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How to Banish Body Acne For Good

Listen, we’re all somewhat used to acne on our faces, and we have a routine to treat it and resolve acne concerns. But body acne is a whole different ball game. It can pop up out of nowhere, it’s harder to cover-up, and it can totally kill your vibe when it comes to backless outfits and confidently showing some skin.

Plus - it doesn’t respond to your skincare routine and treatments in the same way as your face acne (ugh).

Here’s what you need to know and how to get rid of body acne for good.

What Causes Body Acne

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First thing’s first: body ane isn’t the same as acne on your face. It’s actually folliculitis, a common skin condition that occurs when bacteria and other debris enter the hair follicles and cause infection.

This happens more commonly on the body - usually on the chest and back - because pores and follicles on your body are larger than they are on the face, so it’s easier for debris to be trapped inside. Plus, you have more oil-producing glands on your chest and back, so these areas are mostlikely to act up (lame).

Notice that you have to deal with this problem more in the warmer months? You usually get this folliculitis in summer because your body is producing more oil, you’re sweating more, and you’re applying sunscreen more often. All of this is a surefire recipe for clogged pores, bacteria, and breakouts, though it canappear year-round.

Other factors that can make folliculitis worse include:

  • Tight clothes:If your clothes are tight and rubbing on damp or warm skin (say, workout clothes or clothing that you wear to the beach), it can damage your hair follicles and make them more prone to infection (yikes!)
  • Certain chemicals in products:Do you wear perfume or use laundry detergent with synthetic fragrance? Do you use hair products with sulfates or synthetic colors? Many synthetic chemicals are known to irritate skin and clog pores and hair follicles, so check you’re medicine cabinet if you’re persistently dealing with these issues.
  • Hot tubs:Yup, your hot tub can be causing a breakout. Why? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hot tubs are notorious for causing this problem. In fact, it’s so common that it even has a name - “hot tub folliculitis”
  • Shaving:If you regularly shave, pluck, or wax on your body, you’re more likely to develop irritation.
  • Bath towels/sheets:You may thinkthey’re clean, but bath towels and sheets can easily collect dead skin cells, dust mites, and acne-causing bacteria. So if you’re not washing super regularly, it may be causing a problem.

In short - it happens. Ultimately, “bacne” can be pretty tough to avoid altogether, so you have to learn how to deal with it when it comes.

How to Treat Body Acne At Home

Regular Exfoliation

At the end of the day, you’re getting these problems because your pores are clogged with impurities - which means that exfoliation can certainly help. We recommend a combination of physical and chemical exfoliation at leasttwice a week until your breakout clears.

Start with an in-shower detox body scrub to start opening up those pores. When you get out of the shower, follow up with some glycolic acid to deeply clarify and loosen up the dead skin cells that are trapping in all that gunk. While there are some products that are specifically formulated for the body, remember not to go toostrong. It could lead to excessive dryness and make your problem worse.

Instead use a gentle, effective glycolic serum and make sure that you follow up with some moisturizer.

Spot Treatment

If you’re dealing with a particularly angry breakout, don’t be afraid to tackle it with a spot treatment. Here, you can turn to known acne-busting ingredients like tea tree oil, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid - though we recommend that you stick to products that aren’tinsanely strong and that are labeled “non-comedogenic.”

Stay On Top of Your Laundry

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Wash your sheets and towels regularly, and try to change out of your workout gear (any sweaty clothes, really) as fast as possible.

Consider Probiotics

Here’s the thing: you always have bacteria on your skin. Some of these bacteria are good, and they can actually form a protective barrier on your skin that can help prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria.

If you think that your skin’s natural barrier is compromised, consider a probiotic to help fix it up.

Get a “Bacial”

Most spas these days offer back facials, and you can certainly book one with your dermatologist. If you’re dealing with particularly pesky body acne, this may be the way to go until it begins to clear. We recommend a weekly back facial for at least one month. While you’re there, you can ask for some customized advice on how to treat the condition on your own. It can’t hurt!