You hit the gym to be healthy and look hot, so it's a bummer
when you walk out with an embarrassingly bright-red face. Let's not
even discuss the backne, sports-bra-induced boob chafing, and hives. Or
rather, let's: "Internal factors such as allergies and skin
type play a key role in how your skin responds to exercise, but
external factors like clothing and the weather can help or hurt
workout-related skin problems too," says Jeannette Graf, M.D., an
assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical
Center. [Source: WomensHealthMag.com]
Meaning, you have a lot of control over how irritated your
flesh gets. Besides, working out can be good for your skin. "Exercise
increases circulation, which makes your skin glow," says Graf.
Check out these four simple skin tips for what you can do before, during, and after workouts to reap the radiance-bestowing rewards, minus any flare-ups.
"This is the most upsetting workout-related skin issue I hear about,"
says Graf. Especially for women who have rosacea or sensitive skin—those
prone to severe flushing. "Women with rosacea have more broken
capillaries, so any vasodilation caused by working out makes it worse.
Sensitive skin just gets irritated very easily, so heat combined with
sweat will cause a flare-up."
Prevent it: Start using anti-redness
moisturizers formulated for sensitive skin; soothing ingredients like
thermal spring water, zinc, licorice extract, or feverfew will get your
moisture barrier in peak condition and make skin more resilient. Try: (1) Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15 ($15, drugstore.com). Avoid using treatments that irritate skin—such as retinol, acne products, or chemical peels—the night before a big workout.
Keep your body temperature as low as possible during your workout by spritzing yourself with a cooling body spray like Restore Instant Hot Flash Aid ($25, restoreaid.com). Another good find: Mission Athletecare Enduracool Large Instant Cooling Towel ($15, at Dick's Sporting Goods); use it to wipe your face when you start feeling hot.
Cure it: De-toastify yourself fast. As your
body temp drops, so does the flushing, says Graf. Suck on ice chips or
splash cold water on your face. Rinse with an anti-redness cleanser,
followed by an anti-redness face cream that contains licorice, green
tea, oats, or feverfew. Try: Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 ($17, drugstore.com).
Cover remaining blotchiness with a CC cream, whose optical diffusers
help visually color-correct redness, then apply a yellow-based
concealer. Try: Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 ($35, clinique.com) and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($34, bobbibrowncosmetics.com).