Can Sweating Clean Your Pores

Nobody enjoys feeling sweaty, with many people blaming acne and other skin imperfections on excessively sweaty skin. But is this reputation well-deserved, or merely a rumor? ViaBuff investigates!

Sweat Can Generally Benefit Your Skin and Body …


When we sweat, our pores release many of the contents within them, which in turn can partially unclog pores (a good thing). So, sweat can be a beneficial physical process for healthy skin, when it is moderate.  Moderate sweating can greatly benefit the body in other ways. For example, sweating may be able to lower one’s risk of developing kidney stones since it can limit the buildup of salt and calcium in both urine and the kidneys. Sweating is also believed to flush excess alcohol, cholesterol and salt from the body (along with other substances), which helps to regulate  internal health. Perhaps most importantly, sweat keeps the body from overheating during periods of great physical exertion (Medical Daily, Everyday Health, Mercola).

. . . But Make Sure to Clean Your Skin after Sweating

While sweat can do a great deal to improve your physical health, it sometimes promotes less positive reactions on the skin. When you find yourself sweating excessively, you may be at a heightened risk of skin infections due to pores being more accessible to germs. Because sweat creates a moist, warm environment in which germs may multiply, infections may be encouraged by excessive sweat. It is important to note that moderate sweating can seldom induce acne unless you 1.) do not clean your face after working out or 2.) have athletic straps or gym equipment that rub against your skin frequently while exercising. For example, those who frequently sweat excessively (such as athletes) and who tend to work in hot climates may experience a type of acne known as pityrosporum folliculitis. It is characterized by itchy and sensitive pimples, which typically appear inflamed and clogged. They often develop along the hairline, jawline, and forehead; down the sides of one’s neck and back; and on the upper chest and down to the waist. Pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by an overgrowth of a normal skin yeast (Malassezia) that grows on every human’s skin. However, excess oil production, congested pores, sweat, and heat tend to encourage growth of yeast, especially if the face is not cleaned shortly after sweating. If you suffer from this form of acne, it is  best to speak with your dermatologist as soon as possible to discuss what treatments may be best for you (Dr. Cynthia Bailey Skincare).


In order to maximize the benefits of sweat for your skin and minimize the risks, there are certain steps to follow. First, make sure to clean your face before working out to remove cosmetics and other debris on your skin that may clog the pores. Secondly, consider using alcohol-free wipes shortly after working out so that you can prevent sweat residue and germs from resting on the skin’s surface. Finally, you should consider regularly exfoliating if you are someone who regularly exercises or sweats. Those who are very active physically tend to produce more dead skin cells than those who are less physically-active. Dead cells provide a medium in which sweat and oil can accumulate, congesting the pores. However, using a good exfoliating buff and serum can help to remove these dead skin cells and in turn, limit the likelihood of oily skin or breakouts (Jeffrey Spiegel MD). We suggest using the ViaBuff Exfoliating Buffs, which are cruelty-free, dermatologist-tested, and can be customized to meet the needs of 10 different skin types. These buffs last an average of 90 days, which is three times longer than the life of your standard exfoliating buff or loofah.

Bottom Line

Generally speaking, sweat can partially relieve congested pores and discourage certain other skin blemishes. However, excessive sweating and letting perspiration residue remain on your skin for a long time may actually clog the pores and encourage infections and acne, undesirable health issues. Therefore, make it your goal to clean your face before and after working out, and keep facial wipes on hand to make it easy. Plan to regularly exfoliate your skin so that sweat and oil will not build up in the layers of dead skin cells. We recommend the ViaBuff Exfoliating Buffs, because they are compatible with 10 different skin types, making them effective as well as long lasting.


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