4 Common Skin Issues Women Who Work Out Totally Understand

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An active lifestyle can put your complexion through a workout, too. Dry, over-cleansed skin and pores clogged with makeup can be regular skin issues if you have a daily sweat session built into your schedule. Here’s how to outsmart a few of the common skin obstacles.

1. You work out (and wash your face) a lot, so it’s tight and itchy.

The fix: Go for a high-tech, low-lather cleanser. “The new ones effectively remove oil but minimize damage to the skin’s upper layer,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, $9, lifts grime and oil without stripping skin.

2. A regular makeup-and-sweat mix is causing pore congestion.

The fix: Taking your makeup off first is ideal. Try a no-rinse cleansing wipe when there’s zero time or no access to a locker room. Clinique Micellar Cleansing Towelettes, $14, are soap-free and hydrating. If you prefer to keep your makeup on, use a workout-friendly formula such as Sweat Cosmetics Mineral Foundation, $42.

Related: 4 Reasons You Have Big, Painful Pimples—And What To Do About It

3. Your outdoor adventures make you prone to sun damage on spots like your neck, shoulders, and chest.

The fix: Wear a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) crew shirt, recommends dermatologist Elizabeth K. Hale, M.D., who is training for her sixth marathon and likes Mott50 brand. Then layer on a sunscreen with physical filters like titanium oxide and zinc oxide. A stick or cream, like Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen, $16, will adhere through sweat better than spray-on formulas.

4. You’re a hard-core runner, which can translate into a thinner face.

The fix: Apply a collagen-stimulating peptide cream (like Mario Badescu Peptide Renewal Cream, $35) and pile on sunscreen. “UV rays break down collagen and accelerate volume loss, so that’s even more reason to apply SPF year-round,” Hale says. “Especially on long runs.” A dermatologist can provide more advanced solutions to these skin issues. “Serious runners can lose volume in the cheeks and temples,” adds Hale. In such cases, fillers such as Restylane can restore fullness.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of SELF. For immediate access to our newest issue featuring Ashley Graham, subscribe now and download the digital edition. This full issue is available September 27 on national newsstands.

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