3 Skin Benefits of Exercise, Plus Post-Workout Skin Care Tips
By Vanessa Voltolina
No, it’s not just a lie that trainers tell their clients. Exercise can, really, make skin look healthier, and particularly radiant on days when you can’t get to a spa. Besides physical health benefits of exercise—being a slim, svelte you—there are even more pros to getting in a sweat session even on days when you might otherwise bail.
#1. Increase circulation
“When you exercise, your body will develop more capillaries in the skin for increased circulation to better transport oxygen and nutrition,” says Sue Wentworth, on-site fitness instructor and trainer at Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire. This increased blood flow will nourish skin cells and keep them vital. It also means that the healthy benefits from your vegan smoothie will fast track to everywhere in your body, and you’ll boost your immunity.
#2. Toxin removal
“Exercise, especially that which produces sweat, can help release toxins that are in your body through the skin,” says Mountain View Grand Report & Spa esthetician, Lise Kinerson. These toxins—including free radicals, pollution and toxins from unhealthy food, smoking and alcohol—can now get released naturally through good ol’ sweat instead of a juice cleanse.
#3. Endorphin power
“Endorphins [from exercise] result in a more relaxed state of mind,” says Wentworth. “Some even sleep better when exercising regularly, which could lead to less illness,” she adds. Since high-stress situations and lack of sleep can lead to breakouts, relaxing can quell stress, enable you to get more sleep and ultimately lead to better-looking skin all over.
Post-Workout Skin Care Tips
As long as you’re getting that body moving, don’t think that you have to morph into a marathon runner to reap the skin benefits of exercise. However, some musts, whether you’re performing water activities or weight lifting, include stretching, showering and moisturizing. “You should try to shower directly after [exercise] and moisturize, too,” says Wentworth. “Continue to stay hydrated and refuel throughout the day.”
Kinerson echoes the sentiment, and explains why it’s so important. “Your pores open up while you’re working out,” she says. While it’s debatable whether or not washing your face before exercise is mandatory, “you definitely should after. In the fall and spring, not only do our sleep patterns tend to change but our hormones change as well, and you do need to adjust your skin care.”
Speaking of fall and spring, Kinerson has a few recommends to abide by for all seasons:
– Focus on exfoliation in spring.
– Be sure to do some deep body exfoliation or skin brushing during the winter.
– Peels and microdermabrasion are ideal during fall.
– Lightweight moisturizers, serums, sunscreen and back facials are suggested for summer months. Back facials come particularly handy, especially when sweating during summer workouts.
Also, always wear that sunscreen. “Sunscreen is overlooked in the winter a lot,” says Kinerson. “You still need to wear sunscreen in the winter, just a less-strong SPF.”
You might also be interested in:
- Put Your Best Face Forward: Skin Care 101
- Masquerade Ball: Top 10 Face Masks
- The Eyes Have It! Top 10 Eye Creams & Masks
- Our Top 7 Just-For-You Sunscreens
- The ABCDEs of Melanoma: What You Need to Look For
This is one of our favorite articles. It was originally published on October 29, 2012.