Remember how those fluctuating hormone levels had the power to ruin many of our plans at school? We all hope never to see those awful acne breakouts we suffered during our teens again. However, the human skin has a mind of its own, a mind that does not react well to stress. “You can find your skin breaking out as a response to pressure and anger. This happens when your body releases stress hormones, including cortisol, from the adrenal glands,” dermatologist Dr Mohammed Dawi says. "The cortisol hormone activates glands in the hair follicles to produce sebum that can block the hair follicle, causing inflammation and acne.”
Doing some sports is one of the best ways to fight stress. Just sweat it out, release all that anger and focus on the sport itself. Working out lowers cortisol levels in the body, which helps to reduce the stress levels. What’s more, exercising and sweating hard can help remove toxins that lie just under the skin’s surface, resulting in cleaner and healthier skin, according to Dawi. “It’s like going to the sauna and sweating the toxins out. So sports will help your skin as well as your figure,” he says.
Skin easily attracts germs and toxins from dirty surfaces and polluted air. While you are flushing those toxins out of the skin during exercise, all the sweating also removes layers of lotion and deodorant on the skin, Dawi explains. “When you sweat, the perspiration separates dirt and toxins from the skin. Therefore, when you shower after a workout, it is easy to remove those without having to scrub hard,” the dermatologist says.
The added bonus of a flushed skin and a beautiful glow after working out is credited to the blood and oxygen moving around in the skin. “Natural skin oils are produced when you exercise, which helps the skin look healthy and young. You could say those natural oils are like moisturisers to the skin,” the doctor said.
Additionally, when you exercise, your veins and lungs are distributing blood and oxygen to your muscles and skin, which helps improve collagen production, according to Dawi. “Collagen keeps the skin smooth and plumped,” Dawi adds.
However, women should not wear make-up while working out. Cosmetics can easily clog pores, which makes it hard to sweat out the toxins, Dawi advises. “Make sure you wash your face and prepare it for the best beauty regime I could ever recommend. Also make sure to eat healthy and drink a lot of water,” he says.
Dawi also suggests getting active outdoors whenever possible as exposureto the sun means getting a fill of Vitamin D, a vitamin that helps maintain strong bones. In turn, this will have a positive effect on the immune system. “It is like a positive circle that goes on and on. Being active will help you choose healthy, fresh food instead of bad comfort food. Unhealthy, fattening foodstuffs have a detrimental effect on your skin,” he says.
2 Top Tips
-Working with weights strengthens and tones your muscles. Theses toned muscles under your skin make your skin look healthier and feel improved. What’s more, the firmer muscles can provide support to your skin and minimise the appearance of cellulite.
-Stretching can also help improve the skin by minimising the emergence of cellulite by freeing the tension in muscles and improving tone.
For Indoor Sports
In air conditioned environments, your skin could benefit from applying a light water based moisturiser. Yet in humid environments, there is no need to use any additional moisturiser, the humidity will help to hold moisture within the skin and reduce the drying effect of perspiration.
For Outdoor Sports
Whatever your activity, use an SPF (strength depending on season) to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.