For many of us, 2018 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2019! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January and February for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

Two women high-fiving while doing planks.

If you’re trying to find the motivation to commit to your latest round of New Year’s resolutions, listen up. Adding exercise to your daily routine not only benefits your body, but your face too. Now that we have your attention, keep scrolling to find out what happens to your complexion when you take the time to sweat on the reg — and the one thing not to forget after your workout. (Photo via nd3000/ Getty)

1. Say hello to a next-level glow. As you work out, your body temperature rises and causes blood vessels to dilate, which brings more blood (and oxygen and nutrients) to the surface. “At its most fundamental level, sweating occurs to protect us from overheating, which, as a result, translates into a brightened glow rather than an intense flushed appearance to the skin,” says Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. (Photo via Peathegee Inc/ Getty)

Woman working out on a balance ball.
Women working out on a set of stairs.

2. Kiss breakouts goodbye. The more you work out, the more balance you bring to your level of cortisol, the stress hormones responsible for everything from bad moods to stubborn breakouts, explains NYC-based dermatologist Rachel Nazarian. When you exercise, cortisol levels drop, reversing the negative effects and bringing peace to your body, mind, and complexion. (Photo via VW Pics/ Getty)

Woman smiling while working out on a rowing machine.

3. Encourage a younger-looking complexion. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario discovered that performing regular exercise — just 30 minutes of elevated heart rate (hitting 80 percent of your maximum rate) two to three times a week — can reverse the clock on your complexion, explains Nazarian. “It works by enhancing repair mechanisms in the dermis and improving elasticity and collagen formation, both [of which] contribute to healthy, youthful-looking skin,” she says. The increased blood circulation also naturally detoxes skin, purging the buildup of impurities, which helps to decrease the aging effects of free radical damage, she explains. (Photo via PeopleImages/ Getty)

Woman washing her face in a white tank top.

4. Rinse away sweat to reap the benefits. It’s no secret that sitting around in sweaty clothes can harbor bacteria and wreak havoc on your skin. To ensure that your workout only brings positive results to your life (and your face), take a few minutes to shower after every sweat sesh. Following your shower, Garshick recommends using gentle cleansers and creams, as well as a solid layer of SPF in the daytime. “Just as important is to not over-wash, scrub, or over-exfoliate the skin post-exercise as that can not only negate the [glowing] benefits of exercise, but it can also cause irritation to the skin,” she says. (Photo via PeopleImages/ Getty)

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