7 tips to avoid breakouts while hitting the gym

Is working out causing your breakouts?

While it may seem like the healthiest part of your day, there is a lot of dirt and bacteria that can clog your pores during and even after a workout.

Many chalk this up to sweat. However, that’s not the only culprit. Makeup, the type of towel you use and even showering can affect how your skin reacts.

“It is important to know that sweat itself does not cause acne,” Dr. Manish Shah, a board-certified dermatologist and anti-aging expert, told “Good Morning America.”

Dr. Shah shared tips on how to work out hard and still have glowing skin.

Avoid makeup

Most makeup will clog pores by not allowing the skin to breathe naturally during workouts. A better option is a tinted moisturizer if you are self-conscious about your skin tone.

Don’t touch your face

Cardio machines, weight machines, free weights — these all breed bacteria. Touching them and them wiping beads of sweat off your face is a sure way to spread bacteria that can create new breakouts.

Wear loose clothing

Spandex workout pants are tight clothing that can lead to skin infections from bacteria and fungi. Wear loose attire that will also help wick away sweat, preventing it from being absorbed by your skin.

Choose the right towel

A gym towel should be absorbent enough to keep your face dry during a workout, but not so thick it clings to bacteria even after a wash.

Compared to standard towels, the best gym towels will dry faster so bacteria and fungus don’t breed in them.

Cotton is the most common material for workout towels. Cotton fibers are absorbent and dry quickly.

Other good materials include microfiber, linen and bamboo.

Wash your face right after your workout — and moisturize!

Wash your face immediately after your workout. You don’t want a mixture of dirt, oil and bacteria clinging to your skin, affecting its pH and clogging your pores. If you are exercising in a park where there is no sink, bring cleansing facial wipes with you.

Skipping this essential step can unknowingly dehydrate your skin, causing your oil-producing glands to overcompensate by producing an oversupply of oil. Use a moisturizer that’s been produced for your specific skin type and condition immediately after cleansing for best results.

Skip the hot shower

Hot water strips skin of vital oils, leaving you with dry, itchy, dull skin. Breakouts on your back or chest are particularly common for “gym rats.” To avoid this, use a gentle body scrub three times a week.

Adjust your nighttime routine

Even seemingly normal skin can become much more sensitive right after a workout. You may want to wait until redness decreases by bedtime to use your super-active acne or anti-aging treatment products.

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