The Best Exercise for Glowing Skin
It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial for our physical and mental health. Exercise helps us manage our weight, lose fat, gain muscle mass, keep our hearts and lungs healthy and lift a low mood.
But did you know that exercise can also reverse the ageing process making us appear more youthful with a definite glow? And it isn't necessarily all about facial exercises to work our facial muscles either (although facial yoga is definitely beneficial, but more on that later).
A healthy, balanced lifestyle, eating fresh and seasonal foods, staying hydrated and reducing stress levels will all have a positive impact on our complexion. But what about exercise specifically? Can exercise lead to better skin? Is there a specific exercise that's most beneficial?
Can we achieve radiant skin and inner beauty through exercise? Let's find out.
Does Exercise Help Skin Glow?
You might not think it, when you’re midway through a run or gym session, and you feel like you’ve got a face redder than a beetroot. But once that redness disappears, post-exercise, your skin will thank you for it. Exercise definitely helps skin glow!
How Does Exercise Benefit the Skin?
Exercise increases blood circulation and releases feel good endorphins. Here's more detail!
Increased Oxygen and Nutrients for Healthy Skin
When we exercise, our heart rate increases, that much is pretty clear. As our heart rate increases, so does the speed at which our blood is being pumped around our bodies.
This causes the blood vessels to vasodilate (expand) meaning that oxygen and nutrient rich blood can reach the skin quicker, flooding the skin with the elements it needs to glow and appear healthier and younger, helping to prevent premature ageing and the appearance of wrinkles.
Oxygen rich skin is the healthiest looking skin, so take a good look at your skin the day after exercise and notice how exercise gives you naturally glowing skin and how healthy and plump it looks.
Also, exercising causes us to sweat, and sweating helps to release toxins through the skin. The skin is our largest organ, and it’s well prepared for helping to rid us of toxins that can build up and dull the skin. But it can do with a little extra help at times.
Dirt, debris, excess oil and stale makeup can all build up in the pores, causing the upper layers of the skin to look and feel congested. Cleansing twice a day and exfoliating at least once a week can really help to keep the pores clear.
But by all means help things along by working up a sweat through exercise! (Or by sitting in a sauna...)
Improving Skin Through Increased Endorphins
Exercise also has an indirect beneficial effect on the skin, too. When we exercise, we release feel-good chemicals called endorphins and they’re responsible for that amazing post exercise high that we can experience.
Endorphins are like natural drugs that reduce stress, make us feel happy and allow us to sleep better. They also help to neutralise adrenaline and the stress hormone, cortisol. So when we exercise, our endorphins flood our blood and have all these beneficial effects on our mood, which in turn has a beneficial effect on the skin.
If we’re stressed and not sleeping very well, the effects will show in our skin. It will appear dull and lacklustre. Conversely, if we’re exercising regularly and triggering the release of endorphins, then our skin will glow.
Also, when the hormone cortisol is high due to stress, it causes our blood sugar levels to increase. Sugar is an inflammatory compound that negatively affects the skin. What’s more, increased blood sugar levels lead to an increase in a process called glycation. The sugar binds to proteins including collagen and damages it, which can lead to skin ageing.
The Best Exercises to Get Glowing Skin
The best exercise for you is the one that you enjoy the most. If the thought of running makes you stressed, then it’s unlikely to have a de-stressing impact on your skin. But if gentle yoga works for you, then that’s your best exercise for glowing skin.
A mix of different exercises is good for all round health, that combines cardio and strength training as well as balance exercise.
What About Facial Yoga Exercises for Glowing Skin?
Practising yoga poses is a mindful practice with fantastic benefits and allows you to treat both body and soul. But are face yoga exercises for glowing skin, actually a thing? They sure are! The face muscles can be trained through simple facial exercises just like any other physical exercise can train other muscles around the body.
Face yoga involves moving parts of your face, such as the cheeks and chin, into certain positions alongside specific alternate nostril breathing techniques. This special facial stretching exercise can help keep the entire face feeling youthful and glowy, and the yogic deep breathing promotes relaxation and a calming of stress hormones.
You can treat your skin, strengthen the cheek muscles and even alter your natural breathing pattern to a more relaxed one, and you can do this type of facial exercise anywhere. Some say the effects of facial yoga are profound and may even reduce the need for anti ageing skin treatments!
How Do Face Yoga Exercises Work?
Unlike Botox, that freezes the muscles under the skin, facial yoga actually relaxes the face muscles. For this reason. facial yoga, with our without yogic breathing, must be done gently and correctly.
