How Your Hot Yoga Practice Can Affect Your Skin

September 20, 2016
Jessie Quinn
By: Jessie Quinn | by L'Oréal
How Your Hot Yoga Practice Can Affect Your Skin

September is National Yoga Month and what better way to celebrate than to learn how to care for your skin post-hot yoga sweat sesh? We sat down with one of consulting dermatologists to learn more about how those steamy yoga sessions may be affecting your skin, plus how to take care of your complexion post-Warrior II, below.

We may be headed towards cooler outdoor temperatures, but indoors—read: inside your local hot yoga studio—things are heating up. And while it may feel great to release tension and sweat buckets during a hot yoga class, all of that sweat and heat can cause your skin to become breakout-prone and sensitive to your everyday skin care products. 

The more heat that skin is exposed to, the more likely it is to sweat, which can lead to clogged pores and eventual breakouts according to board-certified dermatologist and consultant, Dr. Bhanusali. “[When sweating or working out], skin tends to be more oily in general, which can serve as a conduit for attracting pollutants on the skin’s surface,” he says. In addition, Bhanusali says that exposing the skin to heat can result in an increase of blood flow to the skin, and can cause temporary flushing and dilation of pores. To put it simply: When your skin becomes overheated, it can increase its oil production and become more sensitive, which can lead to breakouts and irritation.

Fortunately— for your skin and you inner (hot) yogi— there are a few ways to keep skin happy and healthy-looking. “Use a gentle cleanser to remove any unnecessary debris before you start your workout,” Bhanusali suggests. “This allows the skin to breathe and tolerate the increased oil produced during the workout.” Next, pull your hair out of your face with a headband. “Sometimes, thick gels or sprays can trickle to the forehead and cause breakouts— [this is] called ‘pomade acne’. Wearing headbands can help with this issue,” he says.

As far as your newfound sensitivity goes, we recommend keeping a stash of skin care products that are formulated for sensitive skin in your gym bag and cleansing your skin with these gentler products post-workout. Dr. Bhanusali also says that, when moisturizing and hydrating the skin post-workout, to stick with lighter creams. We recommend trying SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2. This product is formulated to  help restore and protect the skin’s natural barrier. In addition to cleansing and moisturizing, you may also want to try a skin soothing facial mask  like SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque. Formulated to calm sensitive skin that can be caused by working out, sun exposure, and other skin agitating activities, the Phyto Corrective Masque offers intense hydration that may have been lost while sweating it out as well as cooling the complexion.  

For more on SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque ($55) see our full review, here.

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