What is Exercise Induced Acne?

When we workout, we sweat. It’s just a fact of life (and it’s good for you!). And, if you’ve properly detoxed your armpits, it really won’t smell terribly bad. No, really! Except if you get exercise induced acne. That sucks. 

What is Exercise Induced Acne?

Let’s take a look at the awesome things that happen when you raise your heart rate and get good and sweaty:
  • At the University of Endinburg, scientists found that dermcidin is activated in salty, slightly acidic sweat. Which doesn’t mean a whole lot, until the explained that dermcidin is actually a pretty powerful antibiotic that your body is capable of producing. And it is only produced when we sweat. Pretty cool!
  • You get rid of the crap. Your body uses sweat to get rid of excess toxins, such as alcohol, salt, and even cholesterol (the bad kind). Your sweat glands also help eliminate some of those scary products of the industrial age, such as BPA.
  • No more zits. Well, fewer zits. We know that sweat eliminates toxins, and when your face (or back, or chest) sweat, the gunk that clogs your pores gets pushed out….

And that’s where things begin to go wrong. Because many times, we workout and then leave the toxins that we sweat out sitting on our face. Then we’re surprised when we break out.

Really, we shouldn’t be. Because when you sweat, it’s a good thing for your skin. But if you don’t get the sweat off your face, you’re in for a breakout reminiscent of your teen years.

I know it’s not just me. Here’s what I do fix it.

What is Exercise Induced Acne?

There is a way around looking like a human pizza, thankfully.

Get A Good Headband

I know it seems like something obvious. Even for those of us girls with short hair, we need to keep it off our face. It’s easy to do when you have a good quality headband.

When you’re shopping for a headband, look for one that is good at wicking sweat. That will help to minimize the amount of additional sweat dripping down your face.

Remember, not all “workout” headbands are actually meant for sweaty workouts!

Get Your 80’s On

A good sweatband can help to keep the sweat on your face (and any other areas where you’re prone to breakouts) minimal. I am currently obsessed with sQoosh, which is a hybrid sweat/safety band.

Pack Smart

It’s so important that you get the sweat off your face as soon as possible when you’re done working out. You definitely don’t want to let the gunk sit. So what’s a girl to do when she’s not in a position to run to her shower and grab her DIY face wash?

That’s where a gym bag really comes in handy. There are a few things that I simply cannot live without. And I notice a major difference in my skin if I don’t have them.

Baby Soothing Oil

Beautycounter’s baby soothing oil isn’t just for babies. I keep a bottle in my gym bag to remove any traces of makeup that may still be on my face and to help remove excess oil. It works great to remove even the most stubborn mascara gently. And, if you don’t have a cotton ball with you, you can just apply with your hands and use your sweatband to wipe it off.

With the baby oil, there’s no need to rinse. It acts as a gentle and easily absorbed moisturizer to help gently hydrate your skin without additional grease or weird ingredients.

Evian Facial Spray

Once I’ve cleaned my face, I use Evian® Facial Spray to help cool me off and gently lock in my skin’s moisture without adding heavy products.

The water contained in the spray is tested 300 times per day to insure quality and the consistent unique mineral content. Guaranteed to be the same year after year and canister to canister. No other water has the same mineral content.
I’ve been eyeing the spray bottles that are lined up like little soldiers at the checkout line in Sephora for literally years. But I’ve never thought to try it! And now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. Did you know that a good quality facial spray will:
  • hydrate the skin to help prevent overdrying
  • rinse away breakout-causing sweat
  • help to cool the body after an intense workout

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also use facial spray to set your makeup (seriously), clean up your kids when they get messy (because, #boymom), revive your style on day 2 (or 3….), set beachy waves and help your product hang on just a little bit longer…and there are probably a million more uses I haven’t discovered yet. I’m officially an addict. Make sure that you wash your face with a quality facial wash as soon as you get a chance.

Dry Shampoo

I have been using Morrocco Method for my hair for a few months and am loving it. I no longer feel like I need to use conventional styling products or shampoos and my hair is thicker and stronger because of it. Also, I love that I only have to wash my hair every 2-3 days depending on how active I am.

To help stretch my hair after the gym (especially if I’ve got errands), I’ll toss a little Dry Shampoo in my hair and head out the door. Dry Shampoo combines the finest clays, minerals, and botanicals from around the world to draw out impurities from the roots and follicles while also protecting the scalp’s natural oils.

It helps to maintain the natural balance of my hair and doesn’t interfere with the benefits from the natural shampoos that I use.

And that’s it! I’m not saying I never get a breakout… But when I wear my headband and use my sweatband during workouts and then cleanse and moisturize right after it definitely cuts down on them.

Adding in a little dry shampoo helps to keep my scalp healthy and avoid hairline breakouts in the process. Bonus! 

Want some other tips to deal with acne? Here’s my natural skincare tips. You can also try a face mask. Or even honey

Do you deal with exercise induced acne?

Posted in


Leave a Comment