Does Sweat Cause Acne?

Does sweat cause acne

Although many people like working up a sweat whenever they visit the gym, many others bother about the act of sweating aggravating acne problems. Nevertheless, it is pertinent to remember that sweating does not cause acne.

But sweat and exercising do cause many bacteria to accumulate on the skin, and if allowed to remain on the skin without washing it, that could boost your chances of coming up with an acne breakout.

Can Sweat Cause Acne?

Sweat on its own does not cause acne. But you may observe increased acne after exercising, most likely because of outside factors.

For instance, you should remove the makeup you are wearing. Sweat can trap the cosmetics and other debris in your pores if you don’t. And this is what eventually leads to acne.

Nevertheless, if you are knowledgeable about maintaining your skin in between workout sessions, you are sure to keep your face clear and beautiful.

Sweating for Acne: Good or Bad?

As much as you have clean skin prior to sweating, it can help get rid of acne. This is because sweat flushes out the pores, removing debris and dirt.

Also, it is advisable to take a shower or wash your face after sweating. It is so that the sweat and debris do not have room to sit on your skin. Eventually, that could lead to acne, hence resulting in a breakout.

Is Sweating Good for the Skin?

Generally, it is good for the skin to work up or produce sweat. Regular sweat production has been revealed to have anti-aging properties. Also, it cools your skin and naturally moisturizes your pores.

Aside from this, it has been discovered to remove harmful bacteria that reside on the surface of your skin. The one thing you don’t want to forget is to wash your skin after an intense workout.

You wouldn’t want to leave sweat remaining on your skin because your sweat releases ammonia and urea. For specific individuals, these chemicals can significantly irritate their skin.

Since sweat itself does not cause acne, let’s check if it can help acne.

Does Sweating Help Acne?

Sweating can help acne. But first, it is essential to know how exactly acne is formed.

People come up with pimples because their skin’s pores have been clogged with bacteria, dirt, or debris.

When you sweat, your pores tend to relax and open up, allowing those harmful contaminants to wash away. It is advisable to wash your face after a profuse sweat. Sweat may get rid of bacteria from your pores, but those contaminants remain on your skin if you don’t act on them.

After a walk to the gym or an exuberant jog, it is an excellent idea to quickly take a shower and wash off your face correctly. If you can’t shower immediately, you should at least pour water on your face.

It is important to also change your sweaty clothes quickly to reduce the risk of blemishes forming.

Why Sweat May Cause Acne

Sweating can trap bacteria, debris, and dirt in one’s pores, causing acne. Aside from taking a shower after every intense workout, you can reduce your chances of pimples by maintaining good hygiene.

You will want to wash off the makeup you are wearing before any workout. This is because sweat can trap makeup in your pores, which results in blemishes. Also, you want to ensure you wear workout clothes.

You also don’t want to put on sweat-soaked shirts and shorts as they will place debris and sweat back on the skin. After working out at the gym, ensure you wipe down every piece of equipment after use.

Your chance of coming up with acne might just increase by handling a weight-lifting machine and then rubbing your face without washing them. You tend to transfer bacteria and other particles via this act.

Thus it is advisable to keep your workout area clean. Don’t forget to rush to the shower immediately after your exercise. You can also enjoy the benefits of applying a mild, oil-free cleanser to your skin to keep your pores healthy and clear.

How Can You Treat Sweat Pimples?   

Pimples that appear due to sweating intensely are not something you want to experience. But luckily, you can cover them up with a concealer and cleanser.

They will cover up ugly blemishes so that you can confidently go on a date or that job interview you’ve been dreaming about. But, to prevent pimples for the better, you ought to gently wash the affected part twice daily.

You need to get an oil-free and non-acnegenic product so the condition doesn’t get worse. Also, you want to always wash your pillowcase so that you don’t sleep directly on an oil surface.

You should also do away with the urge to frequently pick or touch your face.

If over-the-counter medication or approaches don’t work, consult your dermatologist about trying acne medication.


Sweat itself is not harmful and does not cause acne. But allowing those sweat to linger on your skin can lead to acne and blemishes. Thus, we recommend you take a shower or wash off your face after a hectic day or intense workout.

It is also advisable to consult your dermatologist if you want to try any medication for acne, so they will guide you properly.

Kindly contact us if you have any questions about sweating and acne. We will love to hear from you soon!

Mary is the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Health Parrots. She brings her years of clinical and healthcare technology experience to help consistently create high quality, concise and engaging content and products that uphold the highest medical integrity. She is an M.D. recipient from Baylor College of Medicine and completed her residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX. After years of clinical practice, Dr. Le transitioned from clinical medicine to healthcare technology through her work at Epocrates, where she developed clinical news products and disease and drug content. With her wealth of experience, She has also helped create an EHR, secure messaging products, and clinical decision support tools for healthcare systems.


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