I get so many questions about acne, and this is one of the most frequently asked questions! It’s so popular, it gets its own post.

First, I want to explain how exercise benefits your skin! When we exercise, we increase the blood flow to our skin, nourishing our skin with vital nutrients and oxygen.  Not only does exercise improve your skin’s metabolism, but it is also scientifically proven that you can even begin to reverse the signs of visible aging by working out! Based on recent evidence, not only do people who exercise feel younger, they look younger as well! Incredibly, this is true even if you don’t start working out until later in life.

Now, let’s dive into the relationship between exercise and your breakouts. Working out in makeup can certainly contribute to a breakout. While sweating during a workout boosts our circulation, which is beneficial for our skin’s health and glow, our sweat contains ammonia and urea — so if we leave sweat on our skin for too long, this can cause irritation and inflammation, which can trigger breakouts.

For this reason, I always try to work out in clean skin, rather than wearing makeup to workout, because my skin can be acne prone.

Breakouts caused by exercise generally result from the dirt, sweat, and makeup that we have on our skin while we work out. The type of exercise is less relevant than whether you break a sweat and whether you begin your exercise routine with a clean face and end by gently cleansing your face.

How should you take care of your skin when working out? As I explain in my book, Dirty Looks, gentle cleansing is so much more powerful and healthy for your skin than all of that scrubbing we tend to love! I recommend that my patients use a pH balanced, gentle cleanser and pat dry. Follow with your typical serum, moisturizer, and of course, sunscreen. Also, I recommend that my patients either work out with clean skin or with breathable, lightweight, and/or oil-free products to minimize post-workout breakouts.

Dr. Whitney

Your skincare routine and product choices all contribute to whether your skin is irritated, inflamed, or prematurely aging on the one hand or glowing, healthy, smooth, and hydrated on the other. At the heart of The Beauty of Dirty Skin is the science that healing and nourishing our skin’s “microbiome” is critical to sustain healthy, glowing skin. There are more than one trillion bacteria in the skin, originating from approximately one thousand different species. Our antiseptic cleansing styles and obsession with antibacterial soaps and cleansers have stripped our skin of its healthy bacteria. If your skin’s healthy microbiome is disrupted by harsh cleansers and other abrasive skincare products, this discontent results in breakouts, rosacea flares, psoriasis, eczema, and even sensitive skin. In sharp contrast, when your good bugs are healthy, your skin is, in turn, healthy and radiant. That’s because these essential bugs fight infections, combat against environmental damage, boost our immune system, and keep our skin hydrated and radiant. Even better, the results are lasting. When your skin flora is restored, its health is sustainable.

I wanted to share more insight into the food swaps for beautiful, clear skin that I discussed on GMA!

Skim Milk

As I discussed on Good Morning America, a number of studies are now showing that if you drink dairy milk, you will be more likely to struggle with breakouts and acne. We believe this issue arises from a combination of hormones that are found in the milk as well as milk proteins like casein and whey. Skim milk has actually been found to show the STRONGEST link to acne flares.

SIMPLE SWAP #1:

Instead of SKIM MILK, choose ALMOND MILK OR COCONUT MILK. Both are low in calories and are delicious!

Whey Protein Dietary Supplemnents:

As I also mentioned on GMA, the vast majority of protein powders and nutritional bars are made with whey protein, which has also been shown to contribute to inflammation and acne in the skin. Many of my friends and even my family members drink shakes containing whey protein daily as part of their meal plan! However, many athletes who use whey powder in their shakes or eat protein bars made with whey are finding that they are breaking out on their faces, chests and back.

SIMPLE SWAP #2:

Instead of WHEY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS, opt for VEGAN OPTIONS. Many of the companies that make these dietary supplements now offer vegan alternatives which do not contain whey. Look for pea protein or rice protein!

Refined Carbs:

If you are breaking out, you want to make sure to avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, cornflakes, chips and pretzels.

SIMPLE SWAP #3:

Instead of REFINED CARBS, choose QUINOA, BARLEY or SWEET POTATOES. These choices are great for your skin and for your waistline!

@DrWhitneyBowe

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This site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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