How Sweat Affects Your Skin

Whether you are walking the dog, running a marathon, or just stepping outside to grab the mail, we can all agree on one thing – it’s hot in the summer! When the weather warms up, our skin inevitably starts to sweat. While that can make it hard to wear your favorite makeup looks, there’s something else to consider – how it affects your skin. While you’re begging your makeup brushes to help you cover up the flushed cheeks from the heat, your skin could be dealing with some good and bad effects. Here’s what you need to know.


Sweating Does Have Good Benefits for Your Skin, Sometimes

Dermatologists say that sweating has both good and bad effects on the skin. Let’s start with the good news. Sweating can help the skin in several ways:

  • It can be a good moisturizer as you work out, helping prevent your skin from getting dry due to evaporation.
  • It can help cleanse the pores of any excess oils that are being produced when you are working out.
  • It helps keep you cool! The whole reason we sweat is to release heat from the body so we don’t overheat.
  • It can help kill bacteria. If that gym equipment looks shadier than the dirty makeup brushes you haven’t cleaned in forever, your sweat could be helping you stay healthy.


Sweating Can Also Cause a Few Skin Problems

All that being said, you don’t want to just embrace the sweat non-stop. There are some ways that it can harm your skin. For example:

  • Sweat that sticks around too long can cause your skin to become irritated, especially in the folds (like under the arms). This leads to chafed skin that doesn’t feel or look great.
  • Sweat glands can become clogged, which causes an irritation called “prickly heat”.
  • Sweat can make your sunscreen less effective, which leaves you open to damage from UV rays.
  • It can be stinky! The longer sweat sticks around, the more bacteria can build up, which is what causes that odor.
  • It can lead to breakouts. As sweat runs down your face, it could be dragging bacteria or skin oils over your pores, which may lead to clogging.
  • It can wash away your makeup. There’s nothing worse than spending some serious quality time with your makeup brushes in front of the mirror that day, only to find that your look is gone by lunch because of the heat.


What Should You Do?

The best way to get the benefits from sweating, and to avoid the negative impact, is to make sure that you have a clean face when you are exercising. Sweat won’t be able to drag around makeup and oils, clogging up your pores. Don’t let sweat linger on your body – wipe your face and body regularly if it’s extremely hot. These steps can keep you feeling, smelling, and looking fresh all summer!