Clogged pores and jammed-up hair follicles will give you “bacne.” This is the acne that appears on your back, chest, arms, and legs. The only places you can’t get it are your feet and hands.
Unfortunately, acne can form wherever you have sebaceous glands and hair follicles. The trick to treating body acne is keeping pores and follicles from getting congested with dead skin, oil, and bacteria. This means using a good body wash and exfoliating.
Rinse off after spending time in the pool or the ocean, and shower off sweat after exercising. If you have severe bacne, change your bed sheets and pajamas twice a week. Don’t give your pores a chance to clog with dead skin, oil, and debris.
Ingredients That Help Fight Body Acne
Salicylic acid helps fight inflammation and it gently exfoliates skin. Benzoyl peroxide is okay for treating your face and small areas on your body, but it might end up bleaching spots on your clothing.
Tea tree oil kills infections and soothes irritated skin. Be careful to not overuse it since it could make your body produce more oil.
Ingredients like apricot, salt, and pumice exfoliate, or remove, dead skin. If you have sensitive skin, only exfoliate once a week and be gentle. Let me repeat, be gentle. You’re not sanding wood. A good practice is to use a loofah, poof or bath glove with a regular body wash instead of a harsh scrub. In fact, buy several loofahs or gloves so you can use one and then toss it in the wash.
The Best Body Washes for Acne-prone Skin
As with any new product, if you have sensitive skin, try it out on a small area first to see how you react.
Dial Acne Control Deep Cleansing Body Wash
Yes, this body wash contains orange juice. It also has passion fruit and grapefruit juice. These ingredients actually help exfoliate dead skin and prevent breakouts. Dial says they formulated this Deep Cleansing Body Wash with the help of dermatologists. It’s been clinically proven to reduce body acne within 3 days. It’s mild enough to use every day, even with a loofah or bath glove.
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
Neutrogena is a big name in skin care products, a brand that’s often recommended by dermatologists. This Body Clear body wash contains 2% salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin, kill infection, and eliminate acne. (It also contains the antibacterial agent Triclosan.) A lot of people swear by this skin cleanser, saying that it works better than any other they tried. If you are using an acne medication, check with your doctor before trying this product.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil (made by Galderma) is another brand you may recognize. Their products are often recommended by dermatologists, too.
This Gentle Skin Cleanser is very mild, and it moisturizes as it cleans. People suffering with psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema have had success with this formula because it doesn’t dry out their skin.
Unfortunately, it does contain parabens, in case this is a concern for you. The jury’s still out on whether or not these chemicals cause health problems.
Dr. Bronner’s Castile 18-in-1 Hemp Tea Tree Liquid Soap
If you’ve ever picked up one of Dr. Bronner’s soaps and tried to read the label, you might have been a little overwhelmed with all information in very small print. But wacky label aside, these are people-pleasing products. Besides being vegan and organic, a little bit really does go a long way.
The Hemp Tea Tree soap contains tea tree (melaleuca), coconut, hemp, jojoba and olive oils along with Vitamin E in the form of tocopherol. It moisturizes skin and leaves a fresh feeling. Squirt a couple of drops on a bath glove or poof to gently scrub yourself clean, then rinse well.
Clinique Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream
Several beauty websites recommend Clinique’s Sparkle Skin exfoliating cream. It’s made to be used in the shower and rinsed off with water. It contains polyethylene as the abrasive agent, so it’s not harsh like an apricot scrub. It also contains menthol. That gives it a minty scent and makes it leave a fresh feeling, but it might irritate very sensitive skin.
Tea Tree Oil Exfoliating Scrub with Activated Charcoal, Neem Oil & Natural Pumice
This last product by Oleavine isn’t a body wash so much as a scrub. This is not something you’ll want to use every day because it can be harsh on sensitive skin. Consider trying it out just on selected areas, like those annoying bumps on the backs of your arms.
This scrub contains aromatherapy-grade tea tree oil to soothe skin irritations and acne outbreaks. It has white willow bark, which is related to salicylic acid, to help it fight infection and exfoliate. The Neem oil moisturizes, which helps after you’ve scraped off your dead skin with micro volcanic pumice and diatomaceous earth. Be sure to rinse well with water after use.
While You Wait for Your New Body Wash to Arrive
As we mentioned in the beginning of the article, body acne can appear almost anywhere on your body. While you wait for your new body wash to arrive, consider what changes you can make to help your body besides just changing your soap.
Showering instead of bathing helps keep bacteria off your skin. Changing clothes twice a day if you get really sweaty can help, too.
Observe where you get the worst outbreaks. Are they places under your backpack or where your clothing rubs? Try a different kind of bag for a while, or wear looser clothing till the acne is under control.
Change laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Your favorite brand could be irritating your skin.
Oddly enough, really dry skin can cause acne, too. Be sure to use a good moisturizer every day.