What You Should Know To Avoid Nasty Sweat Pimples

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

For many people, breaking a sweat is a good enough reason not to step foot in a gym. It ruins your hair, drenches your clothes, and can even cause breakouts. The uncomfortable and salty perspiration happens to be your body's cooling mechanism controlled by the autonomic nervous system (via Medline Plus). You can think of this as your body's internal A/C that wants to prevent overheating by stabilizing your body temperature. Surprisingly, it's not the actual moisture from sweat that does the cooling, though. According to Dr. Christopher Minson, the co-director of Exercise and Environmental Physiology Labs at the University of Oregon, it's when your sweat evaporates that actually cools the body (via Women's Health). Wild, right?

Despite the many benefits sweating provides the body, like heat regulation, increased blood flow, and a healthy liver, it's also pretty common to see breakouts or sweat pimples after a workout. This is because the medley of sweat, heat, and pre-existing acne bacteria can clog pores (via Healthline). But just what can you do to avoid this?

Wearing hats and headbands can increase sweat breakouts

Because clothes with close contact with the skin can create friction and increased heat, it can become a perfect dwelling for acne to thrive. This phenomenon is called acne mechanica, and many athletes experience it frequently while wearing different workout gear (via the American Academy of Dermatology). If you find that you're breaking out around your hairline after wearing the same jogging hat for a few weeks, it may be time to give it a break and throw it in the wash. Sweaty headbands can also become a Petri dish for sweat and acne bacteria to flourish. It's important to change these workout accessories as much as possible.

Your hygiene game must be at an all-time high when breaking a sweat, including switching up your favorite workout hat. Washing your pillows and changing bed sheets often is also a good option for those with acne-prone skin.

You can easily prevent and treat sweat pimples

Because sweat pimples can pop up anywhere on the body, it might be best to invest in a body wash with either a salicylic or beta hydroxy acid formula. According to dermatologist David Lortscher, these acids can prevent breakouts by removing dead skin cells, going deep into the skin layer, and continuously keeping pores clear and unclogged (via Shape). If your gym has a shower and you want to stay on top of your pimple zapping game, take a quick wash as soon as you wrap up a workout to stop any sweat bacteria from developing further.

Some body washes to try that contain salicylic acid for deep cleansing are Murad Body Wash, which Sephora users have given a four-star rating, and Bliss' Clear Genius Gel Cleanser, which is suitable for both the face and body.

It's a good idea to also toss a towel or wet wipes into your gym bag. The idea here is to get that sweat bacteria off your body before it can ascend into its next form. To take an acne-busting preventative measure, opt for pimple-killing wipes like Obagi's Acne Cleansing Wipes, which reviewers gave a five-star rating. Even over-the-counter makeup wipes are a great option as they are made to remove grease and grime. Neutrogena's Oil Cleansing Wipes work specifically to cleanse oil and can help prevent sweat bacteria from clogging pores. By actively cleansing your skin and monitoring your workout hygiene, sweat pimples do not have to be a nuisance. You might even find yourself with clearer skin.

Recommended