When people get into CrossFit, they get into CrossFit. And it makes sense. It’s high-intensity exercise coupled with comradery, people pushing into fitness realms they wouldn’t be able to attain on their lonesome.
There’s something special about people coming together to kick ass as one big sweaty unit. The physical and mental benefits are legion, and that’s why there are so many CrossFit devotees. But all that sweaty sweat comes with a bigtime skin-related drawback that can put a damper on things: We’re talking about acne all over your face and frame.
Not great, Bob. But those breakouts can indeed be avoided. You just gotta know what you’re doing. So snag the right acne-thwarting charcoal body wash and let’s get serious about keeping your skin looking good while CrossFit transforms your frame.
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Stop the Zits with Workout Prep
The best way to prevent CrossFit-related blooms in acne is to do something about it on the front end. This doesn’t require a lot of effort — no Burpee Box Jumps required — and it can go a long way toward fully nixing the problem at hand.
Step one: Hook it up with some charcoal face wash. This is especially critical in the off-chance that you’re wearing makeup or happened to have applied an oily sunscreen or moisturizer earlier in the day. It’s just important to clear the surface so all the sweat that’s about to come pouring out doesn’t have potentially pore-clogging gunk to team up with.
But if your CrossFit workout is indeed going down outside, be sure to apply non-comedogenic sunscreen to your face. Too much sun leads to dry skin, which leads to breakouts.
Step two: Consider your attire. This is especially important if you’re prone to body acne. It’s important that you work out in clean garb. You can’t just keep going back to the same nasty gear in your gym bag. It quickly accrues bacteria, and bacteria is fuel for acne outbreaks.
Now if you’re always rocking clean stuff but still suffer from body acne, that’s probably because your gear is too tight. Sensitive skin and tight, sweaty gym clothes are a recipe for a type of breakout called acne mechanica, which happens when friction, sweat and bacteria get together.
We understand that you wanna show off that tight bod, but looser fitting garb might be better for your skin.
Keeping It Clean While You Sweat
These days, there are hand-sanitizing stations and disinfectant sprays all over the place in most gyms. That’s because gyms can be pretty nasty places — we’re talking bacteria galore. So, please, disinfect your hands and do your best to clean gear when you’re done with it. That gym funk can indeed lead to acne.
No matter how careful you are in there, though, your hands and clothes are going to be collecting bacteria. Don’t let that gross you out too much. But do let it serve as a reminder to pay attention to what your hands are up to. For whatever reason, we have a tendency to unconsciously touch our faces, a practice that can definitely leave your poor mug riddled with acne.
So try your best to be mindful of what you’re doing with those hands of yours, especially when you’re sweating with your CrossFit crew.
Nix the Funk After Your Workout
Now your grueling workout is done and you’re riding high on endorphins. Perhaps you just want to chill for a bit and bask in how hard you were able to push yourself. We’re not gonna tell you not to do that, but we will plead with you to get out of those nasty clothes and clean your frame while you review all those burpees you just willed yourself to burp.
That high-intensity workout you just wrapped up has almost certainly left the surface of your skin a bit chafed and irritated. That makes your skin more vulnerable. The state of your skin paired with all that sweat and bacteria creates a tremendous environment for acne to flourish.
So get out of those sweaty clothes right away and transfer that well-exercised frame to the shower. While you’re in there, you should be using a body wash replete with salicylic acid (like the one we mentioned before) and you should be applying it with an antimicrobial silicone body scrubber, not a loofah (Why not a loofah? Because never a loofah).
Back to That Main Question
So is CrossFit responsible for those breakouts all over your face and frame? In a word, no.
But it’s absolutely true that if you’re working out like a maniac while simultaneously slacking on your skincare routine and wearing the same bacteria-laden gear over and over, you’ll be in store for way more breakouts than normal.
And who’s responsible for that? In a word, you.
Also Read: A Guide on Buying the Best Skincare Products