Is Sweating Bad For Your Skin?

Sweating not only makes us feel slimy and stinky, but it can also be embarrassing. If there's one time we'd be okay with our faces slippery and our underarms sweaty, it's probably during a workout. Nobody wants to see their makeup sweating off like a glass of ice water under the sun or armpits sweating profusely when in the middle of a date or a business meeting. Worse, when apocrine sweat meets the bacteria on your skin, it can give off an unpleasant body odor. 

However, before you obsess over sweating and try to find a cure for it, keep in mind that the act of sweating heals your body, as explained by Dr. Deanna Minich (via Natural Blaze). Essential in maintaining balance within your body, sweating cools your body temperature via a process known as "heat of vaporization," according to Houston Methodist. Therefore, although sweating might be a pain in the neck, your body needs sweat, which is 99% water mixed with 1% salt, protein, urea, and ammonia, to function properly. Let's look at some benefits sweating brings to your health.

Sweating rinses toxins out of your skin

While sweating is best known as your body's cooling mechanism, it can do more than just release heat to prevent your body from boiling on the inside. Several studies found that heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum, and iron discovered in many topical cosmetics are found in the bloodstream, urine, and organs of many cosmetic consumers, per a study in The Journal of Public Health Research. Toxins that penetrate your body can also be found in canned food and plastic water bottles, among other things.

Containing 24 times more cadmium, 19 times more nickel, and almost three times more aluminum, sweat has proved to be more effective than urine when it comes to eliminating heavy metals from the system. Sweating, a study in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health notes, helps your skin flush out toxins in a safe way. What's more, dermcidin, an antimicrobial peptide pumped into your skin as you shed sweat, provides a protective barrier against microbial pathogens, and staves off skin infections.

Sweating gives you glowing skin

In the same way that sweat can help your system get rid of toxins, it also prompts your pores to open up to push out dirt, makeup residue, and pollutants, says dermatologist Dr. Kathleen S. Viscusi to Allure. Detoxification of impurities trapped under your skin helps to prevent further breakouts, increase the flow of blood to the skin, and give your skin a healthy glow. Additionally, sweating can help you cope with muscle soreness temporarily. According to sports medicine specialist Dr. David Geier (via Outside Learn), you release endorphins when you sweat, which helps with increasing blood flow to the muscles, alleviate the soreness, and speed up the recovery.

To reap the plentiful benefits of sweating, you should break a sweat every day through sports and workouts. After a sweaty run, you can continue excreting toxicants such as aluminum, copper, and thallium, by going for a steam sauna. To avoid exacerbating your acne with perspiration, remove your makeup before you hit the treadmill and wash your face thoroughly after your workout.