The Benefits of Exercise for your Skin (+ the Do’s and Don’ts)

Whether it was the quarantine workout fever that got into you recently or you’ve been at it for a long time, you might’ve asked yourself in the process if there were any skin benefits to exercising regularly and if you had to take special care of your skin before and after working out. I know I did, I was pretty clueless for a while. I used to take a shower right after, but I found out there was more to it + there were things I was doing wrong! If you want to know what the benefits are for our face and body as well as some tips, keep reading!

I have also created a blog post about the skincare routines you should follow before and after working out. It’s also linked by the end of this post!

The Good and the Ugly

You’ve probably heard the countless benefits of working out before. Reducing your weights seems -to me, at least- one of the less relevant parts of it, given how it can also reduce your heart disease risk, helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, improves your mental and sexual health and keeps your mind as fit as your bum (and it’s supposed to help you sleep better, which has no price). Moreover, working out can be a way of gaining weight for some, so let’s skip that stigma. Source: MedlinePlus

For me, exercise is something that has helped me in maintaining a more active life and feeling less guilty about eating a huge Oreo cheesecake by myself in less than two days (… not that it’s my case or anything). And while that is true, it has also boosted my self-esteem beyond what the scale tells me and it has made me feel healthier and happier. I hate doing extra squats, but boy, do I love the feeling after I’ve showered and I’m exhausted and proud at the same time. You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by it, though; listen to your body and what it wants. That’s how it becomes a habit you start enjoying.


I found that even though we all know the benefits for our body as a whole, we don’t usually talk about how good it is for our face as well. This is what this post is all about, as well as some very necessary tips to gain that glowy, clean face.

Skin benefits

Working out can impact your skin in a positive way! It can improve your overall appearance, according to Doctor Marisa Garshick, and I quote from her Insider interview:

“Exercise, by getting the heart rate up and improving blood circulation, can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin which keeps the skin healthy, promotes collagen production, and promotes new skin cells which keeps the skin looking glowing and is also helpful for anti-ageing

The benefits are definitely there. Plus, sweating can clear up your pores and detoxify your skin, which is something I’ve definitely noticed in the last few months!

Skin cons

But for the last part, which is great, here’s the deal: you have to make sure to clean your face before. If you don’t, it can actually have the opposite effect and clog the pores. So, for the love of all that is good, don’t wear makeup while you’re working out, and clean your face to remove skincare products. It will make an amazing difference! And trust me, gym dating never works out. Not that I’ve ever tried it, but love at first sweat… it can’t work.

Moreover, our skin is especially sensitive to sun damage when we work out outside, so you have to make sure to wear SPF.

You have to be pretty careful too because excessive sweating and friction can also lead to skin conditions like skin rashes.


There surely are a lot of benefits to working out, as well as some “risks”, but taking care of your skin before and after can make the difference on whether it will have a good impact on your skin or not. These are some of the things you have to keep in mind, in the form of tips:

While working out

  • You shouldn’t touch your face, as your hands can carry bacteria, especially if you’re working out in a public space like a gym. Think about all the people that have gone through the installations before that… and thank me later.

In the shower

  • The sooner you shower, the better! This one’s pretty obvious, but just like we have to take care of our face after a workout, we have to do the same with the rest of our body. Take a shower as soon as possible so the sweat doesn’t settle in your skin.
  • If you don’t wash your hair every day but you feel like it’s dirty after a workout (been there, done that), you might want to use dry shampoo to make it last longer. Don’t overdue shampooing if you don’t want to.

Cosmetic tips

Skincare Products for Pre and Post Workout Skincare Routine

  • Don’t forget to use SPF 50 if you’re going to be outdoors.
  • Don’t be aggressive with your skin. Just because you sweated a lot during the workout doesn’t mean you need to exfoliate more than normally or use a harsher scrub. Wash the sweat with a gentle cleanser instead!
  • Don’t use treatments (like acne or antiaging products) right after. Your skin will be sensitive, so it’s better to save them for the night.
  • And finally (and this one’s pretty importantly), create a post-workout routine for yourself. Your skin needs that moisture and care, especially if you exercise in the morning and have to go about your day after!

Makeup

  • Don’t let them fool you, you truly don’t need makeup for when you walk out of the gym and you sure as hell don’t need to look like you’re heading to a party after exercising. It’s not dewy skin and rosy cheeks for everyone; actually, it’s not that for most of us. You just did ALL THAT… you deserve a break. This is not mandatory, but let your skin breathe and remind yourself that you look beautiful no matter what – sweat, red face and all!

Hopefully, all of this has made sense! Or if you already knew all of this, it’s always nice to have a reminder, isn’t it? Over the past 4 months, I’ve started taking exercise way more seriously than I’ve had ever since I stopped doing Martial Arts in 2015 because I couldn’t combine it with uni. And even then, I had a very terrible relationship with food and working out, so this was a bit new for me.

Mini-storytimes aside… I hope you enjoyed this post! I know I’ve been crossing the limit with my routines and lifestyle lately, but I’ll be glad even if they have just helped you in the slightest. Thank you so much for reading and following, and if you want to read more, here are some related posts you might want to dig in:

If you want to know how to take proper care of your skin before and after working out, make sure to read this post, too:

Before you leave, don’t forget to follow me on social media. I try to be more active there, and it’s an easier way of seeing my follow-ups and updates! ♡

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