Nothing beats a hard workout that leaves you dripping in sweat. But sitting outside on a hot humid day with sweat running down your face, well, that sweat is not so sweet. Perspiration is essential to regulating your body’s internal temperature and is mostly composed of water with trace amounts of sodium, minerals, and selectively excreted toxins and chemicals.
Sweat can be a good thing, but it can also cause problems. The skin benefits when the pores open and perspiration comes through the layers of the skin purging impurities upwards. Regardless if you’re sweating from intense exercise or brutal heat, sweat can be good for the skin. The trace amounts of salt naturally exfoliate, while bacteria, dirt and debris are purged outward.
There is a drawback; leaving sweat untended for too long can end up doing more harm than good because it can lead to clogged pores, blemishes and in some extreme cases, severe rashes. The impurities sweating flushes out can stay on your skin, and when the skin begins to re-absorb them, the pores can become clogged at the surface, leading to irritation and congestion.
Here are some easy to follow tips, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff:
- Start off clean
If you know you’re going to break a sweat while working out or taking a hike on a hot day, wash your skin before to help reduce surface impurities that can become lodged in the pores. Follow with a good moisturizer and if you plan on being outside, use sun protection as well.
- Wear breathable clothing
When possible, wear clothes designed to pull sweat away from the skin. This can help reduce the chances of breakouts, irritation, chafing and rashes. Look for clothing that touts moisture-wicking fabrics; these are designed to pull sweat off the skin. Also, light 100% cotton is a good choice because it is breathable and absorbs moisture.
- Wash off when you’re done
Make it a priority to keep your pores clean and unclogged by always washing your face and body as soon as possible after sweating. If your skin is easily aggravated, remove all sweaty clothes immediately to keep the skin from becoming irritated.
Keep products like Clear Skin Clarifying Pads in your gym bag or purse and use to quickly wipe down the skin before you shower. The powerful plant extracts in these products support skin’s health. Willow Bark dissolves excess oil and clears dead cells and impactions in pores. Totarol™ and Neem Leaf deeply purify.
- Drink more water, seriously!
The higher the water content in sweat, the better! The more water in your body, the lower the chance sweat will cause skin irritations. Water intake will increase essential minerals and acids in sweat, which can help stabilize the skin’s pH balance.
Catie Wiggy is the Director of Education for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skin care industry for over 13 years as a makeup artist, brand educator, manager, innovator and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.