pre workout acne

What’s workout acne, and how can it be prevented?

Extract: There are dermatological products specially designed to prevent skin issues in athletes. 

Exercise has numerous benefits for the body and mind. However, it can also have unexpected side effects, such as sweat-induced acne, which affects a considerable segment of the population engaged in physical activities.

What really causes this condition? Is it preventable? In this article, we will explore the origins of this skin issue and share some recommendations for skincare for athletes that can help prevent such problems.

What is exercise-induced acne?

Acne is a skin condition characterized by the presence of comedones (blackheads), papules (red bumps), and pustules (pus-filled pimples) caused by the blockage of hair follicles.

Exercise-induced acne is a skin condition that manifests as breakouts in specific areas of the body during or after physical activity. Commonly affected areas include the back, shoulders, chest, forehead, or parts of the body more exposed to sweat and friction.

This type of acne is characterized by pore blockage due to sweat, friction from sports clothing, increased sebum production, and even hormonal changes, as explained in the following subtitle.

Factors causing exercise-induced acne

  • Sweat: While necessary for regulating body temperature during exercise, when mixed with dead skin cells and accumulated in pores, it can lead to the formation of pimples and acne.
  • Friction from sports clothing: Especially if tight-fitting and made from inappropriate materials that, when in contact with the skin, can cause irritation, promoting the formation of comedones, a symptom of acne.
  • Increased sebum production: Physical activity keeps sebaceous glands more active. With increased sebum production, it mixes with sweat and dead skin cells, causing hair follicle blockage.
  • Hormonal changes: Exercise can induce hormonal changes that may worsen acne.

How to prevent exercise-induced acne?

Here are some recommendations to avoid skin problems due to exercise:

Cleanse immediately after exercise

Sweat and dirt can clog pores, creating a favorable environment for bacteria growth. Wash your face and body immediately after exercising, using mild products that won’t irritate or dry out the skin. Pay special attention to cleaning areas exposed to sweat and friction, but avoid rubbing the skin forcefully.

Use an anti-acne body wash

These are designed to eliminate salt residues, dirt, oil, and dead skin that can block follicles and initiate acne formation. The acne body wash contains active ingredients like salicylic acid and menthol to deeply cleanse the skin, reduce inflammation and redness, and keep the skin healthy and smooth.

Choose appropriate sportswear

Sportswear should be breathable and not too tight to allow sweat to evaporate easily and prevent chafing that can cause comedone formation.

Use anti-friction products

These products, like bars formulated with skin-protecting ingredients, can be applied to areas prone to friction before exercise. They don’t clog pores and can be reapplied as needed.

Maintain proper hydration

Adequate hydration is crucial to balance sebum production and reduce the likelihood of pore blockage. It also helps prevent dryness, making the skin less vulnerable to irritation and more significant injuries.

Select suitable dermatological products

Consulting a dermatologist to choose products tailored to specific needs can provide advantages. Specialized products for athletes are highly recommended as they are designed for this purpose.

Importance of prevention and continuous care

Remember that preventing exercise-induced acne is not just about addressing symptoms when they appear but adopting practices of continuous care. Active individuals should be aware of their skin’s needs and take preventive measures to keep it healthy.

The combination of proper hygiene, careful choice of sportswear, and the use of specialized products can make a difference in controlling exercise-induced acne.


Exercise-induced acne should not be a hindrance for those seeking to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. With a solid understanding of underlying causes and the implementation of preventive measures, it is possible to minimize the effects of sweat-induced acne.

The key lies in adopting proper skincare habits and being proactive in prevention. By doing so, athletes can enjoy the physical and mental benefits without worrying about unwanted consequences for their skin.

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