Can Working Out Cause Acne – 8 Tips To Stop Acne

can working out cause acne
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Introduction- Can Working Out Cause Acne 

Working out can provide many benefits to your skin like increased blood flow which can help in nourishing skin cells. It can also help in reducing stress levels. The vast majority of people will get acne at some point in their life, whether it be in early high school or later in their adult years.

Acne is a common skin problem caused by many reasons including stress, hormones, bacteria, oil, genetics, etc. However, working out can result in excessive sweating, and the buildup of dirt, and oil which creates the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive on your skin. Thus, causing acne.

So, does that mean you have to stop working out? No, you don’t have to stop working out to see better and clearer skin. It is important that you maintain good hygiene while working out in order to prevent and stop the spreading of acne breakouts.

This article will look at some tips to prevent and stop acne from occurring.

8 tips to prevent and stop acne caused by working out

Acne is a common skin condition caused by blockage of sebaceous glands and bacterial infection. Treatment should be tailored to the individual and their acne severity, with topical agents for mild acne, oral antibiotics for moderate acne, and isotretinoin for severe acne. Early treatment can reduce scarring and psychological effects [1].

Here are 8 tips to prevent and stop acne caused by working out.

1. Remove your makeup and wash your face before your workout.

Washing your face before a workout is vital to remove the dirt, sweat, and oil which is already present on your face. As makeup can also clog your pores and get trapped which can cause acne. So, it’s important to remove your makeup before your workout.

Working out can cause an increase in blood flow to your skin which causes your pores to open. Dirt, sweat, oil, and makeup can get trapped in the open pores which can block the pores causing acne breakouts over time.

You can also use oil-free makeup remover towelette if you can’t wash your face to remove makeup and sweat.

So, make sure to wash and clean your face before your workout if you want to prevent and stop acne.

2. Wear cleaner and looser clothing

It’s important to wear clean and washed clothes as dirt, bacteria, and oil are present on unwashed clothes that block your pores causing acne.

Try wearing looser and moisture-wicking clothes as it allows more air to pass through the clothes causing less sweat.

On the other hand, wearing tight clothes while working out can cause increased sweating and friction from tight clothes which can cause clogging of pores and breakouts leading to acne.

3. Clean down your workout equipment.

Clean and wipe down any shared equipment that touches your skin before you use it.

There might be oil, sweat, dirt, and bacteria present on the equipment as it is used by many people frequently.

It is also recommended to wipe any accessories you wear that touch your skin. If you wear headphones make sure to wear your own and keep them clean.

4. Do not touch your face with your hands

Avoid touching your face with your hands during a workout. The bacteria, dirt, oil, and sweat present on the equipment might get transferred to your face if you keep touching it. 

Do not touch your face with your hands as it can cause clogged pores and breakouts.

5. Use a clean towel to wipe out sweat during a workout

It’s important to wipe out the sweat or it can block your pores causing acne.

If you wipe out sweat during a workout, make sure you use a clean towel. Do not rub as it might cause irritation.

Use a clean towel for every new workout. We recommend you take your clean towel with you whenever you go to the gym and not share it.

Also Read: Best time to workout for weight loss

6. Shower after working out

It is recommended to take a shower after a workout. So, that all the sweat, oil, dirt, bacteria, etc. can be removed easily.  If you cannot take a shower, you may wash your face in a sink and use a skin-friendly, oil-free, and mild cleanser to clean your face.

You may also want to use cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as they are proven to help with acne.

Salicylic acid can help in unclogging the blocked pores. While Benzoyl peroxide can prevent and kill acne-causing bacteria underneath the skin.

So, it’s important to take a shower or at least wash your face to prevent and stop acne outbreaks.

7. Change your sweaty clothes and wash them

Always change and wash your clothes after working out as they are full of sweat, oil, dirt, and bacteria, and do not stay in your workout clothes as they might cause infection and acne breakouts.

Also make sure to clean up the accessories like hats, helmets, etc. you wore while working out.

Do not wear or repeat your workout clothes if they are not washed.

8. Reach out to a dermatologist if you’re still struggling with acne

If the measures don’t help and you continue to struggle with acne and your acne is spreading fast you should reach out to a certified dermatologist.

A dermatologist will be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe you the medications and treatment for your acne.

They can also help you with blackheads and scars resulting from acne.

Conclusion- Can Working Out Cause Acne

We hope you enjoyed our blog post about how working out can cause acne.

Working out has many benefits for your skin and your overall health but in some cases, it can be the reason for acne breakouts.

Acne is a common problem that many people struggle with. Usually, the main reason for acne breakouts is stress, hormones, bacteria, oil, and genetics.

There are some ways you can prevent and stop acne caused by working out stated above. If you continue to struggle with acne for a long time you should reach out to a certified dermatologist for further medication and treatment.


  1. Ryosuke O, Yoshie S, Hiromi A. The association between activity levels and skin moisturising function in adults. Dermatol Reports. 2021 Mar 17;13(1):8811. doi: 10.4081/dr.2021.8811. PMID: 33824705; PMCID: PMC8018252.

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