Are There Actual Skincare Benefits Associated With Sweating?

Most people would agree that unless you're into sports, sweat isn't a good look. It adds a level of grit and intensity that isn't always what you want to show. Sweat doesn't always smell the greatest, either. However, as you may have learned from an early age, sweat is your body's way of maintaining its interior thermostat by cooling it down. This function is crucial — even life-saving — so that you don't overheat and develop heat stroke, Healthline says. This explains why people in warm climates are told to stay hydrated and replace the fluids they naturally lose through sweating.


As natural and necessary as sweating is, one myth continues to shroud the virtues of sweating. Contrary to what some people believe, sweating does not flush the body of toxins — your body already does a stand-up job at this through the liver, kidneys, and digestion.

However, myths work both ways, and some are actually true. They're related to the actual benefits that the skin can derive once it comes into contact with a little sweat.

Sweating actually benefits skin

You may not care for the look, but there's no doubt that sweat can give your skin a glow that exudes good health, Piedmont Healthcare explains. Say what you will about beads of sweat, but they're often associated with life and vitality. They stand as proof of someone's heart beating — and beating fast. Sweat also produces a few chain reactions that are good for the skin. For one, sweat can produce dermcidin, a protein that can kill bacteria and keep blemishes, acne, and skin infections in check. Sweat can also function as an exfoliant, removing dead or dying skin cells. Exfoliating pays other dividends, too, like helping to block breakouts and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Removing a dull or dead layer of skin can also help skincare products work their magic.


In this way, sweating plays an indirect role in what's widely known as the "anti-aging" process (or do you call it the "youthful aging" process?). In other words, when you sweat from exercise, your skin produces collagen, which strengthens and supports the skin while improving its elasticity.

Wash sweat away without delay

It's a lot easier to think of the negatives associated with sweating, so it may help to remember that skincare benefits even exist. You may not experience all of these negative consequences, but it's probably inevitable that a few might flow your way. For example, it's possible that sweating may lead to clogged pores and breakouts, just like dry and irritated skin. 


The good news is that you can mitigate these outcomes by washing your face before you sweat — say, before an exercise session. Washing away surface dirt and any cosmetic residue will reduce the buildup on your skin. Then, after you exercise, wash your face with a gentle cleanser to get your face sparkling clean. Apply a light moisturizer to feel fully refreshed. Don't let the sweat and impurities sit on your face any longer than necessary. Heat and sweat can form a strong combination — and a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. 

Wearing the proper clothes — fabrics that breathe instead of trapping moisture — can make a difference, too. Staying hydrated before, during, and after a good sweat is essential as well. These steps will "show up" on your face, and that can be a good look.