Summer has a lot of good points, but it can also do a number on your skin. Hello, sunburns, bug bites and ingrown hairs. One other big skincare concern is body acne. Body acne is annoying all year round but it becomes that much more of a nuisance when you want to wear slinky dresses and swimsuits in the summer without feeling self-conscious about the blemishes on your body.
Even if you finally do get your body acne under control, you can be left with post-acne marks. If you’re struggling with acne or post-acne marks on your chest, back, butt or any other body part, note that there are plenty of body acne treatment options available. Our faces get a lot of attention, but there are lots of effective ways to deal with your bacne at all stages. We asked the experts for tips on how to clear up your body acne and fade those post-acne marks. Go get that slinky top out now.
Avoid Skintight Clothing
One easy swap to help improve your body acne is to trade your tight clothes for loose, soft styles. According to Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, dermatologist and founder of skincare line Epionce, a clinical study showed that wearing tight, athletic clothing does increase the risk of body acne because of the rubbing and irritation. Do your skin a favor and try a floaty off-the-shoulder top and a maxi skirt instead of athleisure styles.
Get Out of That Gym Shirt
You should take off your sweaty top as soon as you are done with your circuit, without any delay. Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Karyn Grossman recommends getting out of it five minutes after you’re done and popping in the shower. If you don’t have time to wash off, she suggests using antibacterial cleansing pads or cloths on your skin then putting on a fresh shirt. Try stashing Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths ($6.99) in your gym bag.
Try Topical Treatments
If your regular body wash isn’t helping to clear up your chest breakouts or bacne, Grossman suggests looking for a body wash that contains beta hydroxy acid (BHA), such as Peter Thomas Roth’s Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash ($38).
Combine Topical and Oral Treatments for Stubborn Acne
If you still find that your body is breaking out after four to six months of using a medicated body wash, Thornfeldt suggests speaking with your dermatologist about what oral medications you can take to target pimples internally.
Avoid the Sun
This can be difficult to do in the summer, but it is important. With active acne, you want to try to minimize your sun exposure. Contrary to what some think, there are no clinical studies to support that the sun helps clear up pimples, according to Thornfeldt.
Keeping your sun exposure to a minimum is also key if your body acne has cleared up and you want to fade the residual marks. Grossman explains, “The red/brown spots will fade over time, but it can take a long time for this to happen. Keeping them out of the sun during the healing phase is very important as any sun on these areas will make the brown spots last for a much, much longer period of time.” If you are going to be outside, make sure that you are diligent about using sunscreen.
Watch Out for Gritty Sunscreens
Everyone still needs their SPF, but choose your product wisely. A good option is a formula with zinc oxide that has a smooth texture. Thornfeldt explains that sunscreens with a gritty texture can block your pores.
Don’t Ditch Your Body Acne Treatment Plan Too Quickly
You’ll be stoked when your body acne clears up. To ensure that it doesn’t come back, Thornfeldt recommends continuing with your topical regimen for six to eight months after your skin has cleared up. This will keep the pores clear and retrain your inflammatory and gland response. (That’s a good thing.)
Consider Peels, Laser Treatments and Bleaching
Thornfeldt states that red and purple acne marks heal in two to four months, while brown discoloration will be reduced by 50 percent after two years. If you’re an impatient gal and want to speed up the process, Grossman says you can try an IPL laser for red and brown spots and a Fraxel laser on brown spots. Chemical peels are another option, but they will take longer.