I love running, but I also love my skin. I’ve struggled with acne my entire life and whenever I run long distances it seems to increase the amount of spots on my face. So I did some research to find out whether running (and exercise in general) does indeed cause acne.
What causes it?
Exercise-induced acne is common among runners, especially women. When exercising, especially when running longer distances, sweat can cause your pore to be blocked. This is bad enough, but when clothes rub on your skin for long period of time, this creates excessive friction. This friction combined with clogged pores can lead to acne. This is made worse when wearing make-up and sun protection. You can leave the make-up, but the sun protection is necessary to protect your skin; even if it does lead to pimples.
Below I outline a few remedies, but if these do not work, it might be worth talking to a dermatologist to ensure there isn’t a more serious problem. However, skin outbreaks caused by exercise are very common.
How you can prevent it?
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent an acne outbreak each time you go for a run. The thing to keep in mind is that running does not lead to acne; it can in fact be helpful. Exercising can lead to reduced stress, which is great for the skin. On top of that, exercise (especially running) can increase blood circulation leading to a healthier skin.
All that is great, so why do you get spots after a run. Well, it’s not the running. It is the sweat that contributes to the skin outbreaks. So the prevention lies in preventing the sweat from irritating your skin. The easiest way to do this is to have a shower straight after a run. This will clear your pores and remove the sweat from your body. This goes a long way in prevention irritation to the skin.
The worst thing you can do is wear your sweaty clothes and not showering. Cleanse your body carefully in the shower to ensure the skin is completely clean after a run. There are plenty of great acne cleansers. My favorite cleanser is Exposed Skin Care. For more information on this acne cleanser, you can read the Exposed Skin Care review here. While this is the one I use, you’ll find plenty of other great alternatives in the health and beauty store.
You should also avoid using make-up when exercising and using a sunscreen that is oil-free. There are plenty of sunscreens designed specifically for the face which have no oil. This again will reduce irritation.
Apart form using over the counter medication to get rid of pimples, you could also use some natural home remedies. The best pimple remedy that works for me each and every time is aloe vera for acne. By applying this magical plant directly on the skin, you can reduce the effects of your run due to the healing properties in aloe vera.