Why You May Want To Try Resistance Training For More Supple Skin

If you're looking for a new way to improve your skin, consider adding resistance training to your next workout routine. Better Health describes resistance training as "the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles." While it might sound like a strange correlation, a 2023 study published in Scientific Reports has found that people who had exercised regularly, particularly doing strength or resistance training, for 16 weeks saw a major improvement in their skin.

Under the study, exercise scientist at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto Satoshi Fujita claims that people's skin became "more youthful at a cellular level," per the Washington Post. This means that the use of weight training affected the gene expression of the participants in the study as well as improved their skin cells and tissue. The study was small, featuring just 56 women for the experiment. However, the results have proven that strength training may be the best new dupe for expensive skincare.

How resistance training improves your skin

There are multiple reasons that professionals think resistance training helps your skin in the long run. Board-certified dermatologist Edidiong Kaminska, M.D., FAAD, told the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) that the blood flow to the skin during all forms of exercise (not just resistance training) can result in an immediate improvement. "This provides oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells and clears impurities from the skin, creating a post-workout glow," she revealed.

Regarding resistance training, in particular, Satoshi Fujita pointed out in his 2023 study that the skin is affected by internal factors like gene expression and inflammation, which usually changes when exercising. When the women in the study participated in strength training specifically, genes that were known to produce proteins and strengthen tissue were able to work together to increase thickness in the dermal layer of the skin.

The AAD points out that people who work out regularly — whether they're participating in resistance training or otherwise — are also less likely to experience severe skin conditions like eczema, acne, or psoriasis. This is because these skin conditions are normally triggered by stress, which has been known to decrease for people who work out often.

Beware of sweat while resistance training

There is a lot that happens to your body when you work out, including sweating. Sweating is a natural process that helps you release impurities, but too much could be bad for your skin. Dr. Edidiong Kaminska warns that if you believe you sweat a lot, which can happen with resistance training, this can cause you to experience scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. This is because the yeast that's already on your scalp tends to grow in sweaty or moist conditions. People are also endangered of experiencing clogged pores that lead to breakouts when sweat is not treated properly.

To get the best out of your skin, it's best to use accessories during your resistance training that keep the sweat away from you. "Buy a headband made from moisture-wicking fabric. Bondi Band, Nike, and Lululemon make good ones — they're all stretchy, breathable, and designed to keep your head cool and dry," celebrity stylist Philip B told Real Simple. Even outside of avoiding scalp conditions, Dr. Kaminska recommends taking a shower after a weight-lifting session to remove bacteria, dirt, and oil from your body.