5 Times Exercise Can Seriously Screw With Your Looks
Sure, you’re fit, but for some reason things are going south everywhere else. What the hell happened? Here, we’ve identified five of the most common exercise-induced beauty issues and brought in the experts to help you fix them.
1. Tress Stress
The problem: It’s not just your body that’s thinning. According to trichologist Sara Allison, over-exercising is causing a rise in female hair loss. “People who exercise regularly and restrict what they eat are in danger of becoming nutrient deficient,” Allison says. “This can cause excessive shedding of hair.” Read: baldness. Not an aspiration, we’re guessing.
The fix: Try a hair-loss supplement to replace lost nutrients, like Vigro Bio-Capsules. Or try this three-step Vigro starter pack, which includes shampoo, tonic and capsules (R170 at Dis-Chem) Swim as well? “Soak your hair with non-chlorinated water before you get in,” Allison says. Your hair and scalp will absorb less chlorine – kryptonite for your mane.
2. Red Alert
The problem: Air con, steam rooms, tepid pools – a gym session can be a dermal assault course. “A common trigger for rosacea is exercise,” says cosmetic dermatologist Dr Rachael Eckel. An inflammatory skin condition, rosacea can be set off by high-impact sports and exacerbated by temperature extremes.
The fix: Wash twice a day with a salicylic acid-based cleanser. Then try a moisturizer formulated to neutralise redness like Avène Relief Concentrate for Chronic Redness (R240 for 30ml) at Dis-Chem.
3. Wrinkle Rage
The problem: You’re three planks away from having the abs of a bikini model. But also one biceps curl away from having the face of a French bulldog. “Large amounts of exercise cause oxidative stress on the body,” says facialist Dr Sarah Tonks. “This in turn damages the DNA of the skin cells, leading to wrinkles and lines.”
The fix: Repair the damage with a mask, such as Skin Republic’s Collagen Infusion Face Mask (R40 at Dis-Chem).
4. Spot Bother
The problem: There’s a fine line between glowing skin and pizza face. You’ve crossed it. “Outbreaks tend to happen to those working out after a spell of inactivity,” says make-up artist Rebecca McMahon. That’s because a lull in exercise will see toxins build up, which are then released as we get back on the wagon, resulting in spots. Nice.
The fix: Use an oil-based cleanser all over the body, like Nivea Pampering Shower Oil (R53 at Dis-Chem) and try The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (R220 for 200ml) on your face, before and after workouts. McMahon also advocates massaging beneath ear lobes and down the neck to release toxins.
5. Boob Sag
The problem: Eight weeks into your new fitness regimen, the kilos are vaporising. Whoop! Only… Your boobs are starting to feel a bit, well… Saggy. “When breast volume diminishes through exercise, the skin remains stretched to the original cup size, so sagging occurs,” says consultant plastic surgeon Dr Amir Nakhdjevani. Impact also doesn’t help: “Every time your foot hits the ground, it stretches the collagen fibres, which, over time, inhibits their ability to bounce back,” says facialist Sarah Chapman.
The fix: Massage your breasts for 60 seconds post-shower with Dove DermaSpa Body Lotion Uplifted+ (R91 at Clicks) to boost elasticity. And invest in a good-quality sports bra, like the adidas Performance TF bra (on sale right now for R379 at Zando). Get yourself measured to check your correct size – if you’ve been shedding kilos yours will probably have changed.