February 08 2017 – Hana Difrawy
A long, sweaty run or work out probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of breakout solutions. Yes, eliminating certain foods, like sugar and dairy can certainly help you avoid acne triggers, as can using high-quality skin care products.
But when it comes down to it, breakouts are caused by inflammation. Working out regularly lowers cortisol levels, therefore lowering inflammation in the body and preventing acne.
"Like for any inflammatory disorder, to improve it, you want to be the least inflamed person you can be," says integrative dermatologist Cybele Fishman. "Exercise of all types decreases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and increase endorphins, which improve mood and reduce perception of pain."
What to keep in mind if you haven't worked out in a while
Dr. Cybele Fishman adds that once you're in the swing of things, hot yoga is her acne-busting exercise of choice. "While exercising can increase cortisol, people who exercise regularly actually adapt to this. So it's more common to break out if you're new to exercise. "Hot yoga has many benefits, including opening up your pores. Think of it as a workout and steaming your face at the same time."
Take care of your skin post-workout
"Change out of exercise clothing as soon as possible and shower," she says. "Wash your face, and if not possible, I think a skin-cleansing wipe can be great.”
"Try to clean off makeup before exercise, especially if it contains silicones, which can clog up the pores as you sweat—the silicones create a barrier (which is why makeup glides on after a silicone primer), but I don't use any skin care products with silicones as I feel like my skin can't breathe," she says. "Silicones are great for wound healing because they are occlusive, but that is what I don't like about them for overall skin health. And if you have hair products in your hair that have silicones or mineral oil, put your hair off your face in a bandanna."There you have it: More exercise means clearer skin. Time to hit the yoga mat!