For a happier, healthier you join My Health & Wellbeing for unlimited free access.

Get Started

January Download our guides now!


Are you a wellness warrior?

Vote today

Listen to our podcast today


Is This Healthy Habit Ruining Your Skin?

2 MIN READ • 22nd September 2017

Getting your body in shape may earn you brownie points with your PT, but not with your dermatologist.

If in doubt, sweat it out – a mantra many exercise fanatics can relate to. But while we often think about how a workout benefits our body, have you ever wondered just how it affects the largest organ of all – your skin? Typically, a workout makes us sweat which can lead to oily skin, breakouts and dehydration especially if you skimp on cleansing. Not to mention, each time we touch a piece of gym equipment we are coming into contact with skin-hating bacteria. Luckily Dr Rekha Tailor is on hand to answer your skincare questions.

Can rubbing my face with a sweaty towel make my skin worse? Is there a better alternative?
“Sweaty towels can harbour a lot of bacteria especially if it comes into contact with gym equipment, it can easily spread bacteria leading to acne and nasty skin infections by rubbing it on your face.  Towels washed in harsh detergents will also aggravate skin conditions, especially acne. When exercising try to refrain from constantly drying your face and let the sweat evaporate on its own then shower when you get home.  But if you can’t live without a gym towel make sure it’s made of a microfiber cloth as these are dirt resistant and absorb water quickly. Always wash in a fragrance-free, eco laundry detergent.”
See below for your gym skincare essentials.

Should I always remove my make up before working out and why?

“It’s advisable to remove make-up before working out as cosmetics mix with the oil and perspiration from your skin, preventing your pores from being able to release sweat. This leads to breakouts and possible skin irritation.  Going bare-faced is always recommended.”

Is it better for my skin to have a hot or cold shower after a workout?
“Cold water is very beneficial after any exercise as it helps to prevent any swelling from your workout, reduces your heart rate and increases circulation which will help you to recover faster. Cold showers can also help to relieve muscle soreness after a strenuous workout.”

Keep your complexion healthy with these gym skincare essentials:

  • Is This Healthy Habit Ruining Your Skin? bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, £27

  • Is This Healthy Habit Ruining Your Skin? Origins Perfect World Cleanser, £22

  • Is This Healthy Habit Ruining Your Skin? BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution, £10.80

  • Is This Healthy Habit Ruining Your Skin? Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, £19.50

Show your inbox some love

Get a weekly digest of Health & Wellbeing emailed direct to you.

Next up

Access everything, free!

Unlock the website for exclusive member-only content – all free, all the time. What are you waiting for? Join My Health & Wellbeing today!

Join the club today
Already a member? Log in to not see this again
Join My H&W