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Can exercise really help us achieve better skin?


Skincare is a massive industry right now as more of us look to improve the health of our skin.

Can exercise really help us achieve better skin?


"The UK skincare industry is set to be worth $21 billion USD by 2024."
Lucy Desai



2020 has seen us move from caring about what is in our makeup to wondering how we can better care for our skin. Hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid are natural words that come from our mouths now, something that if you asked us a year ago we wouldn’t have been able to tell you what they are. Hyaluronic acid can even be found in tan lotion!

Even YouTube influencers are jumping on the trends, shifting from makeup tutorials to reviews based on skincare. Skincare seems to have taken over makeup, with the latter’s sales decreasing this year.

Taking time on your skincare pays off. But do you know the cheapest way you can look after your skin?

The secret

Exercise can make your body healthier and better looking, but it can especially help the skin. Even just half an hour of exercise a day is enough to keep you in good health. Of course, other factors in your lifestyle can also help you keep your skin in better condition, such as having a heathy diet and staying hydrated.

Don’t just take our word for it. Dermatologist Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan says that: “Apart from your liver, the skin is the biggest detoxifying agent. Sweating removes toxins, which not only makes you feel better, it rejuvenates your skin.”

A 2014 study by researchers at McMaster University found that exercising can reverse ageing of the skin, and people who exercised on a regular basis had younger-looking skin, even if they took up exercising later in life.

Dewy skin

Skin that is hydrated and glowing is a sign of good health. Doing exercises regularly can help keep the heart rate up and the blood pumping around the body. The rotation of the blood allows vital nutrients and oxygen to get to the surface of the skin. This then helps collagen production and new skin cells, which allows the skin to glow. Another bonus is that collagen helps keep the wrinkles away.

Sweat is good, not bad

You may be worried about exercising and sweating. Some people believe that sweat will cause your pores to clog up. This is a misconception. Plus, exercise reduces inflammation, which is one of the causes of acne. Sweat can also level out cortisol (the stress hormone), which can also trigger spots to flare up.

However, even though exercise is good for you, if you are more susceptible to skin conditions such as rosacea, aerobic exercises that raise your heart and get the blood pumping fast can trigger this. Do not stop exercising though, as there are many exercises that are less vigorous that you can do to keep your skin and body healthy.

Attacking acne

There is a misconception that acne is a problem only teenagers have. But that is not true. People up to middle age can still get acne, which could be triggered by a change in diet or hormones.

A common acne problem people are facing during lockdown is ‘maskne’. This is brought on when your face mask is rubbing against your face for a long period of time. The micro-tears that the rubbing creates means that the bacteria and dirt can seep into them, creating the spots.

There are ways you can try and help combat your ‘maskne’, such as changing your mask twice a day when wearing it for a long period of time. This stops the build-up of oil rubbing over your face.

Our lifestyle can also make a difference. Try to cut out dairy and sugar and reduce the your stress levels, as these have all been shown to impact acne.

If you need advice on your skin and a change in your diet and added exercise are not working, seek help from your GP.

 

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