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Favorite Excuse for Not Working Out: Sweating Makes Me Breakout

Part of getting a good workout means that I sweat a lot. I don't necessarily need to be sopping wet like when I take a Bikram yoga class, but a little sweat makes me feel like I pushed myself.

The bad thing about sweating when you workout is that it can lead to breakouts, and not just on your face. Blemishes can appear on your back, neck and chest, but they don't have to.

Here are some tips on preventing exercise-related pimples:

  • Wash your face before working out to get all the oil and makeup off. Then apply a facial moisturizer that's made for acne-prone skin such as Neutrogena's Oil-Free Anti-Acne Moisturizer.
  • Always wear clean workout clothes. Choose a sports bra and tank top that has over-the-shoulder sleeves instead of a racerback or t-shirt that covers your back. Wear the least amount of clothes while still feeling comfortable, since the more your skin is covered, the hotter you'll feel and the more you'll sweat.
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabric. Many sports bras and tops are made of wicking material that pulls sweat off the skin.

There are more tips. To see them

  • If you like to do weight training or stretching after your sweaty cardio routine, dry yourself off in between and then change into a dry bra and top.
  • Shower immediately after exercising to prevent body acne. Not only does it rinse the sweat and pimple-causing bacteria off your skin, but the water also helps to cool your body temperature down so you don't continue sweating once you get out. If you can't shower, definitely wash your face and peel off those sweaty clothes. Completely dry off and put on clean, dry clothes. Then hit the shower as soon as you can.
  • Exfoliate your skin. I like to use loofah gloves in the shower (My fave are from The Body Shop, $7). They're gentle enough to use everyday, on your face and the rest of your body. Use the gloves with an antibacterial cleanser such as Cetaphil, or soaps that have acne medicine in them, such as salicylic acid. Gently scrub your skin to unclog pores and slough off dead skin cells.

Fit's Tips: Whatever you do, don't stop working out. If acne is still a problem after trying out these tips, seeing a dermatologist is a great idea.

tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 10 years
Yes I've noticed that when I workout I break out more. It sucks but I don't ever want to be fat again.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 10 years
"Really? Sweating makes people break out? Blah.. I think its a fallacy." Body acne is caused by acne and clogged sweat glands, which is aggravated by perspiration. It's no coincidence that in times when I've been less active physically, my back clears up, and when I work out regularly, I break out all along the lines of my sports bra. Starofsorrow--you might want to try the book The Skin Type Solution. It has worked wonders for me, and the products she recommends actually cost less than what I used to spend buying everything at Sephora. My skin is sensitive and breaks out, so I was either over-moisturizing or drying out from too much acne medication. Her book helped me find the perfect balance for my particular skin type. It's really easy to use.
starofsorrow starofsorrow 10 years
Do you have any recommendations for cleansing soap and moisturizer for super-sensitive skin? I've tried the Neutrogena line, but it always wrecks horrible havoc on my skin. I use the Dove bar soap for sensitive skin, and Cetaphil for the moisturizer, but the moisturizer tends to cause me to break out a lot, which sucks.
ley ley 10 years
Really? Sweating makes people break out? Blah.. I think its a fallacy. I think being active helps regulate everything else. Also by the way, pimples start 2 weeks prior, so they are literally just under the skin before they start popping out.
superfoxml superfoxml 10 years
Neutrogena has that fabulous acne body scrub, with salicylic acid. It works very well on my back where I'm acne prone!
nopenope nopenope 10 years
I've had the best results for facial and body acne with using Sul-Ray Acne soap. I totally recommend it! It's a bar soap with a small list of ingredients: aloe (with soap base), a chelating agent and sulfur 5% -- it's also fragrance free. It's amazing and dries out acne very fast and eliminates blackheads. I've used it for the last few years. It's at some health stores or you can find it on Amazon or places like
bahiachic bahiachic 10 years
Clean & Clear makes this also F.Y.I.
sammyli sammyli 10 years
I usually wash my hands and face right after I work out just to make sure any sweat is off. Then back at home I'll use Aveeno's Clear Complexion Pads before showering. This combo has worked really well for me!
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 10 years
Argh. I meant BREAKS, not brakes, obviously.
nikodarling nikodarling 10 years
Really - I always find my skin looks better when I am active. I think I break out more when I am bad and don't do any work.
millarci millarci 10 years
good find fitsugar! :)
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 10 years
I HATE this problem. Sometimes my back is completely clear, other times it's awful. Unfortunately, I haven't found a bra that isn't a racerback that holds the girls up. It's Enell or nothing for me. I'm getting married in five months, wearing a strapless gown. The catch-22 is that I need to work out to keep my shoulders toned, but when I workout, my back brakes out all along the lines of my sports bra. Argh.
aimeeb aimeeb 10 years
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 10 years
Good excuse - - - - but I'm not BUYING it ;) So get your butts to the gym tonight!
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