Despite our best efforts, sometimes our skin just won’t cooperate. Dryness, blemishes, the occasional acne outbreak, and more can keep our skin from looking and feeling its best. This is where a bit of sweat comes into the equation.

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but there are some fascinating benefits for the skin that you can derive from working up a good sweat. Here, we’ll dive into the process of sweating and the potential effects it can actually have on your overall skin complexion.

Sweat For What?

In addition to sometimes leaving that weird feeling on the skin, as anyone with eczema might tell you, sweating is actually an amazing way to aggravate that uncomfortable itch you’d prefer to avoid. Since sweat has the potential to aggrieve certain skin conditions, how is it that it also soothes others? The answer lies in what the process of sweating actually is and what it leaves on the skin.

Here’s what happens when you hit the gym or start running the block and build up a sweat. When your body senses things are heating up, it releases sweat to help you cool down. But that sweat doesn’t just magically appear — the process of sweating opens up your pores so that moisture can reach the surface of your skin, which in turn releases dirt, grit, and grime that might be trapped in there, causing problems.

sweat workout healthy lifestyle exercise

For those who have skin conditions that clogged pores can exacerbate, exercise and sweating can help through this factor alone. The more you exercise, the more adept your body becomes at sweating and the more open your pores will be. And this is not the only way in which sweating helps the skin.

In addition to opening up the pores, sweating can also combat foreign substances living on the skin. Through natural antibiotic properties granted through a compound in sweat called Dermcidin, bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus have a much harder time setting up shop on your skin. So—in a way—sweat is kind of like a layer of defense for your skin when used properly. This is likely the reason that spa treatments and saunas that help the body sweat in a healthy way have been popular for years.

The Slight Catch

Now, there’s also a small downside, which comes from the fact that letting sweat settle back on the skin for too long can be counterproductive. You’ll be setting yourself up for breakouts, itching, and maybe even a pesky heat rash. Sweat can block certain glands that make all those nasty skin conditions possible, so it’s crucial to incorporate cleansing the skin into any exercise or sauna routine you’re using to keep your skin looking great.

After you build up that sweat, make it a point to change clothes and wash your face with cool water to close off those pores. After you’ve washed your face, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t dry out, so following up with a moisturizer is also recommended. In this regard, skin care products like Bevel Restoring Balm work wonders. In addition to moisturizing the skin, they contain compounds that will help further combat blemishes and other pesky skin conditions.

Now, go ahead and get back into that daily exercise routine you’ve been putting off — your skin will thank you for it!