Is sweating bad for your skin?

Sweat is impossible to avoid, but for the most part it isn’t damaging to skin. “As long as you’re washing your face once or more per day, sweating will not clog up pores sufficiently to cause acne,” says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a Toronto dermatologist and the medical director of Toronto Dermatology Centre. However, it can result in skin irritation, particularly in those already prone to dry skin, eczema, rosacea or odour.

That said, there are plenty of benefits to sweating, the primary one being perspiration’s ability to cool the body and maintain a proper body temperature. It’s also typically a marker of a good workout. “The fitter you are, the more easily you sweat – big surprise to most people,” Barankin says. However, the idea that sweating can detoxify skin is pure myth, Barankin says.

My recommendation: Although not a traditional beauty product, a good hat can go a long way to protecting your skin from the sun and helping you keep cool on a muggy day. Bucket hats have been my favourite for years — they’re fashion forward, flattering and provide coverage to ears and the back of the neck as well. You can drop a small fortune on a designer version (I’ve had my eye on Prada’s), but they don’t call it Tilley Endurables for nothing.

Credit: Caitlin Agnew,

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