I have been experiencing summer-like weather since April, and as a result, I’ve never sweat so much in my life. At the beginning of this warm season I experienced a pretty bad cystic acne breakout on my back from the excessive sweating from the weather, gym and laziness towards body care. Then it hit me – some pretty painful cystic breakouts on my back – the dreaded bacne. It’s one thing to have breakouts on your face, – but for some reason, the pimples on your body tend to be larger, redder, more painful – just meaner in general. I managed to clear it up with my regular body care routine plus use of a go-to S.O.S. skincare active. In this post, I thought it was about time I share the body care routine I’ve been doing for 20ish years that has been keeping my back nice and clear as well as my overall body skin looking good! While acne on my face has always been my main concern, fortunately my back has never been too problematic and the breakouts have always been easier to maintain. I’ve also never had issues with rough skin or keratin buildup. I’m pleased to inform you that this body care routine is pretty simple and quite cost effective.
My Body Care Routine
Step 1: Dove Beauty Bar + Loofah
You read that right – Dove Beauty Bar! Me and my family have been using Dove Beauty Bar for years – most of my family members actually use it on their face as well! What I love about Dove Beauty Bar is:
- It’s affordable, especially the Costco bulks
- Does not leave that gross feeling on the skin like generic alkaline soaps do
- Contains cold cream to leave a soft feel on the skin
Now the 2nd piece of the puzzle for the shower routine is the loofah, or any tool that will help get a good lather out of the Dove Beauty Bar and allows for light exfoliation. A loofah is the most gentle version of this, however, if you’re Korean, you probably most definitely use one of the 2 cloths – the Italy Towel and/or the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth. These have been a constant in my body care routine since I was a kid, and I’m pretty sure all of my Korean family members still use it. These cloths are not for the most delicate skin types because they can feel like sandpaper. I’ve recommended them to a few friends and they even find the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth too rough. For me, they’re perfect; I can get a satisfying visual of the dead skin rolling off, and my body skin in general has had little to no issues.
I tend to reach for the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth majority of the time, whereas the Italy Towel I reserve for when I take a bath and the dead skin is just nice and soft and easier to scrub off. TMI, apologies.
I’ll lather the Dove Beauty Bar in the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth, and either contort my body to scrub my back or do a cartoonish motion of moving the cloth back and forth on my back.
A lot of the times this is all I have to do to keep any comedones at bay, but considering the warmer times of the year and my level of activeness, I decided to add a treatment.
Step 2: BHA
For an extra treat, I like to use a skincare product containing BHA – aka Salicylic Acid. I find a body wash or a spray does a really good job at keeping any types of comedones from forming and prevents that excess dead skin cell buildup that my back seems to crave for at times.
For a wash, I just use whatever cheap option at the drugstore – eg. Neutrogena’s BHA washes. My favourite however has been the Paula’s Choice Acne Body Spray with 2% Salicylic Acid. Majority of the time I use it on my back on sweatier days like in the summer or after going to the gym. I tend to spray it on my chest as well in the summertime because I do notice a buildup of dead skin. I have gone through 3 bottles of this and may repurchase again if the Transparent Lab PHA Soft Peeling Cleanser I plan on occasionally using doesn’t suffice.
Step 3: Moisturize as Needed
For majority of my life, Dove Beauty Bar seemed to do the job and I never considered moisturizing my body to be a necessity. However I am older, and I do go swimming more – so I definitely need to up the body moisturizer game. For the most part, I just moisturize as needed – I’ll either use the Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume since it can be used for both face and body, or skincare that I downgraded to bodycare. If I had to go out of my way to by a moisturizer specific for my body, it most definitely needs to be a lightweight cream and have a considerable amount of urea in it – I’m talking 5-10%. There’s brands like Uremol, Goldbond, Eucerin, so it’s easy to find a drugstore option for this.
Does This Body Care Routine for Bacne Really Work?
Heck to yes! Like I said, I have been doing just Step 1 since my childhood and it’s only been in the past half decade that I decided to be fancier with Step 2 and 3. If I slack on the body care, particularly Step 1, I end up with this
Yes, it was painful. Yes, it hurt when I slept on my back.
At the time when I got these gnarly breakouts, I wasn’t being good about Step 1 and for Step 2, I was using a weaker BHA toner with only .48% BHA. Needless to say, lesson learned. Don’t fix what isn’t broken!
In emergency situations like these, I go in with the big gun – Benzoyl Peroxide.
BPO, in my opinion, is way more powerful than BHA when it comes to dealing with very inflamed, cystic acne. I should know, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it for almost 20 years!
I do one of two things:
- Option 1: Apply a BPO wash on my back during my shower routine and leave it on for a few minutes.
- Option 2: Contort my body to apply a thin layer of a BPO gel on my back every night until the inflammation around the breakout and the size lowers.
I only like using BPO for emergency situations because it is too finnicky of an ingredient; Chances of irritation are higher and it bleaches my damn towels and any other fabric it comes in contact with. That’s why if I ever use a BPO wash, I have to wrap myself in a white towel. If I use a BPO Gel, I most definitely wear a white shirt to bed.
Bonus: Sun and Sea
I find every time I swim in the sea or any salty water, my back and skin in general look better and the acne heals faster. I have seen this time and time again throughout my life, especially when I started taking vacations down south for the winter. Keep note that my skin has no issues in the sun whatsoever in the northern parts of the world. If you’re fairer than me and are higher on the FitzPatrick scale, you definitely have to be careful. I don’t know how many times I’ve been down south seeing the very pale tourists from Canada overdo it in the sun – while the locals all cover up in long sleeves, hats and stay in the shade.
And that’s all, folks! As always, I hope you find my content helpful and informative. Please comment down below if you’ve tried any of the steps or products I’ve mentioned before and if you find them effective or not!
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