Chest and back acne can be really frustrating. It can make you incredibly self-conscious, even more so now that the weather is warming up and the allure of tank tops, sundresses, and bikinis call to us. I totally get it! I’m an oily-skinned gal and prone to breakouts and I’ve been there. So what can you do to combat these invaders? Here are some basic tips:
- Treat your back and chest like your face — which means you need to wash those areas twice a day like you would your face (at least I hope you’re washing your face twice a day!). If that means you need to take two showers a day or get creative in the bathroom in order to cleanse your back, then do it. But you sweat and then cover it in clothing all day and all night; those areas must be washed. Find the time, wake up earlier, but trust that doing this twice a day will greatly improve your back/chest acne.
- Wear clean clothes and check your laundry detergent. This may sound silly, but it’s important that what goes on your body is clean. Laundry detergent can be irritating and many people have allergies to traditional detergents. Look for detergents that are free and clear of dyes and fragrances or that are formulated for sensitive skin. Don’t be dirty, wash your sheets and pillowcases twice a week too.
- You can use the same stuff you use on your face as you do your body. Seriously. I use my facial cleansers, toners, retinol serums, and acne treatments on my chest and back. Skin is skin and if it works for your face, it will work for you body. With that being said, because the oil glands and pores can be larger on the back, you might need to up the strength. I recommend a minimum 2% salicylic acid or 5% benzoyl peroxide cleanser. Cleanse your back, use a toner formulated with salicylic acid and AHAs (you’ll be doing a lot of reaching, but it has to be done), and then an acne treatment lotion with, again, more salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Do this twice a day.
- Keep your hair off your back. Oils, conditioners, hair sprays, and any other hair products can transfer to your skin, so it’s important to keep your hair off your face and back. When I’m at home, I wear my hair up. In the shower, I wash and condition my hair first, then cleanse my back and chest afterwards to make sure there isn’t any shampoo or conditioner residue left behind. I wear a robe that offers full coverage of my back when I’m blow drying and styling my hair so my hair products aren’t getting onto my skin.
- Get a back facial. Yes, those are a thing. If your acne is severe, having an esthetician perform extractions on your back will help clear out those pores. It works the same as a typical facial with cleansing, toning, a mask, massage, and serums targeted for your skin concern. I find them relaxing as well, so it’s worth working in one or two of those a month if your wallet can afford it.
There you have it! Leave a comment if you have any questions!