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How to avoid breakouts after an intense workout: Tips, tricks, and techniques to try

How to avoid breakouts after an intense workout: Tips, tricks, and techniques to try

Pimples, begone

Text: Eunice Sng


Feeling that post-workout high after a productive sweat session is great — getting a full face of pimples, however, is not. You see: heavy exercise can often lead to a buildup of oil, dirt and bacteria on your skin, of which encourages bacterial growth which leads to the emergence of even more spots and zits. Still, that's not to say that you should be avoiding sports like the plague. Rather, we'd recommend you take certain measures to ensure you reap only the benefits of exercise. Below, a comprehensive guide to maintaining your mien no matter the intensity of your workout. Let's get physical, alright.

First things first: remove all traces of makeup

A layer of foundation — or any other makeup on your face — will trap bacteria in your pores. This eventually results in clogged pores and acne as the dirt continues to accumulate. Before you start your warmups, always remember to thoroughly wash off all makeup. Double-cleansing is recommended, particularly if you've been sporting a ton of waterproof and budgeproof formulas.

Slather on oil-free sunscreen for outdoor workouts

In case ya didn't know, UV rays from the sun can cause breakouts, too. This is because it dries the skin, which then prompts your body to secrete more oil. Subsequently, the buildup of oil then leads to acne. Ugh. To give your skin the protection it needs, rub on a sunscreen that is higher than 30 SPF but resistant to water and is free from oil. This is especially important now since most of us are restricted to working out in the hot sun.

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Change out of sweaty clothes immediately after

Clothes drenched in sweat are a breeding ground for a type of yeast called malassezia. This yeast thrives in moist conditions, and when it overgrows on your skin, a fungal acne will develop. So, having spare clothes in your bag to change into always comes in handy. The next you wear those used clothes again, be sure to launder them because the oils and dirt will remain trapped and be passed onto you the next time you exercise. If possible, it is even recommended you...

Rinse your face and body promptly

Showering after a good workout washes away any excess oil, sweat or dirt that may have accumulated on your skin. To clean rash-prone skin, consider buying a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide cuts down on acne-causing bacteria which will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy. But since showering in gyms is still prohibited under current measures, it is a good idea to you give your bod a good wipe-down with cleansing wipes instead before heading home to slather up. This includes your intimate area, which is prone to acne growth as well — because no, those tight yoga leggings don't help.


Our pick: The Two L(i)ps Wipeout; cleansing clothes made of biodegradable soft cotton that removes daily dirt and grime without disrupting your skin's natural pH. In short: perfect for keeping the down-under situation rash-free.


Lastly: ensure you're using clean towels to wipe away sweat

We know — sometimes, we forget to wash our old towels, and are prone to grabbing whatever available fabric there is lying about to get rid of the sweat dripping off our faces. But seriously, don't go there. Always make sure that the towel is clean because it might just transfer more dirt onto your face.

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