How can I avoid breakouts whilst exercising? Skincare guru, Dija Ayodele, reveals exactly how

I love this question because in these current times where we are so house-bound and spending so much time online, getting out for a run in fresh air is super important. Exercise brings fresh blood and nutrients to the skin – keeping our skin cells energised for increased brightness and vitality.

Personally I love a good run (though I suspect I’m more of a slow jogger!) and try to get out two or three times a week. Whilst sweat is currently causing you some upset, it’s actually really beneficial for the skin as it encourages the release of waste and toxins from the body.

In the first of my columns tackling reader skincare dilemmas, I’m answering a problem we all come across occasionally whilst we’re trying to do the right thing to stay fit and healthy – the dreaded breakouts!

Q: Dear Dija, I’m a runner and the sweating can make me break out, how can I avoid this?

I’m really sad to hear that such a great activity is causing you breakouts so to my first question is to ask if you’re wearing makeup when out running? Combined with sweat make up can cause congestion in your pores which can lead to the development of spots and pimples, so avoid it whilst exercising. A light moisturiser such as the cult Cerave Facial Moisturising Lotion (£13) chockablock with hydrating skin-loving ceramides, topped up with Black Girl Sunscreen (£23) are my go-to products that allow my skin to breathe whilst exercising.

Always ensure you cleanse your skin as soon as possible after your run, this avoids sweat sitting on your skin getting up to no good causing dryness as well as fuelling spots. For a good deep cleanse, the Vichy Normaderm Purifying Gel (£13) with both glycolic and salicylic acid ticks all the right boxes if your skin is on oilier side. It will exfoliate and flush out the pores of excess sebum very quickly. For dry or sensitive skin types try the REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel (£18) does a powerful and brightening job without stripping the skin.

Like me, you are prone to breakouts so including a pigmentation serum in your routine is key to stave of future breakouts but also to fade current dark marks on the skin is essential. I typically find you have to spend a pretty penny to get a good concentration of potent active ingredients to tackle pigmentation but a spend you won’t regret is Neostrata Illuminating Serum (£65) with Liquorice extract, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, Neoglucosamine and b-Resorcinol. Together all these ingredients work deep within the skin to inhibit melanin even before it is formed and also to even the complexion at the surface of the skin.

Other products you may want to keep handy in your bathroom cabinet is the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (£6) which you can pop over the offending spot to reduce inflammation and encourage faster healing. The plus point is that the patch can be cleverly disguised by make up whilst your still treating the skin underneath.

As we say in the beauty business, prevention is better than cure so a weekly at-home peel treatment goes a long way in preventing breakouts in the first place and keeping skin free of dead skin cells which make fertile ground for bacteria.

Lixir Skin have recently released Peel Express (£31) – it’s fast and easy to use which is great for time poor souls like me. I massage into my skin, jump into the shower and twenty minutes later my skin is super soft, smooth, bouncy, radiant and hydrated thanks to a clever combination of glycolic acid, lactobionic acid and the under-celebrated skincare hero – glycerin. It’s a firecracker of a product that delivers professional peel like results without the downtime!

Happy running, my friend!

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