For as much time as most of us spend on our facial skin (critiquing it, finding ways to make it look younger, investing time in it each day with our skincare routines), we all but ignore our skin everywhere else. That is, we ignore it until a problem pops up that we can’t overlook. For all too many of us, that problem is body acne.
You’ve probably heard the term “bacne,” but truth be told, pimples can pop up anywhere on your body, and they’re never a welcome sight. So if we’re going to talk about body acne, we’re going to talk about it everywhere.
No matter where you’re seeing new mountains appear on the terrain of your body, there are ways to combat the problem. Start with these expert tips for getting the upper hand on your body acne.
1. Take a Post-Workout Shower
There’s a common misconception that working up a sweat will reduce acne because the sweat pushes debris out of your pores. While that can sometimes happen, the problem is that this newly extracted debris, along with the sweat itself, then stays on your skin. When that happens, it can make body acne significantly worse.
The solution? Take a shower after you work out, or at least take a quick rinse to get rid of the sweat residue.
2. Use a Sulfate-Free Body Cleanser
Body acne has a lot in common with facial acne, including the fact that one of the most effective ways to get on top of it is to wash your skin regularly with an effective cleanser. Choosing the wrong cleanser, though, could have a negative effect on your bodne before it gets better.
In particular, choose a sulfate-free body cleanser. Sulfates are salts that are formed from a specific chemical reaction, and they’re often used to make products more “sudsy.” Unfortunately, they can be very irritating to your skin, making it red and inflamed while you’re trying to get rid of the inflammation from your acne. As an added anti-bonus, the process of manufacturing sulfates is often harmful to the environment.
3. Try a Body Scrub
On top of cleansing your skin, exfoliating in the shower is also a helpful way to reduce body acne. Remember that pimples form when your pores get clogged, and it’s not just oil and dirt that clog them; dead skin cells are common culprits too. Exfoliating with a body scrub will buff away dead skin cells so you can rinse them off in the shower instead of letting them sneak into your pores. A fan-favorite body scrub is the Dermalogica Thermafoliant Body Scrub, which exfoliates, energizes and brightens.
A word of caution, though: don’t take the word “scrub” literally. Gently massage your skin with the body scrub. If you rub too harshly, it can irritate your skin and that’s not a better look than body acne.
4. Changes Clothes More Often
It’s been a hot summer, and I mean truly H.O.T. If you’re spending a day out and about, even if you’re not working out, you could have a solid buildup of sweat by the time the morning is out. If you get sweaty, it’s a good idea to change your clothes, including your undergarments. Getting out of the sweaty clothes will help you avoid holding that sweat on your skin, because as we now know, stagnant sweat leads to pimples.
Along these same lines, ladies, wash your bra after every use, especially during the warm months when you’re sweating while wearing it. If you’re washing the bra gently and air-drying it, you won’t see it break down too quickly, and this will help to protect the skin around your bra line from acne. If you’ve ever felt the pain of an inflamed pimple that constantly rubs against your bra, you know that the hassle of hand-washing your bra often is worth it.
5. Use the Right Sunscreen
Another common fixture of summer is sunscreen…or, at least, it should be. Sunscreen is critical to lower your risk for skin cancer and premature aging, but here’s the tricky part: many sunscreens have oils that can clog your pores. You’re trying to do the responsible thing for your skin and suddenly you have body pimples.
Instead of skipping the sunscreen altogether, just look for an oil-free sunscreen. Make sure it fits the other ideal criteria too: broad-spectrum, SPF of 30 or higher, and water-resistant.
Keeping Your Body Acne Under Control
When the weather is hot, we all want to feel confident letting our skin out for some air. Body acne can be an embarrassing issue that makes you think twice about those shorts or tank tops. Instead of sweating it out in hot clothes all year, use the tips above to get rid of your body acne once and for all so you can let that beautiful skin breathe.