I never thought I'd have to choose between running and clear skin, but the time has come. And I refuse to choose. Since I've been running, I've had a major onset of adult acne. Not sexy. I'm convinced that the profuse sweating is the culprit. Most of the acne is on my forehead, t-zone, chest and back.
But let's not speculate. About.com gives a more scientific explanation of where the acne is coming from. "Acne usually begins with blackheads Blackheads are not dirt, they're actually the result of oil and dead cells getting trapped in a pore where they block the duct and mix with bacteria. They then turn black when exposed to air. Red pimples develop when blackheads become inflamed and they spread when touched with dirty hands. When the pimple becomes infected, it develops a whitehead or pustule. These can break and cause scars. "
As we all know, acne can be a bit of a challenge, but I've found a few things that work pretty well.
First, you should wash your face when you wake up, directly after you workout and before you go to bed. Try not to wash your face more than three times a day because your skin will become dry. It needs all the natural oils it can get. Also, remember to wipe off any excess sweat from your body and if possible change clothes. I have a bad habit of running errands after I run, stinky and all. When you run or exercise, toxins and salt rise to the surface of your skin through your pores. If you don't rinse off immediately, all that gunk clogs your pores, hence acne.
There's are three essentials you need to keep your skin healthy and glowing. They are 1.) a good cleanser , 2.) a toner, 3.) moisturizer.
If there seem to be too many choices in choosing a cleanser, you're right. What's most important is to choose a cleanser that isn't too soapy because it will dry out the natural oils of your skin. I use Olay's "Deep Cleansing Face Wash" ($7).
Origins has a GREAT facial care line that I've used since I've had a job to be able to pay for it. I have combination skin, meaning sometimes spots tend to be oilier or drier than others. I use their "United State"balancing tonic ($19.50). The tonic (or toner) removes soap residue, tightens skin and removes excess dirt you may have missed. Each tonic is different so find which is best for your skin combination.
Last, but not least, is the moisturizer. I use Origins' "A Perfect World" ($36). If the orange, bergamot and spearmint scent doesn't tickle your fancy, the way it glides onto your skin will. I love that it is light and fragrant. I can go barefaced or easily apply makeup.
There are a few other products I recommend:
LUSH "Angels on Bare Skin" cleanser ($9.95): All natural and the name says it all
LUSH "Eau Roma Water Toner" ($17.45): Almost as good as the fire hydrant on a hot summer day in Tennessee
Origins "Out of Trouble" mask ($21): A Godsend
Origins "Spot Remover" acne fighter ($12): Perfect for nuking the zit that just won't go away
Origins "Modern Friction" scrub ($37): Say bye-bye to dead skin and everything else that lies beneath