The human body is a marvel. Consider the many organs and systems that must function in concert to perform their tasks – even the simple act of walking involves coordination between the brain, eyes, and various muscle groups. For the most part, though, we typically take for granted the processes that occur within our bodies that keep us active and alive.
However, it is the wonder of this amazing physiology that makes our daily lives possible, including the feats of athleticism that many are able to perform.
Athletes are those who push their bodies to the limits, stress their bodily systems, building muscles and endurance. Their routines contribute to trim physiques, garner adoration from fans and often earn them awards in their fields. But the physical stress they experience and their demanding schedules also necessitates special care of their bodies, including their skin.
Skin: The Body's Largest Organ
To better understand how athletes can best care for their skin, it is important to know the skin's purpose.
Function of Skin
Skin is the largest organ in the body, covering about 20 square feet, or 15% of an adult's total body weight. We all know that skin is our body's outer covering, but what does it do?
Our skin performs a variety of functions. Below are some of its primary purposes.
- Protection – Skin serves as a physical barrier against 'injury, infection, UV radiation, and moisture loss.' The skin does this by preventing pathogens from entering the body, providing the necessary cushion for bones and muscles, blocks UV light, and balances water entering and leaving the body.
- Sensation – Nerve endings in the skin allow for the detection of pain, temperature, and pressure.
- Thermoregulation – The skin helps to maintain body temperature through processes involving muscles and hair on the skin as well as the activity of the skin's blood vessels.
Athletes and Skincare
No matter the type of athlete you may be, keeping your skin in optimal condition is vital for allowing it to perform its necessary functions, thereby keeping you healthy and able to compete.
Because athletes have occasion to sweat more, they may experience certain skin conditions, like acne, more frequently. They may also have their skin exposed to harsh elements, so learning how to properly care for the skin is essential.
To show your skin some love, check out the tips below.
1. Develop a Skincare Routine
Although routine may sound like a boring word, as athletes know, maintaining peak performance involves establishing healthy habits – that goes for your skin too. Making skincare a part of your daily schedule is easy and doesn't have to be time-consuming. Follow this simple three-step process:
- Cleanse – Participating in sports gives the body, including the skin, a workout. Daily cleansing skin removes dead skin, oil, and dirt.
- Moisturize – Because athletes' skin may be frequently exposed to conditions such as extreme climates or extensive contact with water, applying a moisturizer helps to retain moisture.
- Exfoliate – Exfoliating is important for removing dead skin cells, so they don't clog your pores.
2. Protect with pH
Many times, athletes are out in the elements. Protecting the skin from sun damage is critical. Aim to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 and reapply as necessary during activity.
3. Eat Healthily
Making a commitment to healthier skin involves what you put on the outside and what you put on the inside. Eating antioxidant-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, helps protect your cells, producing more radiant-looking skin.
4. Be Prepared
Keep a tote in your gym bag that has your essential skincare items (maybe in portable sizes) so that you are never without what you need, making it easy to stay on target with your routine.
5. Dry Off After Sweating
Allowing sweat to linger on your body or staying in sweaty clothes can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. When bacteria sit on the skin, breakouts can occur. So, treat your skin kindly by hopping in the shower or using a wipe to freshen up after a workout.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated with plenty of water helps by working with the body's natural healing processes to rid toxins from your system.
7. Practice Towel Hygiene
A gym towel can be another place where bacteria can multiply. It may sound gross and not something you usually think about, but especially if the towel has gotten old, it may be time to swap it out for a fresher, more absorbent one.
As an athlete, you do what's needed to stay on top of your game. Sometimes, though, it can be easy to neglect making skincare a part of the plan. To learn more about men's skincare and how you can help your skin look and function at its best, visit HIMistry Naturals.