Honestly, for many, body acne – usually on the chest or back – is even more embarrassing than having it on your face, especially in the summer time when light clothing is a must, or when you’re getting up close and personal with the opposite sex.
Plus, due to the shear logistics, it’s way more difficult than facial acne to masterfully cover up with a dab of concealer.
I personally have not had a ton of body acne in my life (a few juicy ones here and there over the years), but I did go through a period of about three months where I had some pretty severe “bacne” on my back and shoulders.
This was a good 8 years or so ago…. when I was 18 and I had just left home for the first time to travel in Australia for a year long adventure. As soon as I touched down in Sydney, my back went absolutely nuts.
Three months later, as soon as I left Sydney to move on in my travels, the back acne suddenly vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
There didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it. What was it about Sydney that my back did not like?
Was it the Sydney water? Was it stress from being far from home? Was it a super delayed hormonal reaction from when I quit hormonal birth control 6 months prior? Was it the heat and friction from my sweaty, linty work shirt?
I guess I’ll never know for sure (kind of think it was probably the sweaty, linty shirt, which would make sense as to why it left when I left my job and Sydney), but either way, when it disappeared, I was certainly relieved.
After all, Australia is the land of the beaches. I was more than self conscious about stripping down to my “bathers” during many a seaside afternoon, and revealing my pimply back to the world.
So what do you do about the dreaded bacne, and for some people, the dreaded “chestne” (chest acne)? Is it treated differently than facial acne?
Well… kinda different. But not really. The basics are the same with some additional tricks you can try.
Live That Healthy Lifestyle, Bro
The foundation of any natural acne treatment is to improve your areas of health that need improvement.
A healthy, nutritionally supported body is essential for fighting inflammation and repairing and rebuilding healthy, acne free skin.
So this includes eating whole, nutritious foods and mostly avoiding processed packaged foods. Cutting down on wheat, dairy, and sugar, also has a big impact for many.
Get quality sleep. Get some exercise. Don’t drink too much. Don’t smoke too much. Practice stress relief techniques. Find joy and purpose in your life.
You might also want to try a natural supplement to support hormonal health, like Estroblock (as at least one person mentioned that it not only helped their facial acne, but also their bacne).
For full details and instructions on this, check out my free report 7 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now to Clear Your Skin, and my in depth acne guide Naturally Clear Skin.
Experiment With These Other Bacne / Chestne Techniques
Like all cases of acne, no two cases are the same. Which means what specific things work will vary wildly from person to person.
The following is a collection of ideas that have worked for other people. You can try and play around with to see if they have a positive effect on your personal case of body acne.
Take Your Omega 3s & Watch The Fats You Eat
Many people report that taking getting enough Omega 3 fats in their diets really helps with back acne. Same with eating more stable fats and avoiding damaged fats.
So to get Omega 3s, you want to eat at least three servings of wild salmon a week, or take a Omega 3 fish oil supplement.
My favourite is fermented cod liver oil as it not only contains Omega 3s, but also plenty of other very important nutrients for clear skin, like Vitamin A and D. It’s also really good quality, which is important when choosing a fish oil.
By eating stable fats, I mean that while I am not in any way against fat consumption in general, most of the fat contained in the food we eat is damaged, rancid, and adulterated, which translates into it being very unhealthy when you eat it.
These are things like fried foods, and virtually all the fats and oils used in processed foods, as well as the cooking oils and margarines we use.
Cut down on your processed and fried food consumption, and cook your food with a good stable oil like coconut oil.
The reason this is important is because much of your sebum (aka your skin’s oil) is made up of fats.
The higher quality of fats you consume, the better the outcome will be, as your skin’s oil will not be as pore clogging and toxic as it would be otherwise.
Stop Your Chemical Shampoo & Body Wash
As you may know, I’m not a fan of chemical hygiene and acne products, as the chemicals in them tend to be extremely irritating to the skin.
