Work It Out!
Working out not only helps your figure, but also improves your complexion. Learn why exercise may be one of the best skin remedies for acne, wrinkles, dull skin and more.
There are plenty of reasons to exercise.For some, it might be because your destination wedding is just around the corner (already!), while for others you’re just focused on staying healthy. No matter what your motivation is, we can all agree that the benefits of exercise are obvious. But there’s a stealthier payoff: healthy skin. Read on to learn more about the skin and beauty rewards that come from regularly working up a sweat.
When you get your heart pumping from aerobic exercise, you’re supplying your skin with a nice dose of oxygenated blood, says Noelle S. Sherber, M.D., a board certified dermatologist. “it gives you that great post-workout glow.”
Working out also helps maintain healthy levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, Noelle says. “Elevated cortisol levels are linked to increased sebum production, which means more acne breakouts.” Too much cortisol can also cause the collagen in the skin to break down, adds Noelle, which can increase wrinkles and sagging. “Exercise actually supports the production of collagen,” says Amy Dixon, a Los Angeles-based exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer. “The boost in this protein helps to keep your skin firm, supple and elastic.”
Regular exercise boosts circulation. “It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to it,” says Mauro C. Romita, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon and founder of the Ajune Centre of Beauty Synergy in New York City. “This will help draw toxins out of the body.” Plus, all of that sweating cleans out the pores of congested skin. “Working out corrects the hormonal imbalance that can cause adult acne,” Mauro says.
To reap the beneficial skin effects of working out, a few extra steps are required, Noelle warns. “If you’re acne-prone, make sure to keep gentle, fragrance-free cleansing wipes in your gym bag.” Be sure to cleanse your face and other areas that tend to break out immediately after exercising. “For eczema, wear fabrics that wick perspiration away from the skin, since the wet-dry wet-dry cycle will dry out your skin and provoke flare-ups,” suggests Noelle. And above all, avoid exercising with makeup on your face.
The improved blood flow helps keep your hair healthier and stronger. This blood, full of nutrients, stimulates the hair follicles and promotes growth. “Exercise is also a big stress reliever,” says Amy. “Lower stress means your hair is less likely to be brittle and, worse, fall out.” Even if you’re as cool as a cucumber, Amy recommends checking with your dermatologist about any hair loss to rule out other causes.
As for the best type of exercise for your skin, Amy says it’s all good. “Every modality will improve circulation and reduce stress, but it’s a wise move to mix up your workouts as often as possible.” Try adding 30 minutes of a few simple yoga postures or a brisk walk to your day three times a week to see the beauty returns in your hair and skin.