I have quite possibly the best midsummer news ever: Sweating can help clear acne. Yep. I know, sweating can be a nuisance. Especially when the summer rolls around, venturing outside makes sweating (and its side effects) almost inevitable. Simply running errands in the heat can lead to a makeup meltdown, sweat-stained clothes, and is just plain uncomfortable. But besides regulating your body temperature, did you know sweat has other beneficial properties? You've probably heard that sweat can lead to clogged pores and acne — and it definitely can if you wait too long before showering. But if you time your cleanup properly, sweating can actually improve your complexion.
Sweating can help lessen breakouts by flushing out clogged pores. When you sweat, your pores open up, and dirt and oil that are congesting them are washed away. Here's where the timing issue comes in. Even though this debris is flushed out of the pores, it still sits on the skin until the face and/or body is properly washed. Wait too long, and all that dirt can re-clog your pores. So to ensure your sweat is working for you and not against you, make sure to shower as soon as you've finished working out or come in from the heat. Don't have time for a shower? Try carrying around some baby wipes or cleansing cloths to wipe skin clean after your pores have been purged.
If you're still not convinced that sweat is not nearly as much of a villain as it seems, here are three more ways sweat is actually benefiting your body.
1. Sweating Detoxifies The Body
Or sweaty and glowing. In addition to purifying pores, sweat also helps flush out toxins like alcohol, cholesterol, and salt; leaving skin fresh and radiant. So instead of a juice cleanse, the next time you need to detoxify, just hit the gym instead. A cardio-blast like cycling or HIIT will be sure to work up a good sweat.
2. Sweating Prevents Colds
Did you know sweat is a sort of natural antibiotic? It's actually a part of the immune system, as dermatologist, Dr. Diane De Fiori explains: "Sweat contains antimicrobial peptides [called dermcidin] effective against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. These peptides are positively charged and attract negatively charged bacteria, enter the membranes of the bacteria, and break them down." So if you consider yourself someone who gets sick a lot, try working up a sweat more often to build up your immune defenses.
3. Sweating Decreases The Risk Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are small and hard deposits formed in the kidneys from mineral and acid salts. They can be quite painful, but they can also be prevented by sweating. This is because sweating flushes out salt and retains calcium in the bones— both of which would otherwise contribute to kidney stones. Additionally, sweating leads to the need to rehydrate, and drinking enough water can help stave off the formation of kidney stones. So go forth and sweat your heart out.
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