RMS Beauty founder Rose-Marie Swift once told us that in the summer, you're supposed to sweat so your body can release built-up toxins. "Sitting in a cold, air-conditioned office every day isn't necessarily good for you," she said. That has always stuck with us, and it turns out that Swift—who started her organic beauty brand because of chemical-induced sicknesses earlier in life—may be right. We talked to a dermatologist and fitness instructor to get the scoop.
"The most important function of sweating is to regulate body temperature," says Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a dermatologist in NYC. "It's the body's cooling system; it evaporates heat. But trace toxins are also eliminated through sweat." Not only that, but Kauvar says it causes pores to open, helping to unclog pores and reduce acne. Here, everything you need to know about sweating to get that bridal glow—from how long you should sweat to the best way to cleanse your skin after.
Plan to sweat for at least 20 minutes each day.
In order to reap the detoxifying benefits, you have to sweat for about 20 minutes a day, whether by exercising or sitting in a sauna. But if you exercise, you'll "feed two birds with one stone," says Kiley Holliday, who teaches hot yoga classes at Pure Yoga in NYC, because you'll not only stay fit, but increased circulation from exercise can give you a healthy glow. (Ever notice how your skin seems to look radiant after working out? That's why.)
Don't forget to re-hydrate after.
Whenever you sweat, though, you have to ensure you're hydrated. "Drink at least two large glasses of water beforehand, because if you're dehydrated, your body may start retaining water and get puffy," Holliday says. "I like to replenish afterward, too, with not just water, but electrolytes. I use Nuun; they have electrolyte tablets that you can mix into water."
Remember to cleanse after sweating.
And always cleanse you skin after sweating, otherwise, the toxins that are released through sweat can sit on the surface of your skin, blocking pores and causing irritation, Kauvar says. She adds that just rinsing with water can rinse sweat from your body. Holliday, however, has found a non-drying method that works perfectly for her. "I use tea tree oil pads right after a class, and in the evening, I open my pores by putting a hot towel over my face. Then, I mix finely ground sea salt and coconut oil together and apply it with a Clarisonic. I let that sit for five minutes and rinse with water. Since I work out and sweat all of the time, I've found this is a nice, gentle way to cleanse without stripping it."