As if it wasn’t bad enough dealing with breakouts on your face, what happens when they start popping up on your back and chest?
If you’re currently struggling with body acne, you’re not alone. Of the 60 million people in the U.S. who deal with acne on a regular basis, 60 percent report experiencing breakouts on their back, and another 15 percent have dealt with breakouts on their chest.
There are lots of prescription medications that you can use to help treat your acne. If you’re not ready to go down that road yet, give one (or more) of these five lifestyle changes a try.
1. Shower After Every Workout
Many people are guilty of hanging out in their workout clothes for far too long after they’ve finished up at the gym. Prolonging your post-workout shower may make sense in the moment, especially if you have errands to run or chores to take care of at home, however, it wreaks havoc on your skin.
Take a quick shower as soon as you get home from the gym (or shower at the gym) to prevent sweat and bacteria from clogging your pores and causing breakouts. If you absolutely do not have time to shower, wipe yourself down with a cleansing wipe and change into clean, dry clothes after your workout.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation helps eliminate dead skin cells which can build up and clog your pores. It also helps to eliminate pore-clogging, acne-causing bacteria.
Use a loofah or a special back scrubber for the shower to slough off dead cells and leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. Most dermatologists recommend exfoliating just once a week. If you do it too often, you may end up irritating your skin and doing more harm than good.
3. Use an Acne-Fighting Body Wash
Look for a body wash that contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by breaking up the dead skin cells that clump together in the inner lining of the pores. It also contains the same anti-inflammatory ingredients as aspirin, a popular painkiller, which makes it highly effective at reducing swelling and redness from breakouts.
Products containing salicylic acid, rather than benzoyl peroxide (another common ingredient in acne-fighting products), are usually recommended for body acne because they won’t accidentally bleach towels or clothing.
Salicylic acid does have a tendency to dry out the skin if you in excess, so remember that a little goes a long way. You may also need to use a moisturizer along with your body wash to avoid irritation.
4. Make a Mask
After washing up with an acne-fighting body wash, you can take a more targeted approach to treating your breakouts with a homemade mask.
One of the easiest homemade masks you can whip up contains just three ingredients: nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey. Nutmeg helps control oil production and helps minimize inflammation, and cinnamon and honey both have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Simply mix together one tablespoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey to form a paste. Then, dab the mixture on your blemishes and let it sit for about thirty minutes. Rinse it off with cold water (to avoid drying out or irritating the skin). You can use this remedy two times a week to spot-treat breakouts.
Some people find nutmeg to be irritating to their skin. If this is the case for you, you can try another at-home treatment that uses honey and turmeric.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, just like nutmeg. It also controls the production of oil and helps prevent scarring.
Simply mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with two tablespoons of honey to make a past. Then, apply it to your blemishes and let it sit for 15 minutes. You can use this same mixture on your face if you wish.
The honey-turmeric mask works best when it’s applied every two days.
5. Change the Way You Wash Your Hair
Breakouts are triggered by a number of things, including the way you wash your hair. Many conditioners and other hair products contain oils that are good for the hair but bad for the body.
To avoid accidentally clogging your pores while rinsing your hair, it’s recommended that you rinse conditioner and other products off to the side, rather than letting the water run straight down your back.
You may also want to wait to wash your body until after all your hair treatments are complete. This way, you can wash off any residue from your hair products and get your body extra clean.
These tips can help clear up your body acne and leave your skin looking better than ever before. Give them a try today!