Sweat ( Perspiration ) & How It Affects Your Skin Conditions

Sweat (or perspiration) is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down when it gets too hot.  Typically, a number of things including exercise, hot weather or stressful situations can make anyone break out in sweat. During summer months or all year round hot weather in Singapore, we sweat even when standing still!

As long as one is staying healthy and taking proper skin care steps, sweating is not a cause for worry. Sweating is so inherent in our bodies that it actually accounts for about 10 percent of water that our body loses on any given day.

However, sweating excessively in unexpected situations that affects one’s everyday activities might be a sign of hyperhidrosis. Certain medical conditions including diabetes, menopause, hyperthyroidism, tumors and side effects of medications or supplements can cause excessive sweating.

The Good

  • During workouts, sweating is a signal that you are sufficiently warmed up and are ready to enter the performance zone. In the performance zone, sweat helps regulate your body temperature.
  • Sweat is good for the skin because the high water content hydrates while the minerals and salt promotes natural exfoliation.
  • Urea and uric acid in sweat purges the skin of bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities.
  • In a 2011 research on the elimination of toxins, “induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body.” Chris Woolston, M.S. writes in an LA Times article. However, other researchers found that sweating does not perform a major detoxification function but “does contain trace amounts of toxins.” 
  • Sweating is healthy. In fact, your body raises its internal temperature when you are sick to help your body fight infections and return to its normal state.
  • Related to the above, sweat help protect skin from bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus (staph) aureus because of a natural antibiotic excreted called dermcidin.

The Bad

  • The impurities that sweating flush out can stay on your skin. When the skin begins to re-absorb them, pH factors changes, causing irritation and rash. If you have sensitive skin that flares up after sweating, this is the culprit. There are natural ways to eradicate this in the next segment.
  • The sweat expelled through the apocrine glands (located in the armpits and groin) in the skin is responsible for that post-workout body odor. This is why deodorant is generally only applied under the armpits.
  • Sweat can contribute to an acne breakout though it is not the main cause. A lot of dirt, oils, makeup and other impurities including sweat, accumulates on skin in a day. These impurities can clog your sweat glands leading to breakouts.
  • Sweat induced skin irritation leads to a skin condition called milaria (or heat rash). Though it is easily resolved in a day or two, it’s totally preventable.

Tips for Great Skin

Simple practices to capture all the benefits of sweating yet avoid breakouts, skin rashes and irritation:

  • Hydrate before and during a workout. The higher the water content in perspiration, the lower the chance of skin irritation due to pH imbalance.
  • Wash your face before a work out. This will help reduce impurities that clog your sweat glands on your skin as you work out. Use wash made from natural ingredients Without harsh and synthetic chemicals eg. Emu Tracks Liquid Hand and Body Wash.
  • Moisture-wicking workout clothing. Nike’s DriFit, Addidas’s Climalite and Body Armour’s HeatGear all claims to wick moisture away from the skin. This fabric technology helps to reduce chafing and discomfort. Some brands are coming up with anti-microbial fabrics, which may reduce bacteria-induced rashes and irritation.
  • Shower and cleanse shortly after your workout. Reduce the amount of impurities that could be re absorbed by your skin. Especially on parts of your body where sweat accumulates such as under your arms, groin, folds of skin and joints, not just your face. Use natural, ‘soap free’ products like Emu Tracks Liquid Wash, Ultra Mild Shampoo & Conditioner that are beneficial for sensitive skin because they combine the herbal antibacterial properties of Eucalyptus and moisturising Emu Oil with Shea Butter and Lavender to gently cleanse, richly nourish and protect your skin.
  • Use a skin friendly moisturizer immediately after shower. Many body care products alters the skin’s natural pH balance, and strips essential moisture and oils. Using Emu Tracks Moisturiser will deliver the superb anti-inflammatory properties of emu oil and other plant based essential oils like Rosehip oil beneath the skin.


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