But hopefully you can find some extra motivation for working out with this fun fact: Regular exercise can actually make you more beautiful — and not just because your bod gets all tight and toned. Hitting your spin, yoga, or [insert your favorite] class actually has major skin benefits, according to Cecilia Wong, founder and facialist at Cecilia Wong Skincare in New York City and Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. Below are six things to remember that will encourage you to lace up those sneakers.
Healthy circulation: Getting a regular sweat on actually keeps your skin healthy and vibrant by producing natural oils. But be sure to shower right after each workout to avoid sweat-induced breakouts — you don’t want perspiration sitting on your skin for long periods of time.
Increased blood flow: For someone who has acne, rosacea or psoriasis, exercise increases blood flow, which means more oxygen and nutrients are carried to the skin. For normal skin types, the increased blood flows nourishes skin cells, keeping them vital.
Reduced stress: By decreasing stress, some skin conditions like acne and eczema that can be exacerbated by it show improvement. Some studies have linked the oil-producing sebaceous glands with the stress hormone, so less stress could quite literally mean less skin problems. Those with eczema or psoriasis, however, should apply moisturizer before working out as the salt in sweat can cause flare-ups — a little lotion can provide a good barrier.
Toned muscles: The more toned your muscles are beneath the skin, the healthier your skin will look and feel.
Excreted toxins from sweating: This is a great way to detox toxins and free radicals from the skin that may clog pores. While a sweat-induced detox isn’t the same as the kind your liver does, of course, increased circulation and blood flow does help flush cellular debris out of your body, thus creating a detoxing effect.
Beauty sleep: Studies have shown that working out helps you sleep better — as in, it helps you fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly — so you don’t end up with dark circles under your eyes.
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