Conquering Back Acne


Bacne. Bacne. Baaac-neeeee. It narrowly surpasses "ointment" as the most revolting term in the library of beauty terminology, but if you say it quietly to yourself one million times, it just looks like a weird jumble of letters. This is the first step to conquering bacne: Owning it. Looking at it right in its 4-7 pink little eyes. Accepting that it is an unfortunate thing that happens to good people before being nuked with targeted acid treatments.

I'm not afraid to say that I have dealt with bacne, although I don't think I need to at this point, it is probably clear enough, but you'll be excited to know that I came out the victor. Body breakouts are oft reported in the summer months when your body is crying from being trapped underneath several layers of fabric, which makes August as good a time as any to update you on how to get rid of them. It's easy, trust me! All it requires are a few semi-significant lifestyle changes:

Choose Your Body Wash

And choose very wisely. Whatever you do, choose something formulated with a good chemical exfoliant. Regular soap will get you clean, but that's not the goal here—what you're looking for is something that will cleanse the skin but exfoliate just underneath it, too, which is why you need an acid. Body washes with exfoliating acids get a reputation for being too clinical or too pungent or too unpleasant to use, which is why I recommend Mario Badescu's AHA Botanical Body Soap. It smells like grapefruit and, I kid you not, was my bacne's assassin.

And Your Body Lotion

Why not? Paula's Choice Resist BHA Body Lotion hydrates and exfoliates—and the salicylic goes a little deeper into the skin than my Mario Badescu, so it's a two-pronged approach. It certainly doesn't hurt to use the two in tandem. Actually, it feels wonderful (and non-stingy). And it works.

Embrace The Summer Rinse

You don't need to use shampoo, or scrub down your body, or even put on a relaxing podcast for this: Just add one shower to your schedule every day, but make it a light one. Five minutes is all you need, in and out, so you can slough off any and all gross stuff before continuing your day or heading to bed. Make it a lukewarm rinse if the weather gets oppressive—a 70 degree shower on a 100 degree day is a sensational, affordable luxury.

Wash Everything

I love this article from Women's Health for recommending "loose, white, 100% cotton" upper-body clothing for a bacne-free lifestyle that also looks like a Cymbalta commercial. There is a science to wearing fabrics that absorb sweat as opposed to wicking it back onto your skin, where it can cause breakouts, but this seems like an oppressive way to live your life. I will not suggest you abandon your beloved CoolMax training shirts or latex tube tops in arbitrary favor of something a little more Nancy Meyers. I will suggest that, if you suffer from bacne, you wash everything a little more regularly than you typically do. Wash your shirts, wash your sheets, wash your snoods, even wash your loose cotton whites a few times a week. Not only will it combat pore-clogging grime, but it'll scent your life with faint lavender, raising your quality of life exponentially.

–Brennan Kilbane

Body wash not doing the job? Try something a little stronger: Read here for the best body scrubs.