changes. You get sweaty at the gym – it is a fact. But, letting your skin breathe and stay free is the best way to prevent it from recurring.

Ditch your makeup routine until after your workout is complete, and only use clean towels to wipe down your face and body. Make a habit of wiping down equipment at the gym when you are done with it (for everyone’s sake) and always remember to wipe your yoga mat after every use.

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2. Infections can come from overworked gear

Yes, you splurged on some fresh new workout attire and you want to flaunt it – but do not show it off for too long. Tight gear that is worn for too long after your workout can lead to trapped bacteria in places you do not want it.

3. You want to skip your next workout due to chafing

Ill-fitted or incorrect gear is the biggest culprit of chafing. Get out of that cotton t-shirt you have had since high school. Cotton holds onto moisture and likes to rub, creating a perfect formula for chafing. Not only is it uncomfortable during a workout, but your skin afterward is raw and sensitive.

Finding the good athletic gear that moves with you and wicks moisture away is ideal. If you are unsure what to buy, check out the labels for words like “moisture-wicking,” “breathable,” and “seamless.”

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4. Tan lines, or worse

Taking your workout outdoors is an excellent way to reconnect with nature and invigorate your desire to stay active. It is only later, in the shower, that you remove your gear and see the dreaded “singlet tan” as track athletes like to say.

Those contrasting lines may not look so great in your next outfit. And, too much sun exposure can lead to skin looking prematurely aged or even leading to melanoma.

If you do not already have an SPF worked into your daily face moisturizer, this should be your first priority. Then, pick a sport- or water-proof sunscreen and apply it anywhere there is exposed skin.