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Back And Chest Acne: What Causes It, Plus 9 Tips For Treating It

Posted on May 13 2020

back of surfer at the beach

Everyone wants clear, smooth skin! But the unfortunate reality is that acne isn’t just for hormone-stricken teenagers. Many people deal with acne well into their adult years, including back and chest acne.

While it isn’t quite as obvious as acne on your face, back and chest acne is still annoying and unsightly and, understandably, you just want it to go away!

In this article, we’ll talk about how you can kick acne to the curb by dealing with it naturally. But first: what causes it to begin with?

What Causes Back And Chest Acne?

up-close of chest acne

First of all, when we talk about acne, it includes the whole works — blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and everything in-between. No matter what type you’re dealing with, it can be a pain and hard to get rid of.

The cause of back and chest acne is essentially the same as face acne: clogged pores. You have pores all over your skin, which is why acne is not just limited to the face and can show up anywhere it pleases.

Clogged pores (often from dead skin) and bacteria together are the perfect recipe for acne.

Other factors that can make a person more susceptible to acne? Fluctuating hormones, naturally oily skin, stress (you can say that again!), and eating lots of high-carb foods.

That being said, there are a few specific irritants that can make back or chest acne worse, like the workout clothes you wear, the laundry detergent you use, and even your shampoo and conditioner.

You might start to feel discouraged when you think about all of these contributing factors. But don’t despair! Let’s get straight into our tips for treating your back and chest acne gently and naturally.

9 Tips For Treating Back And Chest Acne

Below, we list nine great tips for treating your acne naturally. But if your acne persists or gets worse, you may want to consider seeing a dermatologist. They can help you get to the root of the problem!

group of friends sitting at the beach

1) Don’t Scrub And Scratch

You don’t have to become friends with your acne, but you should be gentle with it. Avoid scrubbing too hard in the shower, scratching, or picking at it.

Scratching and picking will only lead to irritated skin and possibly open wounds that could turn into scars later (no thank you!).

And, while cleaning your skin thoroughly is an important part of combating back and chest acne, scrubbing away in the shower won’t get you anywhere. Instead, opt for effective yet safe skincare products.

That brings us to our next point.

2) Cleanse Effectively In The Shower

To keep your skin clean without over-drying it, irritating it, or piling on harmful chemicals, go with a fragrance-free, hydrating wash, like Babo Botanicals’s Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash.

Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash for back acne

Our gentle soap is effective enough for all adult skin and safe enough for sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Soap up your back and chest with our wash, knowing that it’s full of natural, plant-based ingredients to soothe and cleanse your skin!

3) Check Your Hair-Cleansing Products

Speaking of getting clean in the shower, in addition to choosing a gentle and effective body wash to combat back and chest acne, it’s also important to think about the shampoo and conditioner you use.

The products you use on your head end up running down your chest and back and can irritate your skin, contributing to acne.

If you think your shampoo and conditioner might be the culprit, switch to fragrance-free, hypoallergenic options, like Babo Botanicals’s Smoothing Detangling Shampoo & Wash and Smoothing Detangling Conditioner.

woman washing hair

Count on our shampoo and conditioner to help detangle your hair, add shine, and keep your skin healthy at the same time!

4) Moisturize Your Skin

While very oily skin can contribute to acne, you don’t want to swing in the opposite direction either.

Washing your face too frequently, using too many drying products, or quitting lotion altogether will dry your skin, which only serves to make your oil glands kick into gear and produce even more oil to combat the dryness.

Instead, hydrate your skin by applying a moisturizer in addition to whatever acne products you’re using. Choose a natural lotion — like Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion — that won’t irritate your skin with synthetic fragrances or chemicals.

Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Therapy Lotion

5) Wash Your Clothes With Hypoallergenic Detergent

Clean shirts are an important part of keeping back and chest acne away, but you’ll want to wash your clothes with products that are easy on your skin.

Most detergents and fabric softeners are loaded with synthetic fragrances. Stay away from them! Instead, choose hypoallergenic laundry products to keep your clothes fresh and clean.

Another thing you should wash frequently? Your bath towels. Don’t let wet towels breed bacteria that can later find their way onto your back and chest.

While we’re on the topic of laundry, other things to wash regularly are your sheets and pillowcases! Bacteria and dead skin cells can build up on those faster than you may think.

6) Be Skin-Smart When Exercising

First things first: exercise itself doesn’t cause acne. So, don’t think we’re giving you an excuse to skip your workout!

The thing about back and chest acne is that working out can cause the perfect storm if you’re not careful. Sweat combined with bacteria, tight clothes, and any dead skin cells lying around is not a good combination for getting rid of acne.

So what can be done?

First of all, always work out in a clean shirt. Don’t reach for your day-old shirt that might have bacteria and dead skin cells hanging around.

Secondly, treat yourself to a small shopping spree and invest in some loose-fitting workout shirts. Avoid tight shirts that rub against your chest and back.

Runner going up stairs

Finally, after working out, hop in the shower as soon as you can. This washes away sweat and bacteria. At the very least, change shirts and use a wipe to clear the sweat from your skin.

7) Use A Body Wipe After Sweating

Whether you’re a gym rat, hiker, yogi, cyclist, or anything in-between, always use a body wipe after working up a sweat when you can’t get to a shower right away.

Babo Botanicals’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Face, Hands & Body Wipes gently cleanse your face, hands, and body without rinsing, leaving your skin soothed, soft, and hydrated. You can even use them as a makeup remover!

3-in-1 Hydrating Face, Hands & Body Wipes to help with neck acne

Our wipes contain refreshing cucumber and aloe vera and are biodegradable and compostable. Good for you and safe for the earth!

8) Apply Sunscreen Before Going Outside

Frying your skin in the sunshine won’t do your acne any good!

Soaking up the sun without sunscreen only serves to dry your skin out (which is bad for acne, remember?) and leave you with a sunburn or sun damage.

Protect your skin with a mineral sunscreen like Babo Botanicals’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. It’s made with skin-soothing certified organic oils and 19.0% non-nano zinc oxide, a very effective and non-chemical sunscreen ingredient.

What’s more, it goes on clear and is reef-safe. Win-win!

Babo Botanicals’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

9) Don’t Apply Irritating Makeup

Acne doesn’t go away in the blink of an eye. While you’re waiting for it to clear up, it’s tempting to apply a bit of foundation to cover up the spots, especially if your favorite shirt is a v-neck!

If you choose to do that, make sure the product you’re using isn’t adding to the problem by layering chemicals onto your acne-ridden skin.

Try our Daily Sheer Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 to moisturize, protect, and add a tinted luminosity to your back and chest. Our formula is lightweight, clean, and non-greasy and contains a Nutri-Firm™ Complex of kahai, sea buckthorn, and argan oil.
Farewell, Acne!

three friends sitting by the pool

While the causes and contributing factors of back and chest acne can be slightly different for each person, there are specific steps you can take to combat them!

Apply our nine tips for treating your acne and say farewell to your unwanted blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads.

Start by stocking up on a gentle cleanser, like Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash, and replace your shampoo, conditioner, and lotion with clean, hypoallergenic options.

Get into acne-fighting habits, like washing your clothes, sheets, and towels regularly and wiping yourself down with 3-in-1 Hydrating Face, Hands & Body Wipes after a good sweat.

Now all that’s left to do is to simply be patient as you wait for your back and chest acne to clear up!

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