There’s no shortage of health benefits associated with exercise. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a few reasons for working out include maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle for strength, and reducing the risk of certain conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. That’s reason enough to break a sweat regularly, but if you need more convincing, get this: research—which we’re diving into below—suggests exercise could be beneficial for your complexion, too. Ahead, we’re sharing four skin benefits of exercise, proving once and for all that the combination of a solid skin care routine featuring efficacious beauty products and good lifestyle habits is key for beautiful-looking skin.
Beautiful Skin Benefit #1: Improved Circulation
Did you know that exercising can increase your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles? This can not only help you feel more energized, but it can also impact your skin’s appearance. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), some studies indicate that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. As a result, you may experience more youthful-looking skin.
Beautiful Skin Benefit #2: Reduced Stress
Stress can take a toll on your body—and your skin. The facial tension and a general malaise that can be caused by stress can lead to your skin appearing less radiant. Pair that with skin care neglect that often occurs when we’re feeling run down or lousy, and it’s possible that periods of high stress cause increased breakouts and a dull skin appearance. To help reduce stress and improve your mood, the Mayo Clinic suggests hitting the gym or going for a brisk walk outside. Exercising can relieve stress and release feel-good endorphins that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. By taking steps to help reduce the stress you’re experiencing, you can help pave the way towards beautiful-looking skin.
Beautiful Skin Benefit #3: Improved Sleep
The term ‘beauty sleep’ is no myth. It’s during deep sleep that our skin refreshes and renews itself. If you strip that time away with sleepless nights, your skin won’t be able to look and feel its best. If you’re having trouble getting the recommended hours of sleep every night, the Mayo Clinic suggests turning to regular physical activity. In fact, you may already notice that you have an easier time falling asleep on days you exercise. Not only can exercise help you snooze faster, but it can also improve the quality of your sleep as well. If you feel well rested, it’s only right for your skin to look the same.
Editor’s note: Be careful about exercising too close to bedtime. Since a workout can increase your energy levels, this may make it more difficult to fall asleep within a few hours of working up a sweat.
Beautiful Skin Benefit #4: Toned Muscles
Regular exercise can build muscle mass so your body appears more toned and fit. According to the AAD, replacing fat with muscle can help your skin appear smoother and firmer. It may also make cellulite less noticeable.
How Often Should You Exercise?
You don’t have to live in the gym to reap the beautiful skin benefits of exercise. Working in fitness classes, a jog, or even a weight-training session that lasts for about 30 minutes a day could get you started on the right track, according to Mayo Clinic. Try to get in a routine where you start your day with a light sweat, either by jumping rope or doing a few yoga poses. Then try to work in a few longer sweat sessions throughout your week.
How to Care for Your Skin Post-Workout
During rigorous exercise, it’s expected that you'll get sweaty. This sweat can mix with dirt, impurities, and dead cells on your skin’s surface and could clog pores, which can eventually turn into breakouts once bacteria is thrown into the mix. So while exercising can benefit your skin, it can also cause an uptick in breakouts if you’re not following a proper post-workout skin care routine. So, grab a bottle of micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, and check out our article, Your Post-Workout Skin Care Routine, for helpful tips on how to care for your skin after exercising!