Sweat pimples.

There.  I’ve said it.

Sweat pimples.

I know right: Yuck!

As it turns out, when you run a lot, you sweat a lot.  And what I’m finding is that, on my face, this means pimples.  Lots.  Tiny little ones.  All over my forehead.  And some on my cheeks.  And a couple on my chin.  But mostly it’s my forehead.

I’m not having a whining-girl-in-the-mirror-freaking-out-over-one-stupid-spot-moment here, people.  This isn’t one of those times when your mate has a blind pimple that hurts and you’re all nice and supportive and you figure “hey, it’s one spot, I’ll just say I didn’t notice it”.  My forehead is covered in teensy tiny little pimples.

I’m putting it down to the sweat.

I’ve googled it to check I’m not kidding myself here and “sweat pimples on forehead” shoots up in the predictive search thingy, so I figure I’m not alone.   Hell, there’s even support groups and chat rooms and websites and help lines and all kinds of advice available for “sweat pimples on forehead”.

Recommendations – everything from the obvious wash your face with soap / witch hazel / Clearasil to covering it in talcum powder before working out.

For anyone who has read my post on trying to keep my stupid pants up while running – add a face covered in talcum powder to the equation… Yeah, I’m thinking not so much on that one.  Think I’m doing just fine at looking ridiculous in my running tights and my spotty forehead without adding a powdered face to the equation (although, if I added a powdered wig to the complete the look I could rock out a Kristen/Kirsten-what’s-her-name as Marie Antoinette look. Not hopeless).

Some people recommend sweat bands or headbands.  I can get on board with that.  Some of Australia’s greatest living legends invented looking fabulous in sweatbands (I’m looking at you Pat Cash and Olivia Newton John) so I may give that a go.  It seems a little less extreme than the powdered wig thing too.

But then the next person (who sounds hugely authoritative so must know) says: “Very simple – sun block, hat or headband are probably clogging your pores.” Back to the wig?  No wait, I’ll just spray my hair back with hairspray (and skin cancers and premature ageing from the sun be damned).


“Do you use any hair products at all? hairspray, gel, mouse, pomades, shampoos and conditioners all leave a residue on your hair/skin and while exercise in itself won’t cause acne, while running, the products you use may drip down from your hair line and get lodged in your pores.”

ANY hair products.  Really? Not even shampoo?  I’ll be honest, I’m a bit concerned that my career and love life could end fairly swiftly if I exclude shampoo from my life.  I think people are more likely to be ok with “sweat pimples on forehead” than “greasy dirty flea infested dreadlocks on scalp”.  But that’s just me.  You do what works for you anonymous-contributor-to-acne-forum.

Oooh.  Advice from someone who trains for marathons (I hear they’re good people):  “I find this happens to me when I start long workouts training for a marathon.  It gets better, generally in about a month as long as you stop eating fake foods and sugars, etc. You will also notice a change in your sweat. I am now at the point, the first few days, especially, the sweat has a chemical smell to it and is more potent than when I am not eating chips, drinking soda, or eating any type of candy, etc.”

Me?  Give up sugar?  I’m vegetarian.  That’s enough sacrificing for someone who loves a rare eye fillet.  You can’t take sugar away from me.  Plus, for the record, my sweat does not have a chemical or potent smell to it.  It smells like rosewater (shut up, it does).  That may well be to do with the fact that I consume a lot of my sugar in the form of Turkish delight – I’m going to stick with it.  If cutting out sugar has your sweat smelling of potent chemicals and eating sugar has mine smelling of rosewater… nuff said.

Some bright spark over on (nope, not making that up) suggests staying out of the kitchen.  Thank you for that.  Now piss off.

So anyway, I’m going to stick with the classics – tea tree wash, make up off before bed, drink lots of water, etc etc – but I just had to share with you how grateful these sweat pimples on my forehead have made me to have them.

Because you know how I said I googled it?

I went kinda fast past “sweat pimp” (because no one, least of all an acne ridden feminist, wants to see those results), but then kinda slow after “sweat pimple…” to see what would pop up in the suggestive search (you know, to make sure I wasn’t the first person ever to type this in to google).

And here’s what popped up.

Sweat Pimple Google Search

Sweat Pimple Google Search

So thank God I have sweat pimples on my forehead.

2 Responses to “Gratitude”
  1. Emily says:

    Love it!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] bit of a google around for training diets, but, frankly, the results are simply not as funny as the sweat pimples on… ones and, therefore, don’t hold my interest (my lack of interest may also have something to […]

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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