Does exercise cause acne?

Exercise is great for your body and mood. It increases your blood circulation and reduces stress which is both great to reduce your acne. However, sports and habits related to sports can cause acne breakouts in specific areas.

The first rule; stick to workout gear that helps dry out sweat. Lightweight, loose-fitting cotton or microfiber are the best.

Second rule; your exercise clothes should not be too fit and should not rub your skin. The combination of heat, moisture, and skin rubbing is the worst. It removes the upper cell layer of the skin and allows bacteria to flourish. People with acne-prone skin will frequently have bouts of pimples on these areas.

If you’re a cyclist or football player, you may have more pimples on the chin or temples where the helmets strap rub the skin. Make sure that these helmet chin straps are not too tight.

If you’re a surfer, you will need a wetsuit that’s not too constricting, especially under the arms.

If you’re a dancer and use a headband, it may result in more pimples on your forehead. Third and last rule. After sports, you need to shower ASAP. Staying in your sweat for hours will increase the risks for acne flare-ups.

The timing of your skincare routine you should certainly be based around your workouts.

Morning: Simply wait to do your morning routine until after completing your workout.

Mid-Day: If you exercise mid-day, you can do your morning routine again (cleanse, moisturizer, and use an oil-free sunscreen). We do not recommend cleansing more than 3x/day as it can over-dry your skin.

If you need to clean your face during the day or are unable to cleanse, you can buy on some oil-free wipes, which are also great for drying you over until you can shower and cleanse again.

Evening: If you're exercising in the late afternoon/early evening, you can simply do your evening routine afterward.

BTW - If you happen to be using whey protein, please be aware that it can make acne worse. A better alternative for whey protein supplements is vegan muscle-building proteins based on peas. 😊

Image callout

Start your journey
to clear skin

  • Custom acne treatment cream, cleanser and moisturizer
  • Unlimited Dermatologist support
  • Ongoing skin monitoring