How to Banish Post-Workout Acne For Good

Some workout side effects are welcome, like increased strength and better endurance. But, others we don't love — specifically, acne. And, the biggest acne-causing offenders are items you don’t want to go without, like exercise machines, your headphones, towel, and sports bra. Here’s how to prevent a breakout after you've worked up a sweat.

Skin Prep
While the should-you-wear-makeup-to-work-out debate is alive and well, it’s actually more important to wash your skin after than before working out because — even if you're diligent with your makeup-removing wipes — oils, bacteria, and sweat will accumulate on the skin. Still, if you're wearing a heavy foundation & you have time to spare, it’s good to wash your skin with a mild, non-drying cleanser, followed by an alcohol-free toner, and lightweight, oil-free lotion before hitting the gym. 


I usually use Sloane Inc's full face makeup remover to wipe off all my makeup, before proceeding to cleanse my face with a mild, cleansing gel.  I use Sloane Inc's gentle cleansing gel as this pH-balanced ultra-gentle cleanser is made from only pure, non-irritating ingredients so skin is conditioned, balanced and calmed with continued use.

I follow up with a lightweight moisturizer. One big complaint many have is that moisturzers out there are too oily for their skin, especially in sunny Singapore, clogging their pores, leaving them shiny by mid day. Sloane Inc’s latest moisturizer was created with this in mind – to allow people with oily and combination skins reap the best benefits from moisturizing their skin. Sloane Inc Aqualicious S8.8 uses pure, encapsulated water to bring hydration where it is supposed to be: into the cells, without using any ingredients which may cause oiliness or shine. Specially formulated to replenish intra-cellular water, it is instantly absorbed, restoring balance to the skin surface and regulating dry and oily areas in the skin.

If you are exposed to daylight or sunlight during exercise, then use a moisturizer with sunscreen and dust on an SPF-infused mineral powder which can provide a bit of coverage in addition to protection from damaging UV rays. Sloane Inc's Ultralite sunscreen is a super lightweight formula that forms a breathable shield to safeguard vulnerable complexions from both burn-causing beams and wrinkle-inducing rays with a multi-filter sunscreen complex, while natural botanicals and potent plant-extracts smooth, brighten and help skin resist sun-related stress. In short, it keeps skin looking stunning.

Hands Off
Surely this isn't a surprise, but machines at the gym house many harmful bacteria, so it's best to keep your hands off of your skin (and out of your mouth). You don’t want to introduce bacteria that can possibly result in new breakouts, or the spreading of existing breakouts. Always wash your hands before and after working out — and, if you can, when switching machines.

Headband and Bandana Enthusiasts, Beware!
Headbands, hats, or bandanas across the forehead are not recommended as they can cause a backup of oil and perspiration in the pores. This results in those pesky, clogged bumps or breakouts. If your skin is not prone to breakouts (lucky!), this may not be an issue for you. but if you find yourself with clogged pores and absolutely can't live without a headband or bandana, push it further back in your hairline.

Skin-friendly gear
Sportswear brands have gone way beyond fabrics that make us perform, move and look better - companies, including Lululemon, are now producing clothing lines woven with antibacterial agents to keep our skin sweat-free.

Shower immediately after exercising
Never leave sweat-soaked clothing on the skin surface. Sweat, exercise, tight-fitting clothing, non-breathable fabrics and other forms of surface occlusion (like a backpack) are some of the main causes of bacne. Use a pH balancing body wash, salicylic acid/benzoyl peroxide cleanser or a sulfur-based soap to remove excess oils, debris and bacteria from the skin surface before they clog pores and cause acne breakouts.

For more persistent acne, consider going for a spa treatment. The Sloane Spa's backless facial targets an oft neglected part of our body with facial quality products and a clinical grade microdermabrasion therapy using pure skin polishing crystals. Excellent for clearing out acne prone or rough back skin. 


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.