Friday, January 15, 2010

Acne and Exercise

Working out at the gym may tone your muscles and cause the ladies and gents to swoon over your chiseled physique. But when they get a closer look and realize you're covered with acne, your six-pack abs can't save you.

Skin, the body's most visible and largest organ, can be riddles with acne problems after a workout. During exercise, your oil producing sebacious glands are also hard a t work thanks to a raised heart rate. Oils and water that is lost from sweat can cause extra oil and dehydrated skin. The perfect breading ground for acne.

Cleanse, don't damage your skin after a workout.

Product that exfoliate dead skin cells and contain alpha hydroxy acids, derived from willow bark, should only be used after a workout, not before.

Using this product can cause skin to be irritated, more so if you have sensitive skin.

Sweating is good for you! Besides a natural cooling system for the body, it also rids your body of toxins. But you don't want these staying on your skin. Always cleanse within thirty minutes of post workout.

While at the gym, give your showroom physique a break and show off your clear, healthy skin. You might get more attention than you think.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Misinformed information about athletic skin care

It astonishes me how many persons are misinformed about proper skin care products for fitness/athletic lifestyles.

As I read forums, Yahoo Answers and even creditable magazines, I am amazed at the product recommendations made. Some of these are innocent opinions of people, who are entitled to share their opinion, but usually add that the product is okay, or are not that happy with their skin. Some are even doctors, who don't lead athletic lifestyles.

Most persons are just down right confused about what is the best cleanser for after a workout or before a workout. A moisturizer for an athletic lifestyle. When one works up a sweat via a raised heart rate from a 3-4 mile run or one hour of weight lifting, those oil producing sebacious glands are in over drive.

The avid exerciser also produces more dead skin cells which is akin to saran wrap, a translucent coating on the skin invisible by human eye, not removed correctly and frequently can lead to skin dullness, acne and dryness. Exfoliate? Sure, it was suggested an apricot scrub is great. Apricot seeds are known to abrade delicate skin tissue, even when not used frequently. But, hey, its only about 6 bucks for a big jar of it. Invest in your skin. Its the most visible and largest organ of your body.

Let me start with cleansers. A staple to a sweaty post workout cleanse. Most of the suggested cleansers for after a workout are mass produced brands that any person can use, including sedentary lifestyles. Currently, I noticed a drug store brand that simply added the word "sport" after the word cleanser. It lists a brief amount of ingredients, mostly synthetic and chemicals with parabens. None of these ingredients work as astringents to kill off the bacteria found in sweat thus leading to acne or any natural emollients to keep adequate moisture levels in the skin from excessive water loss from sweating and sodium, which can be drying to the skin.

But, the general consumer will purchase the product because its only five or eight bucks and the packaging and graphics are appealing to the eye. In the long run, its expensive to buy cheap.

Most of these cleansers contain a higher amount of water than active ingredients so the supply lasts a very little time, before you know it, you are running back to the drug store to buy more. Also, although they make strong claims as "deep pore cleansing" and "keeps your skin worry free from working out", the formula of ingredients don't come even close to achieving these claims.

Then we have the brands the department stores carry. You see, there is no such thing as "department store brands". Another misleading statement to the consumer who thinks if they are purchasing skin care products at a fancy department store with a high price tag they are doing their athletic skin a good thing. Not so.

These brands rent space from the department store. And they pay big bucks to do so, which in the end the consumer actually pays for and for the fancy corrugated packaging and sophisticated glass jars and bottles. Ask the person behind the counter what she/he would recommend for acne induced by exercise, and for certain, they will recommend a general cleanser for acne; period. And a moisturizer for oily skin. Sorry, won't do the job. They may even tell you how great it cleared up their skin when they don't break a sweat from exercise 4-5 times a week.

Maybe I'm too honest, which is why I will never be a millionaire. And that's okay with me. Because ethics and a great conscious is priceless.

With a fitness lifestyle, do you have special skin care needs? Yes. You also need to think of your skin care "regimen" as importantly as you do your workout regimen.

After reading my articles, I'd love to hear your opinion about products for the fitness lifestyle. And when someone recommends a cleanser for after a workout or body creme after showering up to 3 times a day-do your homework.

Use a skin care line specially formulated for the athletic one and you'll experience and learn the difference. Stick with an easy skin care regimen too. But, easy does not mean just wiping sweat off your face with a towelette. Another "worst" thing one can do to their skin after a workout.