How Running Affects Your Skin

What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “the risks of running”? Perhaps you think of the runner’s knee, heart attack or something similar. But we often forget about our skin which covers our entire body and is influenced by everything that we are involved in.

Running means spending a lot of time outdoors, under the sun and in motion. There are some benefits and risks for the runner’s skin. This concerns skin on different parts of the body. There are good news and bad news for runners. Let’s start with the good ones.

Benefits of Running for Your Skin

Sports are believed to be good for our body in general and skin in particular. These are the ways in which running benefits our skin.

  • Running increases blood circulation in our skin – the cells receive more nutrition and oxygen.
  • Committed athletes usually eat healthy food – this is also very important for good skin health.
  • Running keeps your muscles, including the facial ones, toned – this helps delay the visual signs of aging.

But there’s also another side of the coin. There are some risks for your skin as well but you can resist them through a smart approach and a few extra measures of precaution before the start of your run.

Risks for the Runner’s Skin

These risks concern even the skin in the most unexpected areas. Even if you won’t manage to completely avoid the harm to your skin, at least you can make it minimal with the help of our tips.


The fact that UV-radiation increases the risk of early aging and cancer isn’t new to anyone. A sunscreen cream with SPF no less than 30 should become the runner’s best friend. You should also adjust your daily schedule to avoid running at the time when the sun is especially aggressive. One thing to note is that UV-rays destroy the folium acid in the skin, so be sure that your diet has enough of it – eat more beans, leafy greens, and seeds.

Foot problems

Feet undergo the main strain during a run, so the possible problems are numerous. Athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails…  A smart choice of special footwear and accurate personal hygiene will help you reduce the risks for your feet. Be also careful with the size – it should be slightly bigger than your average size. Your footwear shouldn’t feel loose but there should be some extra space. It will come in handy if the strain will make your foot swell which often happens if you run long distances.

Damage caused by friction

Your clothes rub over your skin as you run. The nipples are especially sensitive. Some runners stick band-aids on them to protect them from friction. Be sure that your sports outfits aren’t too tight and are made of quality materials that allow your skin to breathe.


Sports means lots of sweating. Sweat may boost the function of the sebaceous glands and cause their blockage, which results in ugly purulent pimples. Wash your face as soon as you can after your run. Avoid touching your sweaty face – this is the easiest way to get bacteria into your pores.

Malnutrition of the skin

Many people believe that the combination of a strict diet and long runs will help them get slimmer. In fact, such a lifestyle only exhausts your body, and, naturally, your skin as well. Your diet should be balanced enough to keep you strong and productive. Malnutrition can cause a hormonal imbalance that will affect your skin as well.

Now you know how to protect your skin during a run. Hopefully, these tips will help you stay not only fit and strong but also healthy and beautiful.

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