Whether you're an avid gym-goer or not, you're likely to have heard lots of horror stories about the negative effects exercising can have on you – and your beauty regime. Will you get spots if you train with makeup on? And does sweating cause body acne? We call upon Emma Frain, a personal trainer and the head of fitness at Protein World, to debunk the common myths…
1. Body acne is caused by sweating
Exercise CAN cause body acne, but it's not down to sweating. It's actually caused by sitting in your gym clothes after a workout – restrictive clothing blocks your pores and results in inflammation. Try to shower as soon as you can after your session to avoid any flare-ups.
2. Training with makeup on causes spots
Emma notes that training without makeup on is definitely preferable – it allows skin to breathe and stops awkward mid-session mascara smearing all over your face! But if you prefer to hit the treadmill with some coverage, try to keep it as minimal as possible – Emma recommends sticking to waterproof mascara, a decent browgel and a lightweight tinted moisturiser. And her top tip? "Once your workout is complete, remove the makeup on your face as quickly, and as thoroughly, as possible."
3. Exercise makes you look younger
This is slightly more complicated – we'll let Emma explain: "A one-off HIIT session isn't going to make you look younger, it's going to make you glow from sweat but that's the extent of the anti-ageing process."However, long-term exercise does increase the production of collagen within skin cells, which helps to plump out the skin and make it appear younger."
4. Wash your hair straight after a workout
The jury is out when it comes to how often you should wash your hair, with factors such as hair type, condition and thickness all impacting. However, there is no set rule on how little, or how often, you should wash it – it's totally up to you.
5. Running makes your boobs saggy
High-intensity exercise can contribute to sagging in the breast area, because you are putting it under more stress, but you can eliminate this risk by wearing the correct clothing. You need to ensure your sports bra of choice fits properly and supports you throughout all types of exercise. Most sports shops will be able to advise you on the type of sports bra you need for the activity you're doing.