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The little known link between exercise and an insta-worthy complexion

Published: Thu February 21, 2019
Categories: The Myth Minx

If it seems too good to be true, like all great things in life, there are confines to this exercise/great skin positive relationship – hint you can’t rock up to the gym and work out in a full face of long stay foundation and hope for a glowing complexion afterwards, it
certainly doesn’t work like that.
Mynth Minx is here to dish all the reasons why you should find your favourite exercise routine to help improve your skin (and also share a few useful hints on helping your skin recover after exercise).

How exercise improves the skin tone:

Improved circulation for a more luminous complexion - Regular exercise encourages efficient circulation; this means that we carry more oxygen-rich blood to the skin more efficiently. By doing so, this also helps to deliver much-needed nutrients to the skin while
carrying away waste products (including free radicals that can lead to premature ageing). This oxygen-rich blood also helps to create a more luminous and rosy appearance to the skin (rather than pale and lackluster).

Hormonal balance – regular exercise has a direct relationship with the hormone cortisol (otherwise known as the stress hormone). Elevated cortisol levels (due to ongoing stress or lack of sleep) can be very detrimental to skin health. High cortisol levels can
accelerate collagen breakdown, trigger acne breakouts, and result in slow healing or irritated skin conditions. Low intensity exercise has been linked with more balanced cortisol levels and for those of you that regularly exercise it’s been found that this helps our body to produce more balanced amounts of cortisol (enabling us to better cope with stress). Regular exercise can have a positive impact on sleep patterns (via hormonal signalling) – better sleep means our skin can heal and repair overnight. Couple these factors together and you’re looking at a healthier complexion.

Sweating – Yes, you heard it, sweat can actually be good for the skin. Firstly, its sweat that constitutes a portion of our natural barrier function (hydro-lipid barrier). Having an intact barrier function is important for keeping out foreign pathogens and maintaining a balanced and healthy skin tone. You’ll also be interested to know that a light sweat can also assist to maintain the optimal balance of flora on your skin (also known as the microbiome). It’s essential to maintain a balanced microbiome within our skin as this serves as part of our skins immunity (the same way we need the ideal balance of flora in our digestive system). A small amount of sweat can function as a prebiotic for the skins microbiome (meaning it creates the ideal environment for beneficial microorganisms to thrive).

Helpful hints for your skin to get the most out of your workout

  • Avoid excessive high intensity or gruelling work outs – this can have an adverse effect on cortisol levels. Over exercising is a form of stress for the body so can result in elevated cortisol levels (being counterproductive for our skin).
  • Always wash your face within an hour of working out. We know that a little sweat is great for our skin but we need to remove excess sweat from the skin to prevent any blemishes or bumps from appearing.
  • Remove make-up before working out, especially if you’re prone to skin sensitivity or breakouts. When we sweat our pores open – translation; make-up can cause congestion and trap the sweat from escaping efficiently from our skin.
  • If you’re prone to eczema or psoriasis you may notice that intense exercise results in a flare up, often this is exacerbated by the salt in your sweat; try adopting some lower intensity exercise options when your skin is more reactive.

Pro tips – How to use your fav Skinstitut product to rescue your skin after your workout

  • Rashes or chaffing (from long distance running) - try using Skinstitut Repair Balm to soothe irritated skin and assist in speedy healing. This can also be applied to susceptible areas prior to working out.
  • Body acne (acne mechanica) – excessive sweating and tight fitting clothing may cause breakouts, specifically known as acne mechanica - washing the affected area as soon as possible after exercise can reduce this challenge, try using Glycolic Cleanser 12% as an anti-bacterial exfoliating body wash.
  • Remove your make-up prior to working out with Skinstitut’s newly developed Microbiome Micellar Water – not only will it take off your make-up it will help assist in a balanced skin microbiome. Also handy for when you don’t have time to wash your face immediately after a workout too.
  • If exercising outdoors use your Age Defence SPF50+ as a skin strengthening and anti-ageing daytime moisturiser that will also protect from both UVA & UVB with 50+ protection.
  • Tackle exercise induced rosacea or flushing flare ups with Rejuvenate 15. This powerful correcting serum assists in skin renewal while providing a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant extracts to the skin to help to reduce sensitivity

Bet you didn’t realise how handy your tried and tested Skinstitut products are for resurrecting your post-workout skin!

So go ahead and indulge in your weekly self-care face masks sessions but remember a little bit of aerobic exercise can do wonders for the complexion. You may even begin to notice the skin tone of your pals that workout regularly – looking vitalised, nourished and radiant.

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