Post-Exercise Breakouts

Q: I started working out, and ever since, I've been breaking out on my face and back. What's going on?

A: "It's not the exercise that makes you break out, it's the sweat," explains Fran Cook-Bolden, M.D., a cosmetic and laser dermatologist and director of the Ethnic Skin Specialty Group in New York City. And sweat can mix with dirt, oil and bacteria, leading to breakouts. Her suggestions for post-workout pimples:

Facial breakouts Remove all makeup, lotions and sunscreens before you hit the gym; they can combine with sweat and clog pores. Try Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating 2-in-1 Foaming Pads ($8; at drugstores).

Hairline breakouts Ditch your oil-based hair products (pomades, oils and styling creams or lotions); silicone-based and/or oil-free ones, such as Aveda's Light Elements Smoothing Fluid ($23;, are less likely to clog your pores.

Body breakouts Wear moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics, remove sweaty gear after workouts and shower with an antibacterial body wash. Try Murad Acne Body Wash ($35;

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