Sweat Acne: How to Treat Acne Caused by Sweat - BioRepublic SkinCare | Face Mask Sheets | Vegan Skincare

Sweat Acne: How to Treat Acne Caused by Sweat

Whether we like it or not, we all sweat. Sweat is a healthy bodily function that helps us control our body temperature in response to factors like heat, stress, and physical movement. We all react to these factors differently, some people tend to sweat more than others while some even experience sweat acne.

Those who frequently participate in sports, workouts, or outdoor activities, might be all too familiar with sweat acne, which typically affects the face, back, and chest. Getting rid of these breakouts can be frustrating, but by better understanding the causes and treatment, sweat pimples can be a problem of the past.

Woman with forehead acne

Sweat Acne

Let's start with the basics. Sweat glands, specifically eccrine glands, are found all over the body. When activated, these glands produce sweat to regulate your body temperature.

Now, sweat is mainly water and salt, meaning by itself it's not likely to clog your pores and create acne. It does however combine with friction, dirt, oil, and bacteria to cause "sweat acne" and breakouts.

You might be more prone to sweat acne if you have particularly oily skin. Much like sweat glands, our body also contains sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum, which helps to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair. Hormone levels, genetics, and stress are a few factors that can lead to overactive oil glands. When paired with sweat, dead skin cells, and dirt, the excess oil will create a sticky substance that can clog your pores.

Bacteria can also trigger inflammation in the skin, which can make existing pimples worse and lead to the development of new ones. Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, so when sweat, oil, and dirt mix on the skin's surface, it can create a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.

Lacrosse player

Acne Mechanica

Sports equipment and tight clothing can be a major contributor to your sweat acne or technically, acne mechanica.

Acne mechanica is a medical term for irritation and acne that is "caused by frequent friction or pressure against the skin", according to Healthline. Common gear like helmets, hats, and jerseys can rub against your face, chest, and back, trapping in bacteria, oil, and dirt and creating the ideal environment for sweat acne to thrive.

Heat Rash vs Sweat Acne

Also due to sweat, a heat rash is a little different than sweat acne. Heat rashes are blotchy, red bumps on the skin that are caused by a blockage of sweat ducts. Unlike sweat pimples, the redness and inflammation from a heat rash typically go away after the skin is cooled.

Sweat acne infographic

How Can I Prevent & Treat Sweat Acne?

1. Cleanse!

Using a mild cleanser to wash away acne-causing bacteria, dirt, and oils can help to keep your skin clean and pimple-free. While we don’t typically recommend washing your face more than twice per day, we tend to make an exception after excessive sweating. Washing your face after a nice long workout will remove the excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria, and sweat that accumulated on your skin. You should also consider cleansing your body directly after your workout to avoid any back or chest acne that can result from the same factors.

2. Exfoliate!

According to Science Daily, the average person loses more than two hundred million skin cells in one hour— with there being 24 hours in a day, that is a lot of dead skin cells! Though you may not see them, dead skin cells build up on the skin’s surface blocking hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Sweat can accumulate and spread dead skin cells across your body, so taking the steps to not only cleanse but also exfoliate can remove skin cells that have shed but are trapped on the surface of our skin. We recommend a gentle exfoliator or exfoliation mask one to three times per week to keep your skin clear and glowing.

3. Wear Breathable Clothing

Wearing loose, clean clothes is important when it comes to combating friction. If you have the option to opt into flowy shirts, shorts, or other pieces of clothing, this can really help reduce body acne. But, we know that a lot of sports and personal preferences are geared toward tight clothes, and in this case, look for lightweight, breathable material like polyester.

4. Wear Clean Clothing & Equipment

This might seem like an obvious one, but re-wearing dirty clothes and remaining in your sweaty clothing can cause your skin to become irritated. Don't let your skin be in contact with the sweat, dirt, and bacteria longer than it has to be, and make sure you change out of your sweaty clothes as soon as possible.

Likewise, other pieces of gear or equipment like helmets, hats, or goggles, should be removed as soon as possible. If you're using shared equipment, like a team-wide helmet or mask, make sure you give it a thorough clean before letting it touch your skin. Putting someone else's bacteria and sweat on your own skin is a surefire way to experience an acne breakout. 

5. Combat Oily Skin

Everyone has sebaceous glands that produce oil beneath the skin, though not everyone produces the same amount of oil. If you experience excess oil production, use a gentle cleanser twice daily to reduce oil levels on the skin and maintain a healthy skincare routine with quality products like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid. When sweating, keep a clean towel handy to wipe off excess oil and perspiration. 

7. Use the Right Skincare Products

With a consistent and effective skincare routine in place, you can maintain the proper hygiene your skin needs to avoid sweat acne and other types of acne altogether. Your skincare treatments should include customized products that address your specific skin type. With the right ingredients, you can get rid of and prevent sweat acne and other skin irritation from affecting your skin!

Your Partner in Sweat Acne Treatment & Prevention

Prescription medication for acne treatment can be expensive and over-the-counter products are unlikely to contain quality ingredients you can rely on.

At BioRepublic, we strive to solve this problem, by providing affordable, clean, and effective skincare products.

With ingredients and treatments designed to specifically address and prevent sweat, hormonal, and fungal acne, our products are simple additions to any athlete's skincare routine,

Let's take a look at a few of our ideal sweat acne treatments.

T-Zen face mask

T-Zen Activated Charcoal T-Zone Mask

The t-zone refers to the area of your face including the forehead, nose, and chin. When compared to the rest of the body, the T-zone has a significantly higher number of sebaceous glands, which is why more people complain about excess oil in these areas. This area of the face is also more likely to come in contact with common sports equipment like helmets and hats.

Our T-Zone Activate Charcoal T-Zone Mask is a porous mask designed to draw out impurities from the skin including oils, dirt, and sweat. This is a perfect after-workout mask to throw on after the shower and to ensure your T-zone and pores receive the cleansing and nutrients they need.

This face mask is perfect for all skin types, especially acne-prone skin, and is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Exfoliation mask

Extra Exfoliation Organic Sheet Mask

The Extra Exfoliation Organic Sheet Mask works to gently exfoliate the skin to eliminate dead skin cells, control oil production, and reduce breakouts. It combines lactic acid and lemon juice for a complete cleansing and exfoliating experience. The snow mushroom extract works to finish off your skin with long-lasting hydration for a glowy, beautiful result. 

This sheet mask is great for those with oily or combination skin, though it can be used on all skin types.

Woman wearing face mask

Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask

If you're already experiencing those annoying breakouts, it could be time for a skin detox. Our Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask is designed to detoxify the pores and skin surface by drawing out impurities from the skin like makeup, dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and other debris and providing a more even complexion overall. 

This detoxifying sheet max is chock-full of green tea extract and plant collagen to improve your skin’s appearance and boost natural collagen production. It delivers vital nutrients to the skin that help boost antioxidants, remove excess oil, reduce blemishes, and provide refined, supple skin.

Achieve Your Skin Goals with BioRepublic

From sweat acne to puffy eyes to dull skin, BioRepublic has a complete toolbox of effective skincare masks, serums, creams, and more. Our goal is to make skincare more affordable and reliable, to help your skin look and feel its very best. 

Take our skin care quiz today to better understand your skin type and what products would be best to achieve your overall skin care goals.

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