In most cases, a flushed face after an intense workout shouldn't be a cause for concern. Your face usually becomes sweaty and red because of a form of inflammation.
This isn't the chronic, unhealthy kind of inflammation linked to conditions like arthritis or other serious ones.
High-intensity physical activity tears tiny holes in your muscles. As you cool down and recover, these holes heal and you become more toned and stronger. While you're in your post-workout and recovery period, your muscles are technically inflamed.
According to Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine expert, inflammation is an important and normal process that allows your body to repair damaged tissue.
However, when you overexercise and skip breaks, your exhausted body doesn't have enough time to heal itself between workouts. This may cause ongoing inflammation.
Cole says that when you exercise, your blood vessels dilate to let blood travel throughout your body more quickly and supply oxygen to your muscles. Additionally, this process moves the extra heat generated while you work out to the surface of your skin.
The alarming facial redness that you notice is the heat trying to escape your body.
If you have more superficial blood vessels on your face, you're more likely to experience facial redness following a session at the gym. (Related: Natural remedies for soothing irritated skin.)
If you frequently experience facial redness after an intense workout, there are some home remedies that you can try.
Cole says it is important to always have a cool down and stretching period after an intense session at the gym, so your body has a chance to rebalance.
While warming up before exercise promotes blood flow and prevents injuries, cooling down after engaging in high-intensity physical activity allows your body to gradually recover. After you exercise, cooling down gives your heart rate a chance to return to normal.
While you're cooling down, stretch your joints, limbs, and muscles to minimize the buildup of lactic acid that can cause muscle cramping and stiffness.
Cooldown and stretching tips:
If your face is still red after you've left the gym, you can take some supplements to relieve inflammation.
Cole recommends taking turmeric supplements if you're planning on having an intense gym session. Turmeric is great at relieving inflammation.
You can also take L-glutamine supplements. Considered an essential amino acid, L-glutamine helps restore muscles and minimizes inflammation.
Take note that the supplements won't immediately relieve facial redness. Once you take supplements, it can take hours before the inflammation in your face subsides.
Exercise regularly to maintain your overall health. If you experience facial redness after a strenuous workout, cool down and take turmeric or L-glutamine supplements to relieve inflammation. You can also place a cool towel on your face to cool the heat and calm the inflammation.