Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, and although it usually appears on the face, body acne (aka bacne), is very real too. Body acne can develop anywhere on your body where pores are present, meaning that only the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands are safe from pesky pimples.
If you’ve been experiencing bacne breakouts, chances are that you want them gone ASAP. Here’s what you’ll need to do to clear up your skin:
Use an Anti-Acne Body Wash
If you’re not already using a body wash specifically designed to target breakouts, now is the time to start. A standard body wash simply won’t cut it when it comes to unclogging your pores – for this, you’ll need hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which you’ll find in acne-fighting formulas.
Use your new body wash daily. This is the only way to prevent bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt from building up on your skin and triggering a breakout. You should also be showering whenever there’s sweat lingering on your body, such as after a workout, since acne-causing bacteria quickly multiplies on sweaty skin.
Cleanse Your Body After Washing Your Hair
While we’re on the topic of showers, the order in which you use your shower products can have a huge impact on body acne. Many people spend months researching how to get rid of back acne, not realizing that their acne trigger could actually be something very simple – the hair products that they use.
Think about it – each time you wash your hair, all of that excess shampoo and conditioner ends up sliding down your body. The majority of hair care products contain several pore-clogging ingredients, making it hardly surprising that breakouts soon follow. Washing your body after washing your hair enables you to clear away all of that product residue, leaving your skin free from any build-up.
While the hydroxy acids in your anti-acne body wash will offer a mild exfoliation, acne-prone skin needs more than this. Exfoliation is a must in any acne-targeting skincare regime, but don’t go reaching for your favorite body scrub just yet…
When it comes to exfoliation, you have two main options; physical or chemical. Physical refers to abrasive exfoliants that scrub at your skin. They’re more widely available, but they’re also a big no-no for those dealing with body acne. Not only can they aggravate inflammation, but they can also spread acne-causing bacteria around your skin.
Instead, go for a chemical exfoliant, and use this 2-3 times a week.
Spot treatments are applied directly to affected areas of the skin. They contain ingredients capable of lowering inflammation and shrinking pimples, and there are both prescription and over-the-counter options available.
Keep in mind that most acne spot treatments will be designed for the face, rather than for the body. Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient, but stay away from this when treating body acne, as it can end up bleaching your clothing.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Body acne can often flare up after the skin has been exposed to the sun. This is down to how the sun dries out the skin, which may initially seem like a good thing to those with a greasier-than-average complexion.
However, that initial dryness stimulates the skin’s sebaceous glands into producing even more oil to overcompensate. As a result, it won’t be long before your skin is oilier than ever, meaning breakouts become more severe.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Make sure that the formula you pick has been designed for acne-prone skin. This means that it’ll be lightweight and free of comedogenic (ie. pore-clogging) ingredients. After all, you don’t want your sunscreen to cause you to breakout either!
Wear Loose Clothing
In addition to making a few changes to your body skincare routine, your wardrobe may need an overhaul too. Tight and irritating clothing will trap dirt, sebum, and bacteria into your skin, pushing these into your pores and triggering a breakout.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that your fashion choices are loose and breathable. Try to wear cotton as much as possible, since many other fabrics, such as wool and nylon, are known for irritating the skin.
There’s no denying that body acne can be extremely frustrating to deal with. However, there are several steps that you can take to soothe, clear, and prevent breakouts – be consistent with your methods and you should have pimple-free skin once again in no time!