Health & Well-Being

How Exercise Improves Your Skin

Beyond its many benefits to your health and mental well-being, experts say exercise can also play a pivotal role in your skin’s appearance. While topically applied skincare products can be beneficial, it is also crucial to recognize that your skin may reflect how you care for yourself holistically.

Exercise has many benefits for your complexion:  

  • Increases blood flow

That post-workout glow you think you’re imagining is real. When you exercise, blood flow increases throughout your body, accelerating the delivery of nutrients to your cells. These nutrients are crucial in supporting your skin’s functions, such as bolstering its ability to maintain the protective barrier and continue to fight against free radicals.  

  • Eases stress levels

When you’re under pressure, your body releases cortisol, the stress hormone. The presence of cortisol can increase your skin’s oil production and may result in skin issues like acne. While attempting to sustain a stress-free lifestyle can be challenging, it is essential to maintaining a healthy skin balance. Whether your choice is weightlifting, running, or yoga, exercise is known to ease stress thanks to the release of endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals that boost your mood and regulate your body’s cortisol levels, which counteracts cortisol’s unwanted effects on your skin.

  • Gives your skin a natural detox.

Over time, dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil, and other debris may build up in your pores. While your skin can detox itself, it tends to take time—in adults, the cellular turnover rate falls between 28 and 42 days. If you do not remove these toxins, they can lead to dull and dry-looking skin. The good news is that working up a sweat can flush those toxins away. Intense workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), your temperature rises, and you inevitably work up a sweat. This natural occurrence unclogs your pores, allowing you to flush cellular debris from your body.

  • Supports collagen production

Collagen is your skin’s secret sauce to maintaining its structure. Dermatologists say the production of this skin-firming protein may begin to decline in your 20s and 30s, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and other concerns. Exposure to stressors like ultraviolet (UV) rays can also lead to collagen loss, making your complexion look less firm as you grow older. Exercising can trigger your skin’s collagen production, helping to restore its tightness and vibrancy.    

  • Improves sleep quality

According to the Sleep Foundation, incorporating fitness into your routine can help you get a good night’s rest, allowing your skin to repair and strengthen for another day of fighting stressors. 

During this nightly activity, as the skin renews itself and triggers collagen, your body also increases blood flow to deliver nutrients to your cells. This process can result in a more refreshed morning appearance.  

Protecting Your Skin While Working Out

Though regular exercise can offer many benefits for a more youthful-looking complexion, you can incorporate a few habits into your exercise routine to reap the rewards of exercise for your skin.

Protect your skin with sunscreen during outside exercise
Protect your skin with sunscreen while outside

Wear sunscreen

The sun can cause serious harm to your skin.

According to dermatologists, a good rule of thumb is to add an effective form of topical vitamin C to your skincare routine, followed by a broad-spectrum sunscreen applied daily with SPF 30 or higher.

Always wash your face after working out

Exercise can rid your skin of debris but can clog your pores again if you don’t wash the debris off your face! After your workout, treat your skin to some TLC with a gentle cleanser. Sydoni Gel Cream Cleanser with Jojoba and Avocado Oils will remove sweat, oil, and dirt without drying, leaving your face feeling clean and comfortable.

Stay hydrated

Seniors hydrating during their outside exercise routine
Active seniors having a break during their run outside

Working out causes your skin to lose water in the form of sweat.

While sweating is vital for cleaning the face, it’s equally important to replenish the lost moisture.

When exercising, increase your water intake to keep your body hydrated.

Engage in exercise that excites you, whether weightlifting at the gym, running, or dancing! The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you’ll stick to it.

A consistent routine will help you reap its rewards for you and your skin’s health. Explore our other posts for more helpful tips on skin health.


Katie Pierce

Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories, whether to adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the following morning.

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