These past few weeks I’ve been getting a lot of Ask Alexis emails about back acne (aka “bacne”), and I guess it’s no coincidence. Not only does the hot summer weather mean we’re baring our backs more (and that the pimples on our backs are on full display unlike during the colder months when our clothes cover the unsightly spots) but also bacne is actually more common during the summer for numerous reasons, including increased sun exposure, the use of pore-clogging sunscreens and our long, wet hair resting on our bare-backs. So, how do you get rid of bacne? Read on…
7 Tips On Clearing & Preventing Body Breakouts
Minimize Sun Exposure. The idea that the sun dries out pimples and heals acne is just a myth. Sure, the redness of a burn will temporarily conceal the redness of a breakout, but the sun actually makes acne considerably worse. When you get a tan, you are actually killing the outer layer of your skin and those dead skin cells ultimately clog your pores even more leading to even more breakouts. So, if the risk of skin cancer weren’t enough to deter your tan-spirations, lets breakouts be your reason to practice safe sun. Wear SPF, minimize time in the sun and keep your back protected.
Use Facial Sunscreen. While most sunscreens designed for your face are free of pore-clogging ingredients, those designed for body use often fail to carry the same break-out-preventing precautions. If you’re prone to bacne, though, (or really pimples anywhere other than on your face) use a sunscreen designed for facial use on your body.
Shower ASAP After Sun & Sweat. After working out, spending time outdoors or doing anything else where you’re sweating, shower asap. Sitting around in a sweaty sports bra and letting the sweat and dirt dry on your back can lead to more breakouts so wash your back as soon as you can, ideally before the sweat dries into your skin.
Use Acne-Clearing Body Wash. When washing your back (or any other area of your body prone to breakouts) use a pore-clearing body wash (like Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Wash, $7.99). Look for one with salicylic acid to clear current breakouts and prevent future ones.
Wash Your Back Last. Most of us don’t think much about the order of our shower routine. Between shaving, cleansing, shampooing and conditioning, for most of us the order doesn’t really matter. If you have back breakouts, though, it’s essential that you wash your back last. After shampooing and conditioning, pull your hair over your shoulder and wash your back (with an acne-clearing body wash) so that your conditioner doesn’t get on your back.
Keep Wet Hair Off Your Back. Whether you blow-dry or air-dry your hair, many of us allow out wet hair to rest on our backs. Hair products, though, are often one of the most common causes of bacne, so keep wet hair off your back at all costs to avoid left-on conditioner or styling products from clogging your pores. Similarly, have a designated “hair towel” to further reduce the risk of leftover hair conditioner or any other products from transferring to your back.
Treat Nightly. Before heading to bed, use a salicylic acid pad (like Dr. Brandt’s Blemishes No More Cleansing Pads, $25) to cleanse your back and remove dead skin cells, heal breakouts and prevent future pimples.
Now that your back is clear, show it off with these exercises for a sexy back!