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how to get rid of body acne

Is bacne or buttne getting you down? You're a babe regardless... so whether you embrace it or want less of it we're here it help you understand body acne a little better. 

how to get rid of body acne


What is body acne?

Like facial acne, body breakouts, aka truncal acne can happen when dead skin cells accumulate until they clog pores or when there is too much sebum production (aka oily skin). Bacterial (Cutibacterium acnes) growth can also lead to inflamed skin and pimples.

Even though body acne triggers are very similar to facial acne, their treatment response differs because you're dealing with a bigger surface making treating body acne difficult.

What are the causes of body acne?

Certain Supplements, clothing, climate, sweat, hormonal treatments, and mechanical factors can trigger body breakouts and acne.

Whey proteins

These milk-based proteins contain high levels of amino acids, aside from carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, milk can also cause acne by increasing insulin growth levels. It also enhances the release of comedogenic hormones like androgens. This makes the skin produce more oil and white and blackheads.

Cow's milk

Can elevate insulin growth like factor levels, increasing androgen levels and, consequently, oil production.


Androgens, progesterone, insulin, and growth hormone can affect sebum production and play a part in body acne breakouts.

Oil massages or oil-based products

When using oil-based skin care products or cosmetics stay away from oils that are comedogenic as they are likely to clog your pore. Oils like Hemp, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Olive Squalane and Rosehip are all non-comedogenic oils that are unlikely to clog pores.

Pressure, friction and heat on the skin

Anything that rubs, puts pressure on the skin or traps heat against the body for a long period of time can trigger body acne and breakouts (aka acne mechanica). You might not even be aware but things we do in our regular day-to-day, even the tight clothing we wear can trigger bacne, chest acne, or buttne, for example - straps from backpacks, bags or purses, hats and headbands, bra straps and tight-fitting clothes and undergarments. All these things can hold heat and trap sweat against the skin which causes hair follicles (pores) to become blocked.

Pre-period flare-up.

Estrogen and progesterone levels drop before a woman's periods start causing your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum which can result in clogged pores and breakouts. Hormones can also increase skin inflammation and the production of acne-causing bacteria.

Refined and simple sugars.

Some scientists believe that a low-glycemic diet may reduce acne because it eliminates spikes in your blood sugar that cause inflammation throughout your body. These spikes cause your body to create excess sebum which can lead to acne.


What doesn't impact body acne?

1. Sweating due to exercise.
Exercise-induced sweat does not significantly influence body acne, although we still recommend having a shower immediately after a sweaty AF gym session.

2. Tea and coffee.
There is no evidence up to date that caffeine and tea worsen acne breakouts.

3. Sun exposure.
There is no convincing evidence that sun exposure affects truncal acne.

4. Spot topical treatment.
When it comes to body acne treatments, "field" (treating areas that have acne) and truncal acne treatment are preferred to "spot" treatment. That way, severe acne breakouts can be prevented.

The different types of body acne...

Pimples may present in different forms, such as:

  • Comedones. Open comedones are called blackheads, while close comedones are whiteheads.
  • Small red papules or bumps
  • Pustules or bumps with pus
  • Big nodules or cysts.

Note: Body Acne acne usually presents with inflamed skin lesions, which may leave significant scarring if not appropriately addressed.

How to treat body acne

Overall, over the counter products are not the main treatment choice for body acne (aka truncal). Systemic medications like oral antibiotics and an oral retinoid prescribed by a healthcare professional are still the treatment of choice.

Body scrubs can help by shedding dead skin cells, unclogging pores or unroofing closed comedones. However, it is important to scrub correctly, too much scrubbing can damage the skin barrier and irritate the skin causing your back acne to worsen. So be gentle and choose the right natural exfoliant for your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Other skincare products with anti-inflammatory effects, such as a body wash with salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid, are good must-haves. Benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia) are good ingredients for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Avoid products like shampoos, soaps and lotions that are highly comedogenic and can easily spread on your entire body.


Which natural exfoliants work best to exfoliate your body?

Here are some of the natural physical exfoliants that can word wonders to your skin.

Coffee body scrubs

Coffee grinds give a more intense exfoliation because the grinds are grittier than other exfoliants so they work to buff away dead, dry skin. Coffee is also packed with antioxidants that protect your skin from photoageing. One of the benefits of coffee is that caffeine is also an anti-cellulite compound that can stimulate fat breakdown.

Sugar body scrubs 

Finer granules make sugar a slightly softer exfoliant as the granules melt on your skin and leave you hydrated and glowing. Sugar scrubs are best for those that are prone to more skin sensitivity.

Glucose, a simple sugar, is a popular ingredient of skin care products due to its moisturising effect. Aside from this, glucose can be processed into lactic acid, preventing hyperpigmentation. 

Another compound derived from sugar is glycolic acid, which also exfoliates the skin for a smoother, finer and lighter appearance.

Salt body scrubs 

With larger granules than sugar, salt is generally more abrasive because of its sharper edges. This means salt does a better job smoothing out the rough skin patches on the body. Bathing in salts can help bind water on the skin, improving hydration. It can also improve the skin barrier, reducing inflammation and skin's roughness.


Tips for using a body scrub correctly

DO NOT overdo it. Do not scrub your skin up to the point of redness. Remember that dead skin cells are usually shed every 2-4 weeks. You may use physical scrubs with that frequency. 

Do not use scrubs on irritated skin that is red, stinging or itchy. 

Do not use scrubs on abraded skin or wounds, especially inflamed pimples. 

Gently use scrubs on damp skin. 

Moisturise your skin after scrubbing it. You may use products with coconut oil. But if you have acne, stick to something oil-free like a hydrating glycerin moisturiser.