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Monday, June 12, 2017

Running & Skin

If you are a runner, undoubtedly you are usually exercising outside. Your skin, therefore, is going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, which is problem number one. Problem number two: so far, there have been no decent solutions to the dilemma of hats to wear while running. Your choices are either a visor or a baseball cap, neither of which offers your face much coverage. If you stand outside wearing a baseball cap or visor and go somewhere where you can see your reflection, you’ll see that only your forehead and parts of your upper cheeks and nose are shielded from the sun. The rest of your face, the bottom two thirds, is exposed.

Are you a runner who has discoloration on the lower half of your face, especially your cheek area? Since you are exposing your face to sun when you run, even if you are wearing a cap, you are going to see the discoloration increase over time. This condition is called hyperpigmentation, and avoiding direct sun exposure is truly the only way to keep the dark color away. There are bleaching creams and products that are meant to help even out the skin tone, but if sun exposure continues, so will the pigmentation irregularities.

Always wear a waterproof sunscreen when you run. It will stay on your skin through all the sweating that occurs as you exercise. You still need to wear a hat that shades as much of your face as possible, and waterproof sunscreen on your exposed body as well.

Anytime you sweat, you want to be sure to get the sweat off your face and neck before it dries on your skin. If it dries, it can cause little irritations on the surface of the skin. If nothing else is available, at least splash rinse at a drinking fountain or carry extra water in your car for this purpose. Don’t allow the sweat to dry or you may have to contend with small breakouts as long as you are exercising hard enough to sweat.

Be aware of your skin. Since you are exercising outside and exposed to the sun, know your moles so you can see if any of them change over time. I highly recommend an annual visit to your dermatologist so they can keep tabs on the goings on of your skin as well.

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