Understanding the Effects of Sweat on the Skin
It’s summertime, and if you live in Texas like we do here at Source Vital, that means you’ll probably be sweating until mid-October – at least! And, if you’re like us, you understand that sweating is a natural and critical function of the body. It helps us to cool down, maintain balance, expel toxins, and more.
But how does sweat affect our skin? We want to give you the good news and the bad news about sweating – but first, we want to talk a little more about why we sweat.
Sweating is Natural
The marketing of traditional deodorants may lead you to believe sweating is something icky and unfortunate that should be prevented. We couldn’t agree less! Sure, it might appear to be unsightly and unseemly, but sweating has plenty of positive benefits. And you can read more about our thoughts on deodorant here).
We have two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Our bodies have thousands of eccrine glands, which work to regulate our body temperature. Apocrine glands are found primarily in the groin and underarm area. While body temperature can also drive these glands into action, they are also triggered by hormones, stress, and anxiety.
As our temperature goes up, our nervous system stimulates the eccrine glands to produce sweat, which consists primarily of water and sodium. As air hits this moisture, your body experiences a cooling effect.
In short, there’s not much you can do about your body’s need to sweat, so you’re better off making peace with it.
The Skin Benefits of Sweating
So, we know sweating helps us to stay cool, but what other purposes does it serve? As it turns out, there are two additional significant benefits when you regularly sweat:
- More efficient removal of bacteria, dirt, oil, and other skin impurities. While our skin works to rid itself of nasties naturally, sweating can expedite the process.
- Sweating can help your skin get to its optimal level of acidity. The optimal pH factor for our skin is 5.5. The pH factor for sweat? 5.5! This balance helps to keep the skin feeling and looking healthy. When out of balance, that’s when we experience oiliness or dryness.
The Pitfalls of Perspiration
While sweat is natural and necessary, it can cause a few issues when you aren’t careful. Because sweat carries unpleasant toxins, dirt, and grime, it can wreak havoc on your complexion when not cleansed and removed from the surface of the skin. When your skin reabsorbs that sweat packed will all those impurities, it can leave you with rashes, irritation, and acne.
Working with Your Sweat
By keeping these best perspiration practices in mind, you can reap all the benefits of sweating without many drawbacks:
- When working out, stay hydrated! When your sweat has a higher concentration of water, it’s less likely you’ll experience skin irritation.
- Wash your face before your sweat session. Washing before removes any surface level impurities that could potentially settle into open pores while you’re getting your sweat on. Micellar Cleansing water is super handy for these purposes. You can swipe away dirt, oil, grime and makeup without needed a sink and water.
- Always shower or cleanse as soon as possible after sweating or working out. This reduces the chances that impurities will be reabsorbed back into the skin.
But What About B.O.?
It’s well and good that sweating benefits us, but nobody wants to stink! (Right? Right.) If you’re curious about ways you can embrace your sweat without compromising on smelling fresh, you should check out our line of best-selling natural deodorants. Formulated without dangerous aluminums, Deozein helps you control odor without inhibiting your body’s natural need to sweat.
All things considered, sweating is pretty good for our skin. Our bodies are incredibly smart, powerful things – they know what they need to thrive. While sweating isn’t always ideal, we hope these tips help you make the most out of any sweaty situation this summer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fran Higgins is Source Vitál's in-house esthetician, massage therapist and aromatherapist. For more than two decades, Fran has been helping and educating customers with their holistic health needs. She brings a wide array of topics ranging from at home skin care tips, DIY aromatherapy formulas, step-by-step product protocols and much more.