6 Methods For Avoiding Workout-Related Breakouts

Ready to break a sweat without breaking out? Here's what you need to know.

Exercise is not only good for the body, mind, and spirit. It’s incredibly good for our skin, too. However, working out can easily lead to breaking out if you’re not careful. For many, it’s a serious problem. But it doesn’t have to be.

Blemishes shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your workout. So get in acne’s way by prioritizing clean pores before, during, and after exercise.

Here are the best ways to prevent and heal workout-related breakouts.

Start With a Clean Face

pre workout

Bacteria and dirt find their way to our faces and clog our pores on a daily basis. That’s why it’s important to remove all makeup and cleanse before working out. Because exercise opens your pores even more, starting with a clean face is one of the best ways to prevent workout-related breakouts.

If you’re not in the mood to fully wash your face, reach for an astringent and dab it on a cotton ball. Doing a clean sweep of your face and neck with witch hazel prior to your workout can do wonders.

Wash Your Face Post-Workout

washing face

Even if you don’t fully wash your face before you exercise, thoroughly washing it after you’re done is important. Skincare experts often recommend using a cleanser with salicylic acid for its pore-clearing abilities.

Afterward, always reach for a clean and dry towel and lightly dab your face. Vigorous rubbing can damage the delicate skin of your face.

Shower As Soon As You’re Done


Showering after a workout is an effective way to prevent breakouts, especially blemishes that pop up on your body. For clear skin from head to toe, cleansing away sweat and bacteria as soon as possible is key.

During your workout, body grime builds up and then nestles into your pores. Post-workout, it might be tempting to go straight to lunch or relax for a while, but you should shower first.

Clean Your Equipment

workout equipment

Cleaning your equipment is essential, especially if you’re sharing it. Unwashed equipment often contains bacterial growth that leads to breakouts. Whether you are in a private or public gym, wipe down any and all exercise equipment once you’re done using it.

For trickier to clean gear such as yoga mats, resistance bands, or Pilates balls, spray them thoroughly with a cleaning product geared towards exercise equipment and then give them time to air dry.

Opt For Breathable Clothing

stretching before workout

When sweat gets stuck under non-breathable materials, breakouts almost always follow. The right workout clothes play a major factor in keeping skin clear. So choose clothing that’s breathable and well-fitting.

The wrong workout clothing is one of the fastest ways to create a pimple. Anything that feels too tight will irritate your skin and potentially push the dirt and sweat deeper into your pores. Avoid cotton or plastic-based fabrics and aim for nylon, Micromodal, or bamboo.

Stay Hydrated

staying hydrated

When it comes to exercise, staying hydrated is essential. The more hydrated you are, the better your body functions. Working out can lead to significant water loss, and dehydrated skin leads to cracks, irritation, and recurring blemishes.

While you can’t rely solely on drinking water to keep your skin clear and hydrated, it’s a proactive part of caring for your complexion. Water promotes natural detoxification, so not only will more H2O help keep your skin clear, but you’ll also get more out of your workout.

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