We all bear more skin in summer, which makes this time of year particularly troublesome if your back and chest are not pristinely clear. But body breakouts happen all year round, so use the last few weeks of the season as motivation to finally kick any breakout-causing habits. You'll go out Labor Day weekend showing off glowing skin and start fall fresh.
Flip through for all of the best body-clearing secrets!
First and foremost, exfoliate—regularly. The skin on your back is thicker than the skin on your face, so it needs extra help to turnover new cells. But don’t rely on the grainy scrubs that leave your face baby-soft. People tend to be a little more forceful when scrubbing their bodies, which can cause irritation or even tear the skin, if you use a grainy scrub. Instead, try the pre-shower exfoliation ritual that gives the stars their glowing skin: dry brushing. You’ll clear away pore-clogging dead skin cells, and the brush’s long handle makes reaching touch areas on your back a breeze. For in-shower exfoliation, use something with round beads that’s gentle enough for the delicate skin on your chest, like Peter Thomas Roth’s Blemish Buffing Beads for Face and Body ($36).
Excessive heat can kick your oils glands into overdrive. So, it may be best to take hot yoga out of the equation. Regardless of the workout you choose, you are going to sweat, so wear loose-fitting, moisture-wicking clothing and try to keep the areas that are broken out exposed (aka ditch the T-shirt). Your cotton sports bra and T-shirt just soak up sweat and bacteria, and then press it against your skin. And shower immediately post-workout, for good measure. If you can’t hop in the shower, at least change your clothes and stash an anti-bacterial wipe in your bag for a quick refresh.
Make sure you’re following the beauty editor-approved shower step progression. That means, wash your hair first, and wash your body last. Conditioner sliding down your back translates into breakouts. So, rinse thoroughly, and then throw your hair up in a clip before washing your body with an antibacterial cleanser. And don’t even think about picking up a loofah—those things are bacteria-central. Keeping the water tepid and your showers under 10 minutes are also good practices for keeping your skin happy.
Don’t mess up all of your pre- and in-shower efforts with a subpar post-shower game. When you dry off, pat—don’t rub—which can aggravate existing breakouts. And always use clean towels. Maintaining a separate hair and body towel will also help prevent leftover hair product from making its way into your pores. For the same reasons, avoid letting your wet hair sit on your shoulders.
The same treatments you use to clear breakouts on your face are suitable for body acne, with one caveat. Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful antibacterial and trusted acne-fighter, but it has a tendency to stain clothes. So, save benzoyl peroxide for your body wash, and turn to salicylic acid for spot treatments and lotions. Try PanOxyl’s Acne Foaming Wash 10% Benzoyl Peroxide ($9) or their Acne Creamy Wash 4% Benzoyl Peroxide ($11) to wash away excess oil, dirt, and pore-clogging bacteria. And use a salicylic acid spray, like Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray ($37), to treat the hard-to-reach breakouts. For targeted treatments, try Ole Hendriksen’s Roll On Acne Clearing Solution ($20), which gives you an extra couple of inches to get tough spots without contorting your wrist.
Do you have any body acne-clearing products you love? Tell us what you swear by in the comments!