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Benefits of Sweating

Benefits of Sweating

Is Sweating a Part Of Your Skin Care Routine? 

There are many reasons to embrace sweating; the lesser known are the immense benefits to your skin. Sweating and skin have a close relationship and how your skin looks and behaves after sweating can also offer insight into your current skin health. We understand that how to care for your skin pre- and post- affects everyone differently, particularly if you have sensitive or symptomatic skin. 

Given that the new year often involves aspirations aligned with fitness goals, let’s consider what this biophysical act offers skin function, then a topical strategy that ensures you can enjoy all the benefits for your healthiest, clearest skin (and body). 

Skin Health x Sweating

What is sweat? Sweat is primarily water, with small amounts of salt and lipids. Sweat glands occur over most of the body, concentrated on the hands, feet, underarms, and forehead, and open directly onto the skin's surface. This natural process of the body regulates temperature (cools down) in response to a stimulus commonly associated with physical activity, heat therapies such as sauna, emotional triggers and stressors, as well as response to external heat. 

How you sweat is unique to you and constantly evolving: how quickly, how much, where, odor, does it feel cleansing/releasing or overstimulating? This biochemical process involves many body systems including detoxification, nervous system regulation, and hormonal balance, as well as influencing our largest organ, the skin.

At Marie Veronique we are committed to total skin health and we see a direct correlation between sweating (via stimulation, movement + exercise, proper circulation) and attaining healthy skin. With proper care, sweating has the potential to offer the skin many benefits such as bringing moisture and nutrients to the surface, opening and clearing pores, and promoting microbial balance. In fact, sweating can produce naturally antimicrobial peptides such as dermcidin, which can minimize the risk of irritation, breakouts, and flare-ups in skin conditions. So whether you tend to avoid sweat for fear of symptoms, or you sweat regularly and want to keep your skin properly hydrated, following a strategic approach is essential.


Topical Approach

You’ve worked up a sweat – now what? From a skin perspective, your priorities are to cleanse, reset and balance pH, and rehydrate. Ideally, if your microbiome and pH are healthy, there will be certain strains of bacteria present on your skin that alter your sweat’s composition to prevent strong odors or potentially lead to skin symptoms. If you do find an increase in breakouts or sensitivity after sweating, instead of blaming your yoga mat or avoiding sweat-inducing activities you love, focus on topicals to foster a healthy barrier layer and balanced microflora.

Step One: Cleanse. Our go-to recommendation for cleansing is our award-winning Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser, which works well for all skin types. If you are using a heavy zinc oxide sunscreen for outdoor exercise, need to remove heavy makeup before a workout, or have symptomatic skin that is prone to breakouts, you can try our Shave Prep + Daily Wash for a more pore refining cleanse. 

Step Two: Balance pH. This is a critical step for resetting pH levels to keep the skin properly acidic which will enhance moisture levels and prep the skin for serums + oils, Balancing HypoTonic. Imperative for all skin types.

Step Three: Rehydrate. Layer on moisture-rich serums and oils, we specifically recommend: Soothing B3 SerumBarrier Restore SerumBarrier Lipid Complex, or Treatment Oil (for breakout-prone skin).  

Face to Chest Hydration Mask: Instantly soothing, this cooling gel mask addresses heat in the skin to counter daily habits that lead to redness, discoloration + flushing. Gentle enough for all skin types, it can be used multiple times a week. After cleansing, apply an even layer over the face and chest. Leave for 10-15 min, rinse and follow with Balancing HypoTonic and your serums/oils. Professional tip: Refrigerate to enhance the cooling effects of the product.

Body Barrier Emulsion: This restorative treatment resolves everyone's main concern – dryness. Soothing for all skin types, this unique emulsion provides essential lipids, humectants + probiotics, similar to what exists on your body to naturally increase ceramide production and strengthen barrier function. Apply to damp skin after rinsing for optimal hydration.

Having the proper strategy and supportive products is important, as well as when to follow your regimen based on your daily habits. 

AM Sweat: Skip your full regimen before your workout or sauna. If you are exercising outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen first. Afterwards, follow your full AM regimen. In this case, we do suggest using your cleanser in the AM to fully remove your SPF + sweat so you can start the day with fresh, comfortable skin. 

Midday Sweat: If you are sweating midday, chances are you’ve already applied your AM regimen. If this is the case there should be no reason to cleanse your skin before your workout. Afterward, we suggest following your shower with a cleanse + your AM regimen. If you do not get very sweaty, then we suggest a quick refresh by swiping Balancing HypoTonic over the face and then reapplying your oil + SPF. 

PM Sweat: As with midday workouts, there is no need to cleanse prior to exercising in the evening. We suggest implementing your PM routine as you normally would after you’re done.

For breakout concerns, try this strategic post-sweat regimen:
Shave Prep + Daily Wash, Balancing HypoTonic, followed by Barrier Restore Serum and Treatment Oil


Summing Up 

Our Director of Skin Health Kristina Holey, "I find that the more I sweat each week, the healthier my skin looks and feels. Find what works best for you and stick to it. Even just shifting my focus from ‘I need to exercise 3x this week’ to ‘I’m going to sweat 3x this week’ has felt more inspiring and enjoyable, which means I’m also more likely to do it". We hope this helps clarify, motivate, and offer topical strategy for all your sweat-inducing movement goals in the new year.