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4 Simple Rules to Work Out Without Breakouts

In these crazy times, it’s more important than ever to keep yourself fit. You may not be able to hit the gym, but there are plenty of workouts you can do at home, or when you get your daily dose of fresh air.

But whatever you do to keep yourself fit, make sure your workouts don’t give you nasty breakouts. Sweating itself doesn’t cause breakouts, in fact, sweat contains an antibiotic that helps fight the bacterium involved in acne breakouts. However, if you leave excessive sweat on your skin to dry up, it could clog up your pores and cause sweat pimples, or a heat rash that can look very much like pimples. 


Why do we get sweat pimples?

Our skin has two different types of pores: oil pores and sweat pores

Sweat pores: We have them all over the surface of our skin. Most of them are on the face, palms, and soles. They are so tiny that you can normally not see them. Sweat pores are connected to glands that produce sweat to provide cooling for the body.

Oil pores: They are larger than sweat pores and are often visible, especially when skin ages. Oil pores contain hair follicles, which grow the hair that we have all over our body. The hair follicles are connected to oil glands that produce sebum, the body’s natural oil, that lubricates and waterproofs our skin.


Schematic section of skin showing sweat glands and pores and oil glands and pores


When sweat mixes with dead skin cells, dirt, or make-up residue, it can clog up either sweat pores, or oil pores, and this can cause either heat rash or sweat pimples.

Heat rash: When sweat is trapped inside the sweat pores, it can get inflamed, which causes a rash of small red, often itchy bumps. The medical term for these rashes is Miliaria. They most often appear in areas where the skin rubs against tight clothing.

Sweat pimples are a specific type of acne breakout and more common than heat rash. When sebum is unable to exit through the pores because these are blocked, bacteria can start to grow in the hair follicle, leading to inflammation. This is what causes a breakout.


How not to get a breakout from your workout

To avoid getting sweat pimples or a heat rash from your workout, you just need to follow 4 simple rules that ensure your sweating doesn’t clog up your pores.

Rule No. 1 - Don’t work out with make-up. Either wash your face, or use a make-up remover before you exercise.

Rule No. 2 Work-out only in clean, freshly laundered clothes that are not too tight.

Rule No. 3 - Take a shower immediately after your workout.

Rule No. 4 - Apply a mild, oil-free cleanser to breakout prone areas.

A great choice for a moisturizer is our 001-Pu Purifying Face Cream. It contains willow bark that has proven anti-inflammatory properties and is also a natural source of salicin, which metabolizes into salicylic acid – a well-known beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that has been shown to be highly effective in unclogging pores. One reviewer even called it the Holy Grail of Moisturizer. So if you are looking to both cleanse and moisturize your skin after your workout, look no further.


001-Pu Cream


001-Pu Mask


Looking to dive deeper?

To get a few more tips on how to avoid breakouts from workouts, the American Academy of Dermatology has released a useful video. 

There has been a lot of research on Acne and its causes in the last twenty years. If you want to know more about this research, check out these freely accessible papers: 

Acne Basics Acne Basics. Pathophysiology, Assessment, and Standard Treatment Options 

What is new in the pathophysiology of acne, an overview

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