SKIN-ERCISE – Exercising for Healthier Skin!


In an effort to reduce our rapidly expanding national girth, health professionals advise us to include exercise into our daily routines ensuring we are mind, body and soul healthy.

Recently researchers have discovered our hot and sweaty efforts may now have positive benefits for our skin’s health. If you’re less serious about exercise and more serious about skin care, I just may be able to provide that extra motivation you need to throw down that remote and leap off the lounge to engage in some Skin-Ercise; exercising for healthier skin!

 It appears the fountain of youth may just be as simple as whacking on some runners and ‘active wear’  and engaging in some moderate exercise!  (Surprise! Active wear can be worn outside the coffee shop!)

Researchers have found that exercise, in addition to all its other well-known health benefits, does indeed aid the skin and may well be able to keep your skin looking younger longer and that it’s never too late to turn back the hands of time!


Throw down that remote, throw on some Olivia and ‘Lets Get Skin-Ercising’….

Exercise aids in prevention of disease and maintaining our overall health but how does it benefit the skin?

 Regular, moderate exercise boosts circulation and helps to excrete toxins and wastes through sweating. When we exercise our blood vessels dilate, delivering a ‘double shot’ of nutrient rich, oxygenated blood to the skin, demonstrated in that post workout glow. Exercise also helps to produce collagen, the protein that provides structure to the skin, maintaining elasticity and firmness.

 Need some proof…..Antioxidant = Antiaging?

 A 2006 study Moderate exercise is an antioxidant: Upregulation of antioxidant genes by training discusses the production of antioxidant enzymes  during exercise and found they behave in a similar way as an antioxidant; mopping up the free radicals which contribute to ageing. The key word here is ‘moderate’. Conversely, strenuous exercise can have a negative impact on our bodies…no need to overdo it!


 Diabetics have impaired  blood flow to the skin  leading  to ulcers, blisters, skin infections and slow healing wounds.

 Reduced circulation is also responsible for a decrease in collagen formation.

 Exercise increases circulation to the skin and by promoting weight control contributing to the regulation of blood sugar levels which are abnormally elevated in diabetes.

 Obesity related skin conditions

 Obesity is responsible for an increase in sweating- responsible for drier skin due to an increase water loss across the skin barrier.

 Increased strain on vessels and veins can cause fluid retention-lymphodema.

 Skin folds harbour moisture – a perfect environment for bacterial and fungal growth leading to skin irritations. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and keratosis pilaris are more commonly seen.

 Exercise helps in weight control and can minimise the onset of skin conditions associated with obesity.


 Exercise helps to relieve the symptoms of stress by secreting the ‘feel good’ hormone seretonin in contrast to  stress which initiates the release of an hormone called cortisol. Excessive cortisol release  over long periods can trigger unfavourable skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, hair loss and even an autoimmune disease called vitiligo – where areas of the skin becomes depigmented in patches.


 In addition to providing nutrients and oxygen to the skin, exercise and sweating  can also help to propel toxins and dirt from the skin, preventing the follicles becoming blocked,  contributing to acne.

 Tips; Shower immediately after exercise to prevent bacterial growth found in acne.

 Lymphodema – a build up of excess fluid

 The lymphatic system is a highly specialised network of vessels which form part of the immune system and whose job it is to transport excess fluid and waste products to lymph nodes for filtering.

A build up of  lymph fluid can cause a thickening of the skin , slow healing ulcers, dry warty spots and infections such as cellulitis.

 Exercise and movement is crucial in propelling lymphatic fluid towards lymph nodes and avoiding a build up.

 Wait there’s more….

Don’t skip that post workout coffee…..a recent article in the Dermatology Times discusses caffeine, when combined with exercise, helps to reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers in mice…….C’mon ‘Tom and Jerry’ repurpose that activewear, lets Skin- ercise…… I’ll see you at the gym!

Susan- ASkinSolutions x

Have you noted any skin changes whilst Skin-Ercising?




Dear Stress, 

Lets breakup!

