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Stretching It Out

How to Tackle Three Common Post-Workout Skin Issues

Working out can have amazing health benefits, but it can cause some skin issues, too. Here’s how to manage them.

There are a lot of reasons to exercise regularly: A rush of endorphins, more energy, better sleep, and a strengthened immune system among them. But what about the effects, if any, that exercise has on our skin?
If you’ve found that your spin class is leaving you with irritation or breakouts, don’t worry. There are practical solutions to all of your skin woes, and you definitely don’t have to give up your gym membership for a glowing complexion. Read on to learn how to deal with the most common exercise-induced skin issues and what to do about them.
Increased Flushing and Redness
If you find that your favorite cardio class leaves you red in the face, you’re not alone. When your heart beats faster, blood flow increases and in turn, your capillaries (those little blood vessels throughout your body) widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles. Those of us who are prone to rosacea and skin redness likely notice inflamed capillaries around the nose, chin and cheeks even when not exercising, but any intense activity can cause an overall reddened and flushed appearance.
RELATED: What Skin Care Products Should I Use Before and After the Gym?
If you’re susceptible to post-workout flushing, you’ll love the feeling of applying a Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask which contains soothing willow bark and centella asiatica extracts, as well as erythritol, which lowers the skin’s temperature. Keep it in the fridge for an extra-calming treat.
Breakouts Caused by Bacteria Build-Up
At the gym, there is plenty of bacteria on everything from the equipment and yoga mats to your own workout gear and towels. To avoid introducing any unwelcome bacteria into your pores, make sure you properly cleanse before and after your workout, regularly launder your gym clothes, and wipe down your equipment before and after using it.
RELATED: 3 Myths About Exercising and Your Skin You Should Stop Believing
We love the Son & Park Beauty Water as a pre-workout cleansing step. Removing impurities that may lead to breakouts is important before you jump on the treadmill, and this formula contains papaya extract for gentle exfoliation and lavender and rose water for light hydration. For the gym, try soaking a few cotton pads in the solution and keep them in a zip-top plastic bag for a quick cleanse that won’t cause any spills.
And after a workout, there’s no better way to get a deep clean than with the Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick. Its portable, mess-free format is ideal for throwing in your gym bag and thanks to the nourishing natural oils and green tea leaves inside, it breaks down sweat, sebum and impurities while gently exfoliating the skin.
Sun Damage From Outdoor Activity
Running outside is a great way to boost your health and get some fresh air, but if you’re not properly protecting your skin, it could have a negative result on your skin. Wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses are great ways to decrease your skin’s exposure to harmful UV rays, but it’s important to wear (and re-apply) an SPF that can withstand the elements.
Pre-run, try Missha Near Skin Dustless Defense Sun Block SPF 50+/PA+++, a lightweight, matte sun block that not only protects your skin from the sun but also from free radicals in air pollution that can irritate and prematurely age the skin. This is especially perfect for those who live in the city but still love to get a run in every morning.
When you’re on the go, the Tony Moly Tako Pore Sebum Sun Stick is small enough for a pocket and makes for quick-and-easy sun touch-ups, thanks to its SPF 50 formula and marine extracts and calamine which help to soothe any irritation that might come from wind or heat.

What are your gym bag K-beauty essentials? Let us know in the comments.

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