3 Ways Exercise Ages Skin

Written by Avery Graham Skin Care

You may not want to hear it and I hate to say it, but it's true... exercise can seriously age skin. Some of our most active patients, especially men, are the ones who request the most help for skin correction and repair. The key to combatting aging caused by exercise is to understand how different components of a workout affect your skin and what to do to prevent damage! This is what I've noticed and learned over the years...

1. High Impact Sports + Gravity:
Exercises like running (although incredibly cathartic and well appreciated) break down the smallest connective tissues that support the structure of your muscles.  Each "pound of the pavement" forces gravity against you, pulling and tearing your skin towards the ground. Sagging skin caused by this traumatic and cyclic activity is usually most visible on the face, neck, knees, and breasts. Unfortunately, once this type of damage has been done, there is little that can mend it short of more serious treatments with significantly longer downtime. Save your skin by remaining active, but alternating or incorporating more low impact sports and activities such as swimming or walking into your regime. So, "train like a beast, look like a beauty!"

2. How Does A Grape Become A Raisin?
Exercising and then eating unhealthy, improperly re-nourishing, or failing to hydrate your body after a workout is especially detrimental to skin. As the largest organ on your body, your skin needs you to stack up on more than protein post workout. Loss of essential vitamins & nutrients devitalizes skin. You NEED essential and non-essential vitamins and minerals that only proper food can provide. For glowing and healthy skin, eat the colors of the rainbow - all veggies contain an amount of beta carotene proteins which come from the pigment of the vegetable or fruit... This is one way to re-nourish your skin from the inside-out post workout (which also helps to neutralize free radical damage). Lastly, let me ask, "how does a grape become a raisin?" Dehydration. Even though I shouldn't need to remind you to drink water, allow me to do so anyway: drink more water for supple, beautiful, healthy skin!

3. Sweating = Clogged Pores + Dry Skin
Although the combination of clogged pores and dry skin may seem contradictory, it's not. It's no secret that exercising can cause you to breakout, especially during summer months when there's no reprieve from the heat and sweat. An improper skincare regime intended to nip the problem in the bud might make everything worse by over drying the skin. But, what can you do about it? Introduce the right skincare into your exercise regime.... Here's how:

A. Wash your face with either your regular face wash or a more gentle face wash quickly before you exercise to purify the surface of your skin.  Whatever is on your skin before you exercise will sink into your pores as they open throughout your workout.  Avoid cleansing brushes and make-up removing wipes, as brushes can irritate and inflame the skin while wipes usually contain ingredients with fatty lipids and large molecular structures that lay on your skin, which precludes your pores' ability to fully breathe and expel impurities as you sweat.

B. Avoid cross contamination. Sweating allows bacteria to transfer more easily from other people's hands to the surfaces of exercise machines and weights.  Be sure to disinfect machines before and after use, and still avoid touching your skin, even to wipe off sweat from your forehead.  Same goes for your exercise partner: if you touch each others hands or bodies while sweating and working out, avoid cross contamination of bacteria by washing your hands with antibacterial soap before, during and after a workout.

C. Use a salicylic cleanser after your workout, while your face is still warm and wet from sweat.  This ensures that the exposed pores can be thoroughly cleansed and closed before contamination can continue from sweat and dirt post-workout.  Salicylic dissolves dead skin cells without causing damage to skin.  Do not use cleansers with benzoperoxides, as this ingredient kills living cells while often over drying out the skin.  Salicylic can be strong, so either use just a little or be sure to use the best moisturizer for your skin afterwards.

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