In the peak summer, we often find ourselves drenched in our own sweat throughout the day. Perspiration often causes the body to emit a bad odour and can leave one feeling sticky and uncomfortable. There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about sweat, but there are actually some benefits of sweating too.
So if you look at the bigger picture, is it good for your skin or is it bad for it? This article will help you to answer this question by explaining the process of perspiration in detail and will also acquaint you with all the positive and negative effects that sweating might have on your skin.
Why do we sweat?
Let us first try to understand the process of sweating and the reason that our body produces sweat. When the body senses that it is heating above the average temperature, it naturally sweats as a temperature control mechanism. Sweat is mainly secreted by the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands and it is largely composed of water. When the sweat produced by these glands evaporates, a looking effect is also induced, which automatically lowers the body temperature and helps it to cool down.
However, though cooling down is an important reason why our bodies produce sweat, it is not the only reason they do. The body tends to sweat more if you eat spicy food, face a lot of stress, or drink alcohol. Depending on genetic factors, there may or may not be some form of body odour that is emitted when you sweat. Perspiration is also a way to dispel toxic waste like excess salt, ammonia and urea from the body mixed with water as sweat.
What are the benefits of sweating?
1. Sweating helps your skin to detox
Sweating can improve the health of your skin because it helps it to eliminate the toxin within it. Toxic heavy metals that are present in the human body such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, dissolve in the water quite easily. This is why they are dispelled by the body in the form of sweat. But the amount of toxins that are dispelled from the body is quite small. Expelling them through sweat works even better if you drink a lot of water.
The more water you drink, the more your body sweats, so you will be able to remove a larger number of toxins.
2. Sweating can unclog the pores in your skin
Sweat not only removes the toxins like heavy metals from the body but also expels contaminants like pollution, dirt or makeup from the body, microparticles of which might have accumulated on the skin. It can open up your pores and remove the build-up on your skin that may later cause pimple breakouts and acne. The pores are naturally cleansed when you sweat, and this helps to prevent the appearance of dark spots and other blemishes.
It may also improve the texture of the skin with time and even out your skin tone with lesser blemishes.
3. The hair follicles in your scalp unclog because of sweat
When a person sweats, the hair follicles in the scalp get unclogged. Because of this, the hair is able to breathe better, and this can also encourage the growth of new hair cells. This happens because all of the build-ups left behind by various hair products, dirt and pollution are expelled with the sweat. These impurities are mainly in the form of salt, but once expelled from the scalp, they need to be immediately removed from it.
The sweat must be washed away with shampoo and water as soon as possible because, if left on the scalp too long, the acid in it can damage the hair follicle.
4. Sweating can help your skin glow
Secreting sweat can really make your skin glow. And we are not just talking about the glisten that the layer of sweat on your skin leaves you with. Sweating will encourage blood circulation in the small, narrow blood vessels underneath the skin, and this will cause more nutrients and oxygen to flow through your blood and nourish your skin cells. This will automatically help your skin glow from the inside out.
The sweat will leave your skin looking moisturized and dewy, and this will help you get a look that radiates a healthy, beautiful and natural glow.
What are the drawbacks of sweating?
1. Sweat may end up trapping impurities on your skin
You might feel confused by this statement. After all, sweat helps to flush the impurities out of your skin, as you read before, does it not? The catch here is that if you do not get rid of the sweat on your skin immediately, then these impurities sitting on your skin will be reabsorbed by it. They will damage your skin and worsen any skin problems that you might have.
The dirt secreted on the surface of your skin is very likely to cause the formation of a pimple, and the heavy metals and free radicals might also harm the skin if they come into contact with it.
2. A sweaty environment breeds growth of bacteria that causes acne
When your body perspires, the sweat secreted creates a warm and moist environment which is perfect for encouraging and causing the growth of bacteria that can cause acne on your face. The sweat does not contain bacteria but can end up causing them to breed freely and conveniently on the skin if not checked in time. Additionally, if small particles of dirt, oil, pollution or makeup clog your sweat pores, the effects on your skin can prove to be quite detrimental. It will not be able to secrete sweat, and this might also result in pimples.
3. It can cause rashes on your skin
If the impurities present on your skin cause your sweat pores to clog, and there is heat in that area which might be caused by friction, it might lead to a condition known as a heat rash or prickly heat. Red bumps or blisters might appear on the skin and cause the affected area of the skin to feel itchy, irritable and prickly. It usually heals on its own but can be quiet comfortable while it persists. Your skin might be more vulnerable to developing a heat rash due to blocked sweat pores in hot and humid weather. Wearing tight clothes while exercising can also cause the sweaty area to be exposed to frictional heat which might cause rashes.
4. Sweat can worsen the condition of dry skin
If your sweat has a significantly high salt content and you do not wipe it off your skin soon, then this might cause your skin to become dehydrated. This is why a person with dry skin might experience further dehydration when he or she sweats and a person suffering from the skin condition eczema might experience that the condition of their patches aggravates. Some persons, due to genetic factors, stress or exercise, tend to sweat too much. They lose a lot of water from their bodies, and this also can result in dehydration of the skin.
Tips on how to handle sweat
In most cases, sweating is quite beneficiary for the skin and does not cause problems unless it is mishandled. It is a natural process designed to regulate the temperature of the body. As long as you are on a good diet and take care of your skin, you do not have to worry about sweat damaging it. Here are some tips that might help you out when your body is producing sweat, that will help you avoid the skin conditions and other problems that sweat can cause to your skin:
Every time you sweat, your body loses quite a bit of water content since it is the primary component of sweat. So to prevent this from dehydrating your skin and making it dry, make sure that you drink a sufficient amount of water from time to time throughout the day. This is especially important if you are in hot weather conditions, exercising, eating spicy food or sweating due to stress, nervousness or anxiety.
The best way to not let the sweat accumulate on your skin is to take frequent showers to wash it off. This will prevent your skin from getting damaged by reabsorbing all the impurities that were dissolved into the sweat. Make sure that you thoroughly clean out all of the areas of your body that sweat the most. This includes your armpits, face, back and in between your toes.
Correct your gym wear:
If you wear very tight and restricting clothes at the gym, you are only inviting the chances of developing a heat rash due to the friction. Wear clothes that do not stick to your skin and are made of a material that can sweat can quickly evaporate from. In fact, you can also buy special gym clothing that is made of fabrics that are designed to protect you from bacterial infections that might be caused by sweat. And always wash your gym clothes as frequently as you can.