For a new study, researchers asked 10 men and 10 women to bike at a low intensity for one hour and analyzed differences in core temperature. Though everyone’s core temp rose at the same rate, men’s skin stayed hotter for longer (one hour) post-workout than women’s skin did (10 minutes).
Your body prevents overheating by increasing blood flow to your skin’s surface, sweating out the warmth, and recirculating the cooler blood. After exercise, that blood flow rate decreases quickly in women (lowering their skin temps), but remains elevated in men, says senior study author Zachary Schlader, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise and nutrition sciences at the University at Buffalo in New York. The reason behind the discrepancy is unclear, but it may be related to gender differences in blood pressure regulation. Regardless, increased blood circulation means hotter skin, making men more likely to walk out of the gym with a flushed face.
Though it’s physiologically more common for men, facial redness is also a problem for women after exercise. The fastest way to calm the flush is by cooling your skin, Schlader says. Follow your session with a cold shower or use one of these products to put a stop to redness.