While back acne (a.k.a bacne) is totally normal, it may leave you feeling insecure from time to time. Back acne is usually caused by excess oil and dead skin cells that build up over time. It can also be caused by your daily habits. Luckily, with a few simple modifications to your daily routine, you can make those body pimples a thing of the past.
Here are a few tips on how to get rid of back acne:
Make over your morning routine
Your conditioner, your sunscreen (especially if you have sensitive skin), your body cream can all clog pores, causing you to get zits on your back. Luckily, a few easy tweaks to your get-ready routine can help slash your chances of one popping up.
When washing and conditioning, flip your hair to the front and rinse forward to avoid leaving shampoo and conditioner residue on your back and rinse your whole body thoroughly before stepping out of the shower. In summertime, it's better to use lotions rather than creams because they have less oil content and rely more on water to hydrate the skin, so they're less clogging. And when it's time to apply sunscreen, choose one that is labeled 'ultra-light' or 'quick-dry' like La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($30, amazon.com).
Swap out your clothing
Certain types of clothing can trigger a breakout and your workout clothes (plus the act of exercising) is a particularly perfect recipe. That's because tight clothing can push oils or bacteria deeper into pores, and the friction from tight-fitting workout clothes like sports bras or leggings can further irritate hair follicles and cause red bumps. If you can, reach for breathable materials like cotton or moisture-wicking items. If you can't change over your entire wardrobe, be sure to always shower after sweating. 'After workouts or a sweaty activity you must shower', says Tami Cassis M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The University of Louisville. 'Running around afterward in sports bras or gym shirts is a big no-no.'
Choose the right cleanser
If pimply skin runs in your family, don't be surprised if you get it, too despite your best efforts to keep it at bay. But don't worry, there are ways to get around your genes. Try using an over-the-counter salicylic acid or glycolic acid wash to prevent and cure blemishes is a good pick. Washes have a tendency to be less irritating than leave-on medications, and because they are usually incorporated into your shower routine, they are more readily available, and therefore more regularly used. If these don't cut it, a prescription-strength topical medication or oral antibiotic may be recommended by your derm.
Eat skin-friendly foods
What's good for your heart is also good for your skin, so it may be time to put up your veggie game. Eat a well-balanced diet any extreme or restrictive eating plan is not healthy for your overall body, so just consider cutting back on foods that may up your risk of developing acne, such as dairy, rather than eliminating it all together.
Give your back extra love
This may seem like a no brainer, but forgetting to wash or exfoliate your back is more common than you think. It's not easy to reach or see, and it's not particularly stinky, so who wants to waste their time playing twister in the shower? But the reality is that your back is one of the most acne-prone areas, so you need to give it just as much attention as you do your facial skin. Regularly clean and exfoliate your back to help keep the follicles clean and unclogged, making them less prone to pimples. Try a gentle exfoliating cleanser such as Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash ($6, amazon.com), which helps to cleanse, hydrate, exfoliate, and even calm inflamed skin. If done on a daily basis this should help keep bacne at bay. People are also starting to treat acne with light devices, which are great, effective alternatives to traditional treatments; talk to a dermatologist about which product or in-office treatment might be right for you.
See a dermatologist
If you've tried all of the above and your bacne is still stubbornly sticking around, consider scheduling a consultation with a dermatologist. They may be able to offer personalized advice to keep things under control or suggest oral or topical prescription medications that may just do the trick.