Is Sweating Good for Your Skin? What You Need to Know
A good heavy sweat can be refreshing, but did you know it can also legitimately improve your skin? It may seem counterintuitive since sweat is often associated with acne and breakouts, but your body’s natural coolant can also be a powerful natural skin care solution. Whether sweat helps your skin often depends on how you utilize it as part of your routine. Below, we’ll discuss how sweat can help your skin, how it can hurt, and how you can ensure that your sweaty days are some of the best for your skin.
Is Sweat Good for Your Skin?
Sweat can indeed be good for your skin; it delivers water and moisturizing nutrients to the skin while exfoliating dead skin and dirt from your hair follicles (pores). In fact, research suggests that sweat can be an important part of treating some skin conditions.
To fully understand how sweat benefits your skin, we need to first take a step back. Your body uses two main types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Each can be found on various parts of the body, but eccrine glands excrete sweat directly onto the skin instead of through your pores. That means these sweat glands deliver water and nutrients straight to the surface of your skin.
Eccrine sweat is what’s most commonly associated with potential skin benefits. Studies have shown that eccrine sweat can help increase hydration levels throughout the skin, perhaps because eccrine sweat is rich in moisturizing factors like lactate, urea, and potassium.
Research also reveals that sweat glands can secrete antimicrobial peptides to fight off infection-causing bacteria. So, sweat can be good for the skin thanks to the hydration and protection it offers. It also physically forces out and washes away dirt and grime that can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Does Sweat Moisturize Skin? Body & Face Sweat Benefits
While more research is needed to fully understand how different sweat glands help the skin, some commonly-reported benefits of sweat include:
- Exfoliation and acne prevention
- Powerful hydration
- Skin tone evening and smoothing
- A clearer, brighter complexion
If you’re an athlete or exercise regularly, you can put your sweat to work, too! Later on, we’ll discuss how to help sweat benefit your skin without causing harm.
Is Sweat Bad for Your Skin?
Sweat isn’t necessarily “bad” for your skin, but when left unaddressed, it can cause problems. This is mostly true in cases where sweat is left on the skin for a long time, like after a workout. Similarly, if you tend to sweat easily throughout the day, you may need to take steps to limit sweat’s effect on your skin.
In some cases, the friction and heat a workout can lead to rashes or skin irritation when coupled with sweat. If you regularly lay on a bench while lifting weights, for instance, you may be trapping a good amount of warmth and moisture on your skin while you move.
In other cases, already acne-prone skin may be exacerbated by salty sweat. It may cause itchiness or dryness that can make breakouts spread or worsen. Fortunately, this sweat-related concern and many others can be addressed easily and effectively.
How to Take Advantage of Sweat’s Benefits
To make sweat work for your skin – not against it – try to enter situations where you might sweat with intention. Prepare your skin for sweat and get ready to cleanse it afterward to allow sweat to work its magic without lingering long enough to cause issues.
If you’re headed out to a particularly sweaty spin class or workout, throw a small microfiber towel in your gym bag to dab away moisture as needed. It also helps to bring a full, cold water bottle to replenish lost moisture and keep your body temperature down. Other accessories, such as a sweatband or padding for equipment, can help you keep sweat and friction under control.
Keep Pores Clean
Even though your sweat can exfoliate for you, it’s vital to make sure you fully clean out your pores to remove the gunk that sweat brings to the surface. This step also ensures you wash away salty remains that might irritate or dry your skin out.
For a daily-use body wash that’s sulfate free and gentle, try OffCourt’s Deep Cleansing Body Wash, which is formulated with lactic and glycolic acids. This cleanser is perfect as it won’t strip your skin of its essential oils and nutrients.
Or, for something a bit more heavy-duty, opt for our Exfoliating Body Soap, which features a medium-grit texture that’s ideal for a deeper scrub. Shea butter, olive oil, and sunflower seed extract follow up to help hydrate and soothe your squeaky-clean skin.
Deep Cleansing Body Wash Trio Pack
It may seem unnecessary to worry about moisturizing after sweating, but your skin can be very sensitive and needs support after a thorough cleansing. Seal in all of the goodness you’ve just added to the mix with a lightweight moisturizer that won’t weigh down your skin.
Tips for Keeping Sweat-Prone Skin Healthy
If your skin is often exposed to sweat, following these simple tips will help you keep it healthy and hydrated.
- Choose Breathable Products. It’s key to stick to products that let your pores breathe before, during, and after you sweat. No options tick these boxes better than OffCourt products, including our Lightweight Facial Hydrator. It instantly absorbs into the skin without leaving behind a greasy residue, delivering ingredients like prebiotics and creatine without a hassle.
- Stay Hydrated. Make sure to drink enough water regularly, especially after a workout, to keep your sweat full of water. You’ll also need to take care to replace the water you lose through your sweat.
- Be Gentle. Never tug or rub your skin as you take care of it; use gentle motions and pat your skin dry to avoid irritating it. The more you irritate your skin, the more likely you may be to face skin problems due to sweat.
Overall, sweat can be a lifesaver for your skin, but it can also be a bit of a pain. How the tides turn depends heavily on how you care for your skin before, during, and after you sweat. Keep it clean and hydrated to maximize the benefits sweat offers, and always stick to products that work with your sweat instead of against it.
To do that, you can count on OffCourt. Our mission is to offer products designed for the sweat-filled lifestyles athletes live, all for a price tag that makes sense. Check out the rest of our shop to find more sweat-friendly products that will help you look, feel, and smell amazing.
Light-Weight Facial Hydrator