When it comes to aging, there is obviously not a whole lot we can do about the passing of time. However, when we are talking about skin aging, there are preventative steps that we can take to help keep it young. Running puts a certain amount of stress on our bodies as we age—especially on joints—so could it actually be aging your face and skin, too?
The short answer is no…and yes.
Running and exercise itself won’t age your skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it can actually help to exercise most days of the week. “Findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.”
However, the environmental factors that come with running are what has an effect on our skin.
“There are two key reasons for skin aging: UV exposure and smoking,” explains Professor Deitrich Abeck. “The skin actually ages faster the more UV-sensitive you are and the longer you are exposed to sun.”
Professor Abeck notes that Skin Types I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale—very pale—are at a higher risk for damage from sun exposure.
So how can you stop the process of aging from UV exposure?
“Consistent use of sunscreen when running outdoors, of course,” adds Professor Abeck. “It is important to note that sweat may reduce the protection factor of the sun screen faster, so you should us water-proof and sweat-proof sun protection. In addition, you can get UV protection from the inside as by regular intake of the vitamin nicotinamide.”
With a bit of forethought and prevention, we can’t completely stop the aging of our skin, but we can help to keep it looking young and vibrant as long as possible.