At some point we’ve ALL had to deal with body acne or blemished skin- some of us get it on our faces, others have it in other areas like our back, shoulders, chest, arms and even bum. The causes of acne can range from person to person but the mechanics that are happening in the skin are the same for us all. Let’s get into it.
What Causes Body Acne?
Body acne is caused by the same culprits that cause facial acne, namely overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells and a proliferation of acne-causing bacteria. And, if you have wild hormonal swings, as you do during and post pregnancy, menstrual cycles and menopause, the oil and bacteria production is exacerbated.
Acne develops when oil and dead skin cells become trapped within your skin follicles, or what we commonly call pores. This creates a blockage, and this blockage, overtime, becomes a blackhead that can progress into an inflamed pimple if bacteria get involved. And they seem to always get involved!
As we mentioned, hormonal imbalances can lead to an overproduction of oil and bacteria. But what causes the hormonal imbalances in the first place?
Well, there are the normal hormonal imbalances that come with puberty, pregnancies, menstrual cycles and menopause. Birth control pills can also cause a disruption in regular hormone production.
An unhealthy lifestyle and diet can easily lead to hormonal fluctuations. And let’s not forget about stress. Stress leads to an overproduction of cortisol, a “fight or flight” hormone that wreaks havoc on the body, including the skin.
When it comes to hormonal imbalances, there are a few things you can do. Eating a clean and healthy diet that doesn’t include a lot of sugar or trans-fats can help. This leads into the next point, which is dealing with stress.
It’s important to deal with stress in healthy ways. Try to avoid reaching for sugary, processed foods, instead you may want to consider exercising more, practicing yoga or meditation, and spending more time in nature. Stress happens, that’s a reality. But you don’t have to let stress blemish your skin.
Ways to Prevent Body Acne
Now that we understand how hormones play a role in body acne and what you can do, let’s look at some other ways you can prevent body acne:
- Avoid Tight Clothing
Your skin needs to breathe, so it’s important not to wear tight, constricting clothing. Also, wear clothing made from natural fibers that don’t scratch and won’t cause you to sweat too much. Buy clothing made from fabrics that are designed to wick moisture away from the skin. This is especially important while working out.
- Shower Soon After Sweating
It’s never a good idea to let sweat linger on your skin because it promotes an environment that bacteria love. Do your best to shower immediately after a workout or any activity that has caused you to sweat profusely.
Try the BIA Clarifying Body Cleanser to gently cleanse, prevent and treat blemishes without stripping or drying out skin.
Remember, the cause of acne is clogged pores and excess dead skin cells definitely contribute to clogged pores. It’s important to not just exfoliate your facial skin, but the skin all over your body as well. It’s equally important to do so in a gentle manner. Forget an abrasive loofah scrubber and opt instead for using a gentle body scrub once or twice a week. Do NOT use scrubs that contain nuts, pits or shells of any kind, as these are far too abrasive on the skin.
Try the BIA Body Polish infused with Glycolic Acid or our Exfoliating Treatment Mist.
- Don’t Forget to Moisturize
Now you may think if you have body acne that you shouldn’t moisturize – that it will somehow make matters worse. But the truth is, the body tends to overproduce oils to compensate for the skin’s lack of moisture. It’s important to moisturize your skin daily with a non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) moisturizer.
Try our HydraFirm Body Whip to nourish and hydrate skin.
- Change/Wash Your Bed Sheets Often
While most people can get away with changing or washing their bedding once a week, if you suffer from body acne, you may need to change twice a week. Oil, sweat, dead skin cells and bacteria, not to mention perfumes and body products, collect on the fabric and then can collect on our skin.
What are the Best Skincare Ingredients for Treating Body Acne?
There are a lot of products on the market that claim to help you have beautiful, clearer skin. But do they all deliver on these claims? Sadly, no. It’s important to read the labels on skincare products and look for ones that include the following ingredients:
Glycolic acid is one of the most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) because it’s effective and safe. And, because it contains the smallest molecules among all AHAs, allowing for better penetration into the skin, glycolic acid can destroy the bonds between old skin cells, loosening them so they can be sloughed off.
Besides alpha hydroxy acids, there are also beta hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid falls into this category. Derived from willow bark, salicylic acid is more oil-soluble so it can penetrate through the skin’s lipid layers and get into the pores of the skin to unclog them. Salicylic acid is also an excellent dead skin cell exfoliator.
When it comes to safely and effectively moisturizing your skin, you can’t reach for a better ingredient than allantoin. Even people with very sensitive skin can use products that contain this ingredient because it is gentle. Not only does allantoin help skin lock in moisture, it too helps the skin shed dead skin cells and grow new ones.
Get Clearer Skin You Feel Confident About
If you are suffering from body acne, there are products that can help you get the clear skin you’ve been wishing for. BIA’s exfoliating treatment mist contains not only Glycolic and Salicylic acids, but also Allantoin, which keeps your skin moist and supple. BIA’s exfoliating treatment mist can help you feel much more confident to show off more of your skin.