Yoga and Acne - Why Yoga Can Trigger Acne

Yoga and Acne - Why Yoga Can Trigger Acne

Yoga is undoubtedly a healthy practice, as it comes with numerous benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. People across the world have been practicing yoga for thousands of years to reduce stress, improve flexibility, and strengthen their muscles, among other things. However, some people have raised concerns about the potential link between yoga and acne. A few even claim that yoga can cause acne in some people. In this blog post we'll evaluate this claim and provide some answers to those who wonder whether practicing yoga can contribute to acne breakouts.

Stress is undoubtedly one of the most significant triggers of acne. The hormonal fluctuations that occur when a person is under stress can lead to the production of oils in the skin, which can then clog pores and lead to acne. It is well known that yoga is an effective way of reducing stress levels in the body, which means that it should, in theory, reduce the risk of acne breakouts. However, some experts theorize that certain poses in yoga could potentially stimulate the adrenal glands, triggering a “fight or flight” response, resulting in an increase in stress hormones, which may eventually lead to breakouts.

In addition to stress levels, practicing yoga can also lead to sweating. When you sweat, your pores dilate, and the skin’s pH level can also change. If you don't clean off sweat from your skin immediately after yoga practice, the sweat can mix with dead skin cells and sebum, leading to clogged pores and potential acne breakouts.

Yoga mats are also another potential source of acne-causing bacteria. Numerous studies have shown that yoga mats can harbor tons of germs and bacteria, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus, which can ultimately lead to skin infections and acne breakouts. There’s no telling who has used the yoga mat before, so be sure to carry disinfectant wipes to clean your yoga mat before and after each practice.

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2020 revealed that wearing tight fitting clothes during a yoga session can also trigger acne breakouts. The friction caused by constrictive clothing, such as sports bras and leggings, can lead to irritation and inflammation in the skin and potentially cause acne flare-ups. That said, experts recommend wearing breathable clothing, preferably made of materials that wick moisture from the skin, to avoid exacerbating breakouts.

In conclusion, practicing yoga can lead to acne breakouts in some people, particularly if they’re prone to acne in the first place. A combination of stress, sweat, dirty yoga mats, and tight-fitting clothes can potentially trigger acne breakouts. However, this doesn’t mean that yoga is unhealthy. You just need to take some precautions, such as cleaning your yoga mat, wearing breathable clothes, and washing your face immediately after yoga practice. You can still enjoy the mental, physical and emotional benefits that yoga provides while keeping acne breakouts under control.


If you have any questions about your skin, skincare regime, acne or any product recommendations please feel free to contact us here and one of our Vasseur team will get right back to you.

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