So I would not advise using any sort of conventional body wash on your acne prone body areas (no body lotions either).
This extends to your hair products (including shampoo, conditioner, and maybe even hair spray), because when you lather and rinse them in the shower, they get all over your back.
Many people have cleared up their back acne by simply ditching body wash and switching to more natural hair products, or going “no ‘poo“.
Natural shampoo recommendations – this is a great line of completely all natural shampoo and conditioners.
Personally I just use baking soda. Works great for me, and I don’t even need conditioner.
Exfoliate a Bit
Normally I’m not a huge fan of exfoliation due to its abrasive, kind of irritating nature – but different skin types do better with it than others.
For example, people with tough, oily, clogged skin can often benefit as long as it’s extremely gentle. For others, taking out all types of irritation including exfoliation greatly benefits their skin.
Anyway – you can see what works with your body acne, but generally you can be a little rougher on it than the skin on your face.
The skin on the face is extremely thin and delicate, which isn’t as true for the skin on the back and chest.
So many people find a bit of a scrub in the shower actually does them good and goes a long way to clearing up body acne.
I still don’t mean like you should scrub like you are trying to viciously rub yourself raw, but you could probably use a clean wash cloth, or one of those bath pouf sponges, and just go over your back in a gentle circular motion.
Watch The Steamy Hot Showers
Water that is too hot in your shower could have the effect of drying out your skin, which causes your skin to overproduce oil all over your back and chest, resulting in body acne.
Plus, it’s irritating.
Try turning the water temp down a bit, from steaming-almost-burning-you hot, to more like a pleasant luke warm.
Even if you do turn the temperature down a bit, water itself can be quite drying on its own.
If you find your skin feels really dry after a shower, use a good oil as a moisturizer to help it out. Click here to find a good oil blend that will suit your skin type.
Remember not to put too much oil on, only enough to be fully absorbed. Apply a few drops while your back is still damp in order to help you spread it around and absorb better.
Oils will help your skin not to overproduce it’s own oil, and therefore prevent acne, but a film of oil left on the skin will only reduce breathability and could lead to more clogged pores.
Throw Some Tea Tree Oil On it
One of the most common topical treatments that people use for back acne is tea tree oil. It’s a great antiseptic and effective against bacteria.
It’s super concentrated though, please do NOT ever use it straight on your body. It will burn. Always dilute a few drops of it in a carrier oil, and apply to your back after a shower.
Again, click here to find a good blend of oils for your skin type.
As for how to actually apply things like this to your back without assistance… for many people it’s pretty much impossible to reach all of their backs on their own.
Not sure what to say about that, friends… except.. maybe…. do some stretches??
Or maybe putting it in a spray bottle and spritzing it on your back could work (anyone have any tips and tricks here on how you do this? Tell us in the comments).
Only Wear Natural, Breathable Clothing
I’m not one to quickly blame sweat for causing acne on its own…
But when it’s trapped under your shirt and your shirt is rubbing it up on your back all day, and it’s hot, and it’s creating sweaty hot friction… well I can definitely see how this would lead to some body acne.
In fact, as I said, I do suspect my bacne in Sydney probably had a fair bit to do with my linty black work T-shirt (which I assume was not made of natural fabrics), combined with a sweaty hot Australian summer.
And after that if I ever got a back pimple, it was almost always right under where my bra strap ran along my back creating friction.
So, the solution? If you can help it, only wear light, breathable, natural fabrics that will keep the sweat away from your body – such as cotton, linen, or hemp.
It’s preferable to wear looseish shirts too to minimize friction. Don’t hang around in sweaty clothes for too long if you can avoid it.
Switch Your Laundry Detergent
There is a small chance that whatever you’re using for laundry detergent is irritating your skin or creating an allergy to it.
Switch to a more natural detergent that is free of dyes and fragrances (or make your own), and ditch the dryer sheets.
Okay. That’s all folks. If you have had success treating body acne naturally, please spill your secrets in the comments below!