Most poses involve gently placing your index finger onto certain areas of the face, such as the center of your forehead or the eyelids and holding this pose for at least 15 repetitions.
Some require you to close your eyelids, whilst others involve keeping your eyes wide open whilst you look upwards. Some will encourage deep abdominal breathing, others will encourage shallow breathing. But either way, they're well worth a try to help flush away toxins with benefits for mind, skin and body.
This article goes into more detail on how to perform specific facial yoga poses safely and effectively.
Why Does My Skin Go Red When I Exercise?
Even without facial yoga, our skin is extrinsically linked to exercise - we only need to go for a run and experience that red faced glow afterwards to realise that. But a red face during and after exercise is nothing to worry about, nor does it mean you’re unfit. It’s simply a case of genetics.
When we exercise, particularly aerobic exercise such as running or cycling, our blood flow increases as we undergo breathing or respiratory changes. The blood vessels dilate to allow this extra surge of blood, but this isn't just because it wants to send oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the skin.
The body also wants to avoid overheating, so the increased blood flow helps to move this extra inner heat to the surface of the skin, to remove it from the body where it can radiate away.
If you do go very red in the face when you exercise, it’s because you probably have more blood vessels in your face than others who don’t get the same glow. You may also find that you blush more when you’re embarrassed or under pressure. For you, this is a perfectly normal consequence of exercising, so feel proud as you tone those muscles and work on your fitness!
Does Exercise Make Your Skin Look Younger and Get Rid of Wrinkles?
So, given that exercise helps deliver oxygen and vital nutrients to the skin, and allows us to release toxins, it can have the advantage of making the skin look younger!
Exercise for glowing skin and face means that all those extra nutrients being delivered to the skin will nourish it, keep it healthy and help to keep it youthful.
Is it True that Exercise is Extremely Beneficial for Clearing the Skin?
For the same reasons of oxygen and nutrient delivery and toxin release making the skin appear younger, exercise can help to rid the skin of dirt and debris, effectively clearing the skin ”from the inside”.
But it’s essential to cleanse thoroughly after exercise, to help remove sweat along with this dirt and debris, to avoid clogging the skin.
Does Science Back This Up?
Yes! Exercise for glowing skin is real!
Research has shown that exercise can increase the amount of collagen that is present in the skin matrix. Collagen is a protein, the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s present in the joints where it helps to make up the spongy cartilage that cushions the joints.
It’s also present underneath the skin, where it forms a framework, like a biological scaffold for the skin to sit on. As we age, we lose collagen, and as the framework begins to separate and sag, so does the skin laying on top, leading to wrinkles and drooping.
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise such as cycling can increase the level of collagen present in the skin making it appear tighter, reducing the appearance of fine lines.
Other scientific studies have also found that exercise can help the skin appear younger by affecting the mitochondria. Mitochondria are present in our cells, including our skin cells, and are responsible for energy production and the control of reactive oxygen molecules that can lead to inflammation and ageing.
As we age, our mitochondrial function begins to diminish, but studies suggest that exercise can help to improve and maintain mitochondrial health and therefore improve the skin.
Does Exercise Tighten the Skin?
Many of us experience loose skin, either through ageing, extreme weight loss, pregnancy or plain old genetics. But the good news is, exercise can help to tighten loose skin by promoting the development of more muscle mass.
This is particularly true of weight training, which forces the muscles to work hard, creating tiny little tears that need repairing. These little tears are why we ache the day after exercise. The body then does a great job of repairing the muscles, laying down more muscle fibres and in doing so, creating bigger muscles. This can then have the benefits of tightening loose skin, such as crepey skin on the arms.
Why Do I Get Itchy Skin when I Exercise?
Itching after exercise can be caused by prickly heat, a type of skin rash caused by sweat getting trapped in the pores, causing bumps and blisters.
This can be especially problematic if you’re exercising in very hot conditions, so try to exercise in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, during the summer months.
The Importance of Cleansing After Exercise
Of course, all of these benefits to the skin will be lost if we don’t also look after our skin from the outside. So remember, especially if you have problematic or stressed out skin, wash your face as soon as you can after exercise.
The sweat produced during exercise will form a thin layer on the face as it dries, and can cause skin conditions such as acne and eczema to flare up if it’s not washed away. This is especially important if you exercise with makeup on.
The Sönd range of skincare was created with skin just like yours in mind, so why not check out our range today?
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.