Exercise Your Skin Beautiful
Your skin is the body's biggest organ. It provides metabolic functions, contains immune cells and plays a key role in the production of vitamin D. So despite the underlining motivating factor of having 'clear skin' that so many of us desire, there are defiantly many more reasons to look after your skin!
It's important to remember that everyone can be affected by hormonal fluctuations. Even following the most strategic of skincare routines may not eradicate acne (spots) and most people experience breakouts from time to time due to genetics, hormones and of course lifestyle factors. However lifestyle defiantly has a part to play and I am particularly interested by the theory that exercise can have a positive impact on our skin.
For a start exercise can help to reduce stress. Stress has been proven to aggravate chronic inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Exercise can helps to decrease production of the hormone cortisol which increases inflammation. Inflammation can cause skin to feel and appear more irritated and sensitive even without an existing inflammatory skin condition. Exercising outdoors in daylight can be great for the release of serotonin as well as endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel happy. Therefore exercise can be a positive tool for stress management.
If you are fuelling your body for exercise your likely to be making better choices day to day. For the majority of people diet isn't the cause of Acne (spots). However there are a small group of individuals that might be affected by dairy and sugar where acne is concerned. Rather than taking things out of your diet, you can nourish skin by eating more of the right things. So eating for good health is also eating for good skin. Hydration can play a big part in the appearance of skin, therefore making sure you are getting a minimum of two litres a day and having a low in take of caffeine & alcohol will help.
Whilst the body moves circulation to our skin can be boosted and there is an increase of oxygen & nutrient delivery. The enhanced blood flow promotes the flushing of toxins from the body, which may contribute to initial breakouts, however longterm healthy skin via cells regeneration can be promoted. Exercise can also help regulate hormones which can have a big impact on skin, particularly for woman who experience hormonal fluctuations during their monthly cycle.
Exercise promotes skin cell regeneration which combined with cleansing can helps to reduce pour blockage, in some cases this is the first stage of acne (spots). However if your not cleaning your skin sufficiently and exercising with blocked pours, this can increase skin irritation and blemishes. It’s good habit to get into a daily skin routine, especially when exercising to reap the benefits of healthy skin.
Below are some basic suggestions of how you can support healthy skin while being active, as its clear exercise can have a positive affect on the appearance of our skin.
Non-foaming gels - Lotions/Balms/Milks & Cream cleansers - Are all non foaming cleansers. Generally good for all skin types and a gentle way to clean the skin without drying it out. These are the best for removing makeup thoroughly and I would use them as the second part of a double cleanse routine. This means I also like to spend a little more on these products to invest in good ingredients.
Oil cleansers - Great for removing makeup and work really well as the first cleanse of a double cleanse routine. Can be useful for very dry skin but I would not recommend oil cleansers in the summer months if not part of a double cleanse routine. For oily skin generally cream cleansers would be more appropriate but again an oil cleanser would be a suitable makeup remover for oily skin in a double cleanse routine.
Micellar Water - A nice way to refresh the skins surface but not a sufficient way to clean skin alone. Good for on the on-the-go if you cannot cleanse skin straight after exercising. There are some great wipes now that contain salicylic acid or Glycolic acid to clear away dirt, pollution and sweat & Hyaluronic Acid & Dragon's blood to help plump & hydrate skin immediately after working out. But remember wipes are for convenience and should not be a regular feature in a skincare routine.
Chemical Exfoliator - Contains ingredients like salicylic acid (BHA), glycolic acid & lactic acid (AHA), which help removed the top layer of skin, fade pigmentation & the chemicals are anti-ageing boosting collagen production + aiding brightness.
Mechanical Exfoliation - Abrasive scrubs, brushes & Clarisonics manually help buffer skin and target hard to clean area's around the nose. However be aware of being too heavy handed, its important to exfoliate gently so that the skin doesn't become sensitive.
Hydrating Mist - Post work out I love a hydrating mist after cleansing, before moisturiser to cool and refresh the skin after exercise.
Moisturiser - Moisturiser is essential for protecting and keeping skin balanced if you have dry or oily skin. Depending on the time on year you can change up moisturisers to give skin more or less hydration in the winter and summer months. No matter the time of year I apply a light layer of moisturiser to skin before exercising everyday. After applying cream I alway us an SPF on my face before heading outside - this is an anti-ageing must, particularly if you spend a lot of time outdoors like me.
SPF - SPF is your BFF if you are working out outdoors. UVA (A for ageing) is the same all year round, its only UVB (B for burning) that ramps up in the summer months. Therefore to prevent ageing SPF is needed. However make sure this is not an SPF in a tinter moisturiser or BB cream. You will never use enough of that product to get adequate protection. I recommend opting for a broad spectrum cream that filters UVA & UVB, apply this after your moisturiser and before makeup. For SPF suggestions read my Sunscreen Blog.
Photo's included by Jack Terry featuring Models Rebecca Howard & Nzimah Akpan