The Bodybuilder’s Guide to Clear and Healthy Skin

Posted on April 7th, 2018 at 1:22 am by


Bodybuilding is great for your body but bad for your skin.  Acne is a common problem among weightlifters and the tanning products and makeup used in competition can also wreak havoc on your skin.  Don’t fret though; we’ve put together a quick guide to getting and keeping your skin clear and healthy.

Why are Bodybuilders Prone to Acne?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because of testosterone.  Although there have been no definitive connections made yet, initial studies have shown a definite link between acne and diet; especially the protein shakes that bodybuilders favor.  The culprit is whey protein.  It raises insulin levels and that in turn increases sebum production, which can clog pores and lead to acne.  Eliminating it can help, but the problem is that there is no nutritionally equal replacement available yet.

Step Away from The Tanning Bed 

While a deep dark tan is a necessity for competition, you shouldn’t head to the tanning bed to get one.  It’s a common misconception that tanning can reduce or prevent acne.  Instead, it dries out your skin and can make the irritation worse.  There’s also the high risk of skin cancer to consider.  However, the good news is, there is an alternative option – spray tanningWhen you get a spray tan, chose one with soothing, natural ingredients.  Be sure to exfoliate thoroughly first for best results.

Sweat is Good

While you may think sweating is terrible for your skin, it’s actually good for it.  It opens pores and flushes out toxins, which is beneficial for both your skin and hair.  So, work up a good one every time you hit the gym, but remember to stay hydrated.  Dehydration can do a real number on your skin, making it look dry, dull and even increasing the appearance of wrinkles. Making sure you drink plenty of water is one of the best ways to ensure healthy, glowing skin.

Treating Acne

If you do develop acne, there are things you can do to help shorten the duration of a breakout.  Wash affected areas several times a day with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil and use a treatment that includes benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in its ingredients.  Start with the lowest concentration to avoid the drying side effects and move up if you don’t see results.  Don’t ever pop or pick at pimples and avoid exfoliating.  Popping and picking at pimples can lead to permanent scarring.

The best treatment for acne is prevention.  If you break out and have been drinking whey protein shakes, drop them from your diet for a while and see what happens.  If the breakout goes away quickly you know, it’s probably a factor.  Consider switching to a plant-based protein powder instead.  You should also make sure to keep your skin clean and moisturized and avoid heavy makeup.  Staying out of the sun and eating a healthy, balanced diet will also go a long way toward your skin’s health and beauty.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

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