Exercise can help acne by increasing the blood flow to the skin and providing oxgyen to the skin cells. Moderate sweating will clean the pores from the inside. This in turn will aid skin health and reduce acne by both preventing further outbreaks of acne and helping existing acne disappear. Spots and blackheads will heal quicker and scars will fade.
Exercise will improve the fitness of your internal organs so they will be able to work more efficiently. Improved cardio-vascular fitness will mean your heart and lungs will get oxygen round your body more effectively. Your liver, kidneys and bowel will be able to work better to get the right nutrients out of the food you eat and get toxins out of your system more quickly. Exercise rebalances hormones and reduces stress both are precursors of acne.
Make sure you shower as soon after exercising as possible to wash away the sweat where bacteria can grow. This is especially important if you have acne on you back and chest.
Types of Exercise
You don't have to overdo it or partake in a sport you don't enjoy. Find something you enjoy doing and practise it regularly. Try and find time to exercise outdoors, the fresh air and sunshine will further reduce your acne. Suitable exercise includes cycling, rowing, swimming, jogging, brisk walking, team sports. Swimming is especially good for acne as you're in water and are cleaning the skin from the inside and outside. Just make sure you rinse the chlorine (or salt if you're lucky enough to live near the sea) off as soon as you finish.
You don't have to get hot and sweaty - you can try exercise like yoga and t'ai chi which also calm the mind. See the section on relaxation.
State of Mind
Becoming fit and good at sport will also help your mental wellbeing. Acne is renowned for ruining people's self confidence. Doing exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happier. Exercising regularly will both help reduce your acne and enable you to cope with it better.