It’s warming up, clothing is becoming less, you’re spending a bit more time in the gym and looking and feeling really good about your self. You’ve got a hot new backless dress you want to wear out on the weekend until you notice something awful… ugly little pimples over your arms, shoulders and backs of your legs. This happens to me at the start of almost every summer and it’s so embarrassing! So how do you fix it? And more importantly, what causes it and how do you avoid it happening in the first place?
Here’s the problem: that minimal summer clothing means more skin contact with non-breathable surfaces often laden with bacteria. Not just in the gym, but even at cafés, at work, anywhere. But if you’re rubbing shoulders and sharing equipment with other sweaty people in the gym, your chances of this bacteria getting on your skin is magnified. And even if these surfaces are super clean, if you spend a lot of time sitting on them you are basically blocking your pores and not allowing them to breathe, so your own sweat can cause a little bacteria build up and give you butt acne.
So firstly a few tips for avoiding it:
- Use an antibacterial face wipe over your face AND body immediately after training (mainly on those exposed skin areas) Try to get one that contains either salicylic acid or benzoyl . Personally I use the pink Neutrogena ones and they work well for me.
- If you can, shower after training and use a body wash that contains salicylic acid. If not, then at least change out of your sweaty gym clothes, use the antibacterial wipe and towel off and then shower with the body wash as soon as you can. I have used many different brands and they all seem to be equally as effective.
- Exfoliate regularly. I exfoliate every day, but I have been told that that’s bad as it doesn’t allow your body to naturally moisturise your skin with its own oils and your skin will dry out. It works for me though, so I guess how often is an individual thing. If you are getting body acne, this can sometimes be from too much oil build up blocking your pores, so exfoliating more could help. Or it could be detrimental; when you remove the natural body oils too often this could encourage higher production of natural body oil to replace it – especially if you don’t moisturise – meaning your skin will become oilier and more chance of pore blockage. We’re all different, so just experiment. Oh and on that note, change your exfoliating gloves regularly and hang them up to dry properly between use to avoid rubbing a bacteria manifestation all over yourself.
- Wear breathable clothing that covers your problem areas, or if you are set on wearing shorts and tank tops like me, put a towel down before sitting or leaning on any equipment so they are not exposed to contact with any surfaces, and there is material between the surface and your skin allowing your pores to breathe. I actually do this in cafes and at work too haha, my friends laugh at me when I get my tea towel or napkin out to sit on.
But if you’ve already got it, no doubt you just want to know the fastest way to get rid of it! Personally I find the salicylic acid wash is great for avoiding body acne, but it wasn’t doing enough to get rid of what had sprouted before I realised I had a problem and started using it again. I literally tried and experimented with everything and here was what I found gave me the best results:
- An exfoliating cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide applied specifically on the problem areas (in the shower). I use the Clean and Clear Advantage 3-in-1 exfoliating cleanser (below).
- The Clean and Clear Advantage acne spot treatment (above) applied onto clean skin. So after a shower, and then at 2-3 other times in the day that I just wipe the skin clean first before applying. The active ingredient in this is salicylic acid and its oil free, so if you can find this exact one, then look for something similar.
- Not moisturising in my problem areas.
Any time I have little breakouts, they’re usually completely gone in about 2-3 days using those Clean and Clear products. I haven’t found anything faster than that! Note that many of these acne fighting products may dry out your skin, so be sure to drink a lot of water and moisturise well the other non-problem areas of your body.
I hope that helps… It’s awful working so hard on your body, doing all the right things in the gym and the kitchen and then still not feeling confident to wear the things you want! If you have some other products that you use and love, please comment and tell me