Whether your acne is mostly on your face, or just on your body, or both – it can suck. You could argue that at least it’s easier to hide on your body, but it’s still no fun. It still can affect what clothes you wear and what activities you do.
While all the advice I give for acne (eating well, exercising, managing stress, etc) is the same regardless of where your breakouts are, there are a couple extra things you can do to help your body acne.
Below are my top four tips.
1) Stop using fabric softener
Any kind of fabric softener should be avoided if you have acne prone skin, especially on your body, whether it’s dryer sheets or the liquid fabric softener that you put in the wash. These products put a very thin layer of wax on your clothing and if you have sensitive skin, can cause irritation and clogged pores.
You can try dryer balls instead of fabric softener. They are balls of wool that go in your dryer. They help keep your clothes separated, reduce static, and soften clothes.
2) Switch shampoo
This is especially helpful if you find your acne is mostly down your back (where the rinse water runs after you shampoo). I highly suggest starting with a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates aren’t “toxic” or carcinogenic like some people might believe, but they can be irritating to sensitive skin. They can cause breakouts, irritation, and inflammation.
3) Only wash the important bits
Most people in modern society over cleanse themselves, using soap from head to toe. The problem is, skin can be a delicate organ, and doesn’t need a full wash all the time. Doing this disrupts the pH balance of the surface of your skin and can cause unnecessary damage. (I also don’t recommend body scrubs, not even the kind made for acne. If you want to use an acne product, use it after you shower.)
On most days, all you need is what I call a PPF cleanse – pits, privates, feet. Basically, the stinky parts. The rest of your body can take care of itself just fine. Especially if you try out tip number 4.
4) Try dry brushing
This is a dry brush. You can get one at most drug stores, you can also order one online.
This tool, used a couple times a week, can be very beneficial to your skin. It helps stimulate circulation which brings nutrients your skin, it stimulates the lymphatic system which cleanses your system, and it gently sloughs off dead skin cells. All of those things are very good for acne prone skin.
I suggest getting one with a long handle, so you can easily reach all parts of your body. As the name suggests, you use this when you are dry. I do it in the morning before I get in the shower, because it can also feel invigorating and wake you up.
To dry brush your body, use long, gentle strokes (do not press hard, the weight of the brush is all you need), and move the brush toward your heart. I start at my finger tips and do the front and back of my arms, with strokes toward my chest, I then do my back, with strokes toward my upper spine, then my tummy (be especially gentle on the stomach), then my feet, fronts and backs of my legs toward my torso.
These four tips, along with a healthy lifestyle, can help body breakouts tremendously. Pick one, try it for a week or two, and then try another until you have work all four into your life. You’ll likely see a very nice improvement within one or two months.
Still have questions? Comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!