Sweating can feel gross, there's no doubt. After experiencing weeks of it during this sweltering heat wave, you're probably just as panicked as the rest of us that it's gonna mess up your skin...right?
Sure, too much sweating can cause breakouts. But there is a silver lining to sweating: according to the derms, it offers a major beauty boost.
Here are a few reasons to crank up those sweat sessions this summer and beyond...
It Hydrates Your Skin
The whole point of perspiration is to cool down the body. Think of it as your body's inbuilt air-conditioning system! Its evaporation on the surface of your skin prevents over-heating, and regulates your core temperature when your body temperature rises.
But that's not all it does.
Skincare experts say sweating works as a natural moisturizer for your skin.
"It helps with water balance for your entire body," says dermatologist Doris Day, MD. "It also contains natural moisturizing factor, which helps keep the skin hydrated and healthy."
It Flushes Out Toxins
So you already knew regular exercise was good for your body and came with a slew of health benefits, but did you know that the dripping salty liquid that accompanies it is essentially a detox for your skin?
That's correct. Every time you sweat, your body flushes out toxins leaving you with a natural, healthy glow.
It Bolsters Your Skin's Microbiome
Here's an interesting (and very exciting!) fact you probably never knew: your body naturally produces an antibiotic known as dermcidin which occurs when you sweat. According to a 2013 study, this antibiotic helps shield the skin from bacteria like E. coli by killing it upon arrival.
The antibiotic created through sweating is much more effective than medical antibiotics as bacteria is unable to develop a resistance to it. How neat is that???
So while most of us are told to go take a shower immediately post-workout, sweat on your skin can actually be a good thing. While its urea content can irritate the epidermis when left a long time uncleaned, sweat can also bolster the microbiome, protecting the skin from a host of harmful germs. In other words, you may want to leave it on a few mins before hopping in the shower.
It Delivers Dewy Skin
Sweat leaves your skin glistening on the surface after intense physical activity. However, because exercise gets the blood circulating throughout the body, it promotes proper blood flow which enables oxygen and nutrients to nourish skin cells, leading to healthy, glowing skin.
Even dermatologist Jodi Ganz, M.D. says, "Sweat will help the skin look moisturized and 'dewy,' which may be seen as improving its appearance."
It Clears Your Skin
But if you really want it to work, your source of sweat is gonna have to come from a chilled out day at the sauna or steam room session. Not a workout session.
Ever heard of the brain-skin connection? Well, it turns out that a stressed mind really can prompt pimple formation. By indulging in relaxing activities and pairing that with the skin-purifying benefits of sweating, you've got yourself a brighter, more beautiful complexion.
"The heat gets your blood pumping faster, which creates an oxygen surge that boosts serotonin in the brain," says Sasha Sabapathy, the founder of London’s Glow Bar. "Most people’s breakouts are caused by high levels of cortisol, which also contributes to anxiety and depression, so an increase in serotonin can balance that out. You’re getting a calmer mind, and you’re getting clearer skin. It’s a win-win." It sure is!
As beneficial as sweat is for the skin, you'll need to make sure you clean it off properly using a purifying yet hydrating cleanser to prevent breakouts. Here are our faves!
Truly's CBD Jelly Anti-Blemish Facial Cleanser
Formulated with hemp and salicylic Acid, Truly’s Anti-Blemish Facial Cleanser is a zit-zapping, anti-inflammatory daily essential that clears acne and decongests pores for smooth, blemish-free skin.
Truly's CBD Jelly Anti-Blemish Body Cleanser
Don't forget that sweat doesn't only appear on the face, it shows up on the body too. Keep your body breakout-free by washing with this acne-quelling body cleanser. Besides clearing your skin, it'll also banish body odor.
Truly's Mary Jane CBD Glow Serum
To enhance your natural glow and restore hydration, dab on a few drops of Truly's Mary Jane Glow Serum once in the morning and once in the evening. It's made with CBD, retinol, and glycolic acid to boost collagen levels and brighten dull skin.
In some cases, sweating isn't always the best for your complexion.
Letting Sweat Dry & Not Cleansing After
Any dermatology professional will tell you: sweat is fine...in small, short doses.
It's when you leave it sitting for too long that you have a problem.
"If sweat sits on the skin too long, it can irritate the skin," says dermatologist Whitney Bowe. "Specifically, the ammonia and urea in sweat can cause irritation and inflammation if left on skin too long. The sodium in sweat can dehydrate skin if left too long on the surface, and the evaporation of sweat from skin can aggravate people prone to eczema."
The best thing you can do? Always use a clarifying cleanser after an extra sweaty cardiovascular workout.
Makeup Mixed with Sweat
Makeup and sweat -- not a good combo.
In fact, sweating in your makeup can clog your pores and cause some major breakouts.
It's best to avoid it at all costs if you want to maintain clear, smooth skin.
If you're sweating way more than usual, you may want to go get it checked out at the docs.
Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, affects around 2-3% of Americans. It usually happens as a result of overactive sweat glands, but sometimes it can be in response to increased heart rate or heat stroke.
Instead of splurging on antiperspirants, book an appointment with your doctor for advice and treatment options.