Banish Post-Gym Breakouts with 5 Sweat-Friendly Skincare Tips

A local skin-care expert shares her tried-and-true methods for avoiding workout-induced blemishes.

By Allison Jones February 24, 2015

Image: Maridav

It's no surprise that working out can boost body confidence in tons of ways, but there can be some drawbacks to getting a good sweat glow on. A common complaint among fitness-minded folk? Workout-related acne, on the face and on that rockin' gym-boosted bod. Can we have our clear skin and sweat through it, too? Absolutely. We checked in with esthetician and skin care guru Ally Guest of re:surface skin to share some simple tips to avoid post-gym breakouts, and some great products to keep your complexion clear:

1. "Sweat is one of the body's waste products, and it can really irritate the skin and cause breakouts," especially when mixed with pore-clogging makeup or bacteria from workout equipment. Avoid touching your face when you're working out: "Don't blot or rub sweat—just let it flow. It may seem obvious, but don't wear a ton of makeup to the gym. If you need a dot of concealer, go for it," but keep it light.

2. "Keep your hair off the face and back," because loose strands can cause friction and make sweat even more irritating. Check out these awesome locally made headbands to keep everything tidy and tucked away.

3. Wash your face immediately after working out to avoid mixing bacteria and sweat in your pores. "If you're not near a shower, at least use a clarifying toner to get the sweat off." Guest recommends a DIY toner solution: douse some cotton rounds with Witch Hazel and keep them a zip-lock or small plastic container in your gym bag.

4. Don't forget the rest of your body! "Get those clothes off and shower as soon as possible after a workout. The friction of tight, sweat-soaked clothes can cause real problems," like breakouts on waistbands, backs, and along bra straps.

5. Find a product that's right for your skin—and sport: "A colloidal silver salicylic spray is great for those prone to body acne," sunscreen is essential for outdoor runners and cyclists (Guest likes this zinc oxide-powered brand), and protective oil serums can be a life saver for swimmers. Want a little coverage with your SPF—without clogging pores? This tinted organic sunscreen is a go-to. 

What are your workout skincare secrets? Share them in the comments!

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