My Face Feels Dry After Sweating with Exercise

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Dry, dehydrated facial skin due to sweating during exercise can be more than just frustrating. Some symptoms can be painful and can even promote dangerous infections it is important to understand how it can be treated and prevented.

What It Looks Like

Symptoms of facial dehydration during exercise can vary from person to person and location to location. Sweating leeches the skin of its natural lubricants and if you exercise in an air-conditioned environment you may experience dry skin more immediately. You can notice facial tightness, itchiness, peeling, skin flaking, redness and the appearance of fine cracks and lines. In addition, your skin can develop a rough texture that looks and feels bumpy or shrunken. In severe cases of dry skin, deep crack or fissures can bleed.

What to Do

To treat dry facial skin after exercising, wash your face or take a lukewarm shower to wash the sweat away. Limit your shower time to less than fifteen minutes and do not use hot water -- showering for excessive lengths or using hot water can dry our your skin and deplete it of its natural oils. Immediately apply a gentle moisturizer to your skin to trap in the moisture from your shower or face wash. Look for a moisturizer that is oil-free and non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores and lead to the development of acne.


The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends running a humidifier if you exercise indoors, especially in the winter when heaters can dry out the air. If you wipe sweat away from your face with a towel during exercise, wash your linens in gentle laundry detergents and avoid using irritating fabric softeners, which can dry out the skin. Drink water before, during and after you exercise. Hydrating the inside of you body can help keep your facial skin hydrated as well.


If left untreated, dehydrated facial skin can lead to more serious skin conditions. Dry skin can provoke atopic dermatitis, or eczema symptoms, leading to cracking, inflammation and redness of the skin. The hair follicles on your face can also become inflamed when your skin is dry, resulting in folliculitis. If dehydrated facial skin is cracked or has open fissures, bacteria can invade the underlying tissues, causing a bacterial infection called cellulitis.