Got Gym Acne? Here’s What To Do!

Gym acne or post-workout breakouts can be a pain in the butt, quite literally! It’s hard enough keeping up with our fitness goals, add post-workout pimples to the mix and you have yet another excuse to stop exercising.

First of all, know that gym-related acne is a pretty common concern and should not feel embarrassing. The sweat and bacteria from workout equipment and clothes can lead to skin troubles, which luckily are preventable! Today, we look at the small changes in your daily habits that can make a big difference to gym acne. Read on and find out how you too can keep post-workout acne at bay!

Stick to a no-makeup look

Dabbing some foundation before you head to your workout? While it may feel good to dress yourself up, makeup can be one of the biggest contributors to gym acne. Makeup clogs pores further and does not allow your skin to breathe when you exercise. Still, want some coverage? Start using a CC cream that offers a little bit of cover and is lighter on your pores!

how to prevent gym acne

Prevent gym acne with a hairband

As simple as it sounds, wearing a hairband when exercising can make a huge difference to your skin. Even though you wash your face before heading to the gym, chances are your hair still carries dirt and hair product on it. When you sweat, any product from your hair makes its way to your face leading to clogged pores and gym acne.

Don’t touch your face

Think about where all your hands have been at the gym. From the stepper to the weights, you pick up germs and bacteria with each lift, so make sure you keep your hands off your face. Touching it or even wiping sweat off can lead to breakouts. Always use a towel to wipe any sweat off or scrape off any wayward hair on your face.

Gym Acne goes beyond the face

You’ve probably heard and experienced some back acne. Gym acne that moves to the back or worse butt can be quite painful to deal with. And while you love sticking around in your tights, wearing loose clothing is the way to keep gym acne on your body, at bay. Wearing loose outfits will also help you avoid skin infections as well as wipe away any sweat and prevent it from being absorbed by the skin.

Don’t forget to take off your sweaty clothing immediately after a workout too! Sweaty clothing can cause chaffing and hurt your skin. The longer you sit around in your sweaty clothes, the more likely you’ll be to experience a body breakout. Chaffing, rubbing, and friction can take place between your skin and your wet clothes, all making the perfect environment for germ and bacteria build-up.

Don't forget to wash your face after a workout

Wash your face right after to prevent gym acne

Ideally, try and clean your face as soon as you have finished your workout. A post-gym facial wash will avoid clogging of pores or imbalancing your pH levels. If you are running in the open or attending an outdoor class, just carry a handy packet of facial wipes that can be used right after. When home, make sure to follow through with a proper cleanse.


Many oily skin types fear moisturiser. It might seem like your skin has enough oil and moisture to deal with, so why apply more? Remember that no matter your skin type, you cannot and should not skip moisturiser. When you pull back on hydration your body goes into panic mode and starts to overproduce sebum and its natural oils – aka, pimples, oily skin and more!

Stick to cotton or pure fibre mask

Face masks are the new normal but they can contribute to facial rash and acne. If you are wearing a mask to and from the gym, the build-up of moisture can lead to further proliferation of bacteria and resulting acne. Try to always choose natural fibres for your mask. Just like your gym clothing, make sure these don’t stick to your face and are not rubbing against your skin. And remember to cleanse right after!