Why is it Important for Athletes to Keep their Skin Hydrated?
Skin problems are common in athletes. It could be due to friction, hours of sun exposure, or salt and chlorine to name a few of the reasons. Athletes must treat their skin properly and give it the importance it deserves.
We all know that exercising and sports are highly beneficial for our health. It helps us stay within our ideal weight, reduces stress and prevents many diseases. However, many times athletes, especially those competing in high-level competitions, tend to have skin problems.
There’s a wide range of different skin problems, and generally, people don’t pay enough attention to them. They range from dry and cracked skin to irritation caused by sweat and damage provoked by sun and wind exposure. One of the keys to avoiding these issues is hydrating, both before and after exercising.
Next, we’re going to give you some recommendations to hydrate your skin and avoid issues.
How sports and physical activity affect your skin
Practicing any type of sport or physical activity can directly affect your skin’s health. First, breathing more frequently makes the blood and skin receive more oxygen. This oxygen stimulates your cells’ metabolism and accelerates the epidermis regeneration.
Exercising allows your body to eliminate toxins easier and that makes your skin look cleaner. This is one of the many benefits of exercising.
However, an athlete’s skin is also more exposed to aggression. Outdoors exercising exposes the skin to elements such as the sun, wind and cold temperatures. Water sports expose the skin to constant contact with water, chlorine, etc.
Athletes are exposed daily to excess sweat, which also affects the skin. That’s why a skin routine should be a priority for people that regularly exercise.
Most common skin problems for athletes
One of the most common skin problems that athletes have is dry skin. Sun, wind or water exposure can cause skin dryness. But, it can also happen because of excess sweating.
Other habits not related to physical activity, such as frequent showers, can affect the skin’s protective layer, making it dry.
For example, swimmers are constantly exposed to water and chlorine. Constant changes in the humidity can cause the skin’s early aging. The same happens to those who exercise outdoors.
When exercising outdoors the skin tends to feel tight and dry. It’s essential to moisturize the skin to prevent these issues from worsening.
High-level athletes are usually exposed to injures because of frictions and blows typical of their activity. Once these wounds have been disinfected and start to heal, a good moisturizing routine becomes paramount for the skin’s recovery.
Skin irritation is frequent among those who regularly exercise. This type of irritation is usually a consequence of sweating since that’s how our body eliminates toxins and those toxins can end up damaging the skin.
Friction between the body and clothes can also cause skin irritation. Hydrating and moisturizing before and after exercising is beneficial to prevent and soothe possible irritations.
How should athletes moisturize their skin?
To hydrate the skin, it’s important to consider both internal and external hydration. Correct internal hydration is important for everyone and it’s even more important for athletes.
Exercising causes the loss of large amounts of fluid through sweat. Increasing the intake of liquids and certain types of food help replenish this fluid loss. This way the skin will stay smoother and hydrated.
However, it’s also important to hydrate the skin externally. There are many products available to moisturize the skin. To avoid skin dehydration due to frequent showering, it’s necessary to replace your regular soap for a pH-balanced shower gel that respects the epidermis’ natural protective layer.
After showering, it’s essential to use a moisturizing lotion to allow the skin to recover its lost humidity. For those who exercise outdoors, they must also use a moisturizing sunscreen before starting their session.