Breakups are always difficult, especially when it comes to getting rid of STRESSSSSS!

 News flash… life is stressful !!!

 Multi tasking means sprinting with scissors, traveling at 210 kms on the 8 lane freeway of life  –  too familiar?

 Keeping all the balls in the air….. Juggling relationships, home, work, finances with little downtime from our organised chaos is cause enough for our skin to behave badly!

 Sitting in a traffic jam, late for work or facing the imminent departure of my flight when I still havent parked the car, is enough to get my heart racing whilst sweating off my not so perfectly applied makeup. These physical symptoms are the result of the release of an hormone called cortisol.

 Cortisol is released by our bodies to help us deal with stressful situations.

 Whilst cortisol is beneficial to the body  in the short term, it’s release over longer periods can trigger unfavourable skin conditions and have other damaging effects on your health

 More and more frequently people are presenting  with conditons known to be exacerbated by stress such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, hair loss and even an autoimmune disease called vitiligo (where areas of the skin becomes depigmented in patches), to Dermatologists who recognise there is a relationship  between stress and skin. This frequent association between stress and skin disorders has led to the evolution of a new medical discipline called Psychodermatology.

 Psychodermatology is the treatment of skin disorders using psychological and psychiatric techniques.

 ‘We all boil at different degrees’- Ralph Waldo Emerson, so  understanding how to effectively deal with stress will help alleviate the skin conditions triggered by stress.

 Stress can see our skin falling apart on us  with broader health implications if we don’t find time to relax and give the body some downtime…easier said than done!

 In the beginning….

Skin Behaving Badly

 In utero the skin and nervous system develop at the same time, holding hands, forming a partnership closely intertwined lasting our entire lives.

 In times of stress the adrenal glands are triggered to release cortisol helping the body to-

  • Metabolise glucose in the body- needed for sprints of energy
  • Release insulin – maintaining blood sugar levels
  • Increase Immune function
  • Increase inflammatory response

On the flip side…

 Chronic periods of stress and a constant release of Cortisol can have a deleterious effect-.

  • Impairment in cognitive performance
  • Suppression of  thyroid function
  • Disordered blood sugar levels
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased  muscle tissue
  • Increase in  blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity and inflammatory response
  • Compromised wound healing

Definitely not what we need when dealing with stress related skin conditions!

What happens to our skin when we’re stressed?

 In the case of acne and stress, cortisol is released, increasing oil production. Together with cortisol -induced lower immunity, decreased inflammatory response and reduced wound healing capabilities, suddenly we have the perfect environment for acne to flourish.

 It can be a vicious cycle, the more stressed we become the more these conditions flare up and may worsen, the more they worsen or appear, the more anxious we become….so it makes sense to treat the underlying causes of skin conditions triggered by stress with a multifactorial  approach.

 Trying to apply the brakes on stress is like turning back the hands of time, near impossible but grabbing 5 mins here and there in our busy schedules might just be enough to make a difference and disturb the prolonged release of cortisol.

Skin Behaving Badly

  Off the treadmill and start by trying to access some anti-stress techniques and lifestlyle adjustments.

 Eating foods with anti-inflammatory and healing benefits!healing-foods/clb8

  • Start small with snatched moments of downtime  – be careful not to have unrealistic expectations of available time as you will stress even more if you can’t meet them
  • Recognising your stress triggers
  • Find your ‘Oprah Corner’ where you can zen out for 5 mins
  • Walking the dog – you know he’ll love it!
  • Why not try Yoga
  • Meditation and Minfulnesss
  • WaterWaterWater

 further reading;

  Meditation for Busy People  by author OSHO- readily available at all online bookstores.

 As Psychodermatology increases in popularity and people understand the close relationship between mind and skin, greater success will be seen in the management of stress related skin conditions.

An integrated approach combining relaxation techniques,  nutritional advice, medication will all contribute in helping to alleviate the cause and symptoms of skin conditions triggered by stress.

 ASkinSolutions x