If you suffer from acne, you’ll know the stress of waking up to facial breakouts that (conveniently) seem to show up at the worst of times. But you’ll probably also know that it's not limited to your face; it can appear all over your body – like your back, chest, neck, buttocks and arms – and can be a such a pain to deal with, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing it or how to tackle it.
While several factors can worsen the appearance of body acne, the underlying cause remains the same as facial acne: sebum (oil), dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria build up really easily on any part of your body. This leads to clogged pores and different types of acne. This is also why oily skin is more prone to acne.
Unfortunately, since the skin on your body is tougher than the skin on your face, acne that appears there can be more stubborn to clear away. That being said, making simple lifestyle changes can help you tackle it. Below, we unpack 7 easy tips that you can implement straight away.
1. Pick Breathable Fabrics
First things first, opt for looser clothing. The idea is to minimise friction between your clothing and your skin because bacteria thrive and multiply in warm, sweaty environments!
Additionally, pick cotton fabrics over anything else. Breathable fabrics like cotton don’t just allow maximum airflow, they also help soak up sweat so it doesn't sit on your skin all day. Forget about synthetic fabrics like polyester if you want to forget about body acne––they constrict airflow!
2. Use a Gentle Body Cleanser
Standard bar soaps and body washes are often too drying for your skin and are full of harsh fragrances. Since they strip away moisture, your skin will try to compensate by producing more oil––inevitably leading to acne.
Opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers with active ingredients like salicylic acid, in particular, which can help fight body acne.
3. Cleanse Post Work Out
Breaking a sweat will undoubtedly give your skin a natural, dewy glow. However, if you don’t clean up immediately after working out, your skin will retaliate by breaking out.
As mentioned before, acne-causing microbes love sweat, heat, and moisture. So, as soon as you get off the treadmill or the yoga mat, take a quick shower. If that’s not immediately viable, change into loose, dry clothes until you can wash up.
4. Exfoliate to Prevent Clogged Pores
You have pores all over your body which can become just as clogged as the ones on your face! So, just like how you exfoliate your face (or so we hope) to slough away dead skin cells, it’s important to do so with the rest of your body too.
For best results, look for a chemical exfoliant packed with BHAs like salicylic acid, which is equipped to break the bonds that hold dead skin cells together and get rid of them. A chemical exfoliant can go a long way in preventing acne because it cleanses your pores deeply, flushing out all the accumulated impurities.
5. Use Products with Skincare Actives
Active skincare ingredients take care of more than just the surface of your skin; they offer long-term solutions by bringing about changes at a deeper level. Some of the best acne-fighting actives are:
- Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid can eliminate dead skin cells and treat inflammation.
- Benzoyl peroxide: this one’s a holy grail for not just preventing acne, but also for treating it. It kills acne-causing bacteria and rids the skin of excess oils.
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is a fail-safe method for eliminating acne. It can prevent clogged pores and keep your skin deeply hydrated.
6. Don't Forget to Moisturise!
Just like your face, the rest of your the body needs daily moisturising too. A nourishing moisturiser keeps dehydration at bay, which prevents your oil glands from overproducing oil and clogging your pores.
Additionally, slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day––even on cloudy days or when you are indoors. Harmful UV rays can penetrate through clouds and windows and worsen the appearance of acne!
7. Avoid Rubbing—No Loofahs!
Scrubbing your acne with a loofah or anything similar can be counter-productive. Unfortunately, loofahs are too harsh and abrasive, which can increase irritation and inflame your acne.
Stick to these simple tips every day and might just be able to keep body breakouts under control. But, should you need to ramp up your fight against acne, we’ve got your back (pun intended). Our all-new Clean Slate Exfoliating Pads are packed with clean active ingredients that will effectively buff away dead skin cells, clear your pores and keep face and body acne at bay. On top of that, just take our quick skin quiz, and we'll create a personalised skincare regimen to target your specific skin concerns (yup, that means body acne too!).
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