Is Sweat Bad for your Skin?
Sweating, we all do it, but what does it do to our skin? We all know that sweating, in general, is a good thing. It usually means that we are exercising, getting that blood and oxygen flowing throughout the body, but there’s actually a whole side of skincare-related benefits to sweating that many don’t know about!
Sweat itself is a salty mix of water, minerals and microscopic toxins found within and below the first few layers of skin. Although we often see sweat as an unfavoured bodily secretion, it’s actually our body’s version of an air-conditioning system. When sweat evaporates off of the skin’s surface, our body is cooled down and is less likely to overheat. So how does that help the skin?
Well, sweating dilates our blood vessels. You’re probably wondering why that’s important, and that is because on increase in blood circulation at the surface of the skin helps our skin’s appearance! Blood flow to the skin makes for a lively and rejuvenated look to the skin. Believe it or not, the blood vessel dilation (or vasodilation) that comes along with sweating frequently, can in the long run actually have anti-aging effects on your skin.
Not only that, but one of the most well-known and talked about benefits of sweating, is detoxification. While sweat is physically excreted from your pores, many of the hard-to-reach toxins in the deeper layers of your skin are actually being flushed out with the sweat. Sweat de-gunks your pores from within, which is something that no average skin cleanser is capable of doing. In that same de-gunking process, sweat softens stubborn dead skin cells and makes them more easily removable in the exfoliating process. Even though sweat brings inner-toxins onto the surface of your skin, don’t be so quick to rinse it off.
Leaving sweat on the skin for a little while (instead of the usual rushing to wash it off) can actually help strengthen the microbial threshold of the skin (also known by dermatologists as the skin’s microbiome). Strengthening the skin’s microbiome makes it much more resistant to environmental pollutants, and make its outer layer a lot harder to contaminate. Sweat contains a peptide called dermcidin, which is antimicrobial and acts as a natural antibiotic, in order for the skin to avoid irritation and infection.
It’s about time we give sweat some more credit! Dealing with the discomforts of this natural bodily function is only a small price to pay when it comes to the benefits that it brings our body and skin. It protects, rejuvenates, and detoxifies our skin, all to leave it healthy and glowing. So next time you break a sweat, don’t fret! Embrace it and let your body and skin absorb its benefits!