Does Sweat Cause Acne?

And just when you thought sweating was good for you, as it is helping you with toning and weight loss, take a closer look in the mirror. What do you see apart from your perfectly toned body?

A few more acne breakouts? Well, you have got yourself sweat pimples.

You sweat when it’s a hot day, when you are in a stressful situation when you have a fever, when you exercise, and when you eat spicy food.

And all this sweat didn’t just help tone your body but also gave you something you probably didn’t ask for.

The science of sweat

Sweat pimples are tiny freckles on your skin caused by the mix-up of sweat, bacteria, and friction trapped all under your skin.

But how does all this happen? Let’s take a look.

1. How Does Sweat Cause Acne

Any rigorous activity can cause you to sweat, and while sweating helps cool you down, it can cause acne if it remains on the skin for too long. This is due to the sweat glands present all over your skin.

1.1 What Are Sweat Glands?

How Sweat Glands Work Animation - Why Are You Sweating? What is Sweat Made of | Mechanism Video

Sweat glands are present in the Dermis of the skin and are stimulated by Acetylcholine. These glands control the body’s temperature and play an important role in Human Thermoregulation

When you sweat, these glands open up in pores to help the skin breathe and flush out excess oil. As you start to cool down, the pores close up, and all the sweat, bacteria, and any cosmetic makeup on your skin gets trapped.

This results in clogged pores and acne. Moreover, sweat changes the natural pH balance of your skin, making it a more favorable environment for the acne-causing bacteria to build up.

Now, how do you prevent this?

2. How to Prevent Excess Sweat?

How to stop excessive sweating

Well, one way to prevent sweat acne is to prevent excessive sweating and to do so, avoid tight clothing, change your sweaty clothes, and use a clean towel.

Stop rigorous exercising if you have excessive sweating or post-workout breakouts, and prevent sweat pimples.

Avoid heat rash and post-workout breakouts. Always carry a gym bag to put on your sweaty workout clothes. Carry separate workout clothing and follow an exercise routine. Keep your sports equipment clean to avoid sweat pimples.

Wear breathable fabrics and use micellar water to remove sweat and prevent pimples, pores, and bacterial growth from causing breakouts.

3. How Do You Prevent Acne After Post-Workout Sweat?

Well, do not stop exercising just because you get a few bumps on your skin. Anything that makes your body feel good, never stop doing it, even if it is causing you acne.

Because there are more effective ways to prevent those things, use these tips to avoid getting sweat acne:

  • Take a shower right after your workout ends– To remove excess accumulation of bacteria, use a gentle soap for your face.
  • Exfoliate your skin- to remove dead skin cells that could clog your skin pores, always exfoliate your skin once a week.
  • Avoid pre-workout supplements- try to avoid any supplement that includes caffeine or creatine.
  • Choose the right moisturizer- always use an oil-free moisturizer for your skin.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes while working out as they can collect sweat and bacteria on the skin.

4. Treatment Plans

does sweat cause acne
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels 

If you have acne due to excessive sweating, you can try out the following tips:

  • Never pick at the pimples.
  • Avoid touching the areas of your face where the pimples have popped up.
  • Make necessary lifestyle and dietary changes, as anti-inflammatory food can help with acne.
  • Try applying anti-aging creams, as the retinols in these creams help treat and prevent acne.
  • Visit a primary care physician.

5. Sweat & Acne: The Final Battle

To keep it straight, sweat alone doesn’t cause acne. What causes acne, in a real sense, is not cleansing your face after sweating.

When the sweat dries up on the skin, the dried sweat mixes up with makeup residues, dirt, and residues of germs you pick up, clogging your pores.

And now that you know what the science behind these bumps on your face is, take steps to stop this pesky acne.

The first thing to do is get yourself a manageable skincare routine. The next thing is to refer to the treatment plan mentioned above.


  1. Great article! I never knew that sweat alone doesn’t cause acne. It’s important to cleanse our face after sweating to prevent clogged pores. The tips for choosing the right moisturizer and avoiding tight-fitting clothes are also great.

  2. This informative article delves into the science of sweat, explaining how the mix of sweat, bacteria, and friction can lead to acne breakouts. It emphasizes the importance of proper skincare after sweating to prevent clogged pores and acne, offering practical tips for prevention and treatment.

  3. This insightful article breaks down the science behind sweat-induced acne and provides practical tips on prevention and treatment. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining good skincare practices after sweating to avoid clogged pores and acne breakouts. The suggested preventive measures, such as showering after workouts, using oil-free moisturizers, and avoiding tight-fitting clothes, offer a holistic approach to managing post-exercise acne.

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