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How does sweating benefit my skin?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
If you exercise enough to break a sweat, you are doing your skin – and for that matter, your whole body – a big favor. Perspiration, in addition to cooling you off as it evaporates, is the body’s very efficient waste removal system. Toxic by-products of your bodily processes, including urea and ammonia, are excreted when you sweat. Urea is a moisturizer that helps to soften the skin. It is even added into many skin care products.

In addition, sweat activates the production of sebum, a fatty substance that is your skin’s built-in moisturizer. That’s another reason your skin is softer and moister after a good work-out. Sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin, tends to decline with age but you can maintain as peak a supply as possible if you’re active. This is a tremendous benefit of exercise for your skin because sebum helps keep your skin from losing water, protects your skin from infection, and boosts your immune system.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.