By Golly, it’s BACNE!

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BLEH! Summer (aka swimsuit and less clothing season) is right around the corner! The “cold shoulder” style is still trending like crazy – so, why me? Why bacne? *sighs* More sorrows of a woman in her late 20’s, because seriously? I’ve gone my entire life without a single blemish on my back! However, like the breakouts on my face, I’ve had to come to the realization that if I want a clear back – something in my skin care routine HAS to change. Whether that means cutting something out or adding something new, SOMETHING has to be done.

WHAT IS BACNE?

Like acne, bacne forms when pores are congested with dead skin and oil. Your back is a much larger area of skin, and therefore has even more sebaceous glands and hair follicles that produce sebum. Although sebum is meant to help keep our skin moisturized, too much of it combined with bacteria, oil, sweat, and dead skin cells, clogs up your pores and creates those wonderful pimples we all know and love.

BAD NEWS FIRST:

What I find to be the most complicated factor about treating bacne is that the skin on your back is covered by clothing most of the time. Unless you live in a nudist community (no judgement here!) then you probably wear a shirt, sweatshirt, workout top, suite, backpack, etc. on a daily basis. The problem is your back never has a chance to breathe. Unlike treating your face, which is probably never covered by clothing, our backs are constantly confined up against material.

So what’s happening under our clothes? The answer is: heat followed by sweat. Even if you’re a person that’s “cold all the time”, it doesn’t change the fact that the natural oils from your skin are trapped under tightly fitted sports bras, cotton t-shirts, warm winter coats, etc. But HEY, clothing isn’t exactly going out of style anytime soon. So, what’s next?

LIFE’S NOT FAIR:

Quick reminder before we get to the good news. It’s important to remember that treating acne and bacne is a trial and error process. Yes, your friend may be able to fall asleep in her workout clothes after a hot yoga class, and NOT breakout…but that doesn’t mean YOU can. Maybe the cheap, drug store soap brand works for your sister, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you! Having clear skin is A LOT of work for some folks. Moving forward, keep this in mind when considering the changes you may have to make to your daily regimen.

THE GOOD NEWS:

I’ve found a routine and product that is slowly clearing up my back!

Process:

  1. I took a long, hard look in the mirror and reminded myself that I am too old for the fruity-perfume filled body washes I’d been using. I KNOW. They smell good and we’ve all been using them for years! However, I’m sure most skin experts would suggest cutting these types of washes from your routine (especially those with acne-prone skin).
  2. I invested in a back scrubber and acne fighting body wash WITH salicylic acid. The salicylic acid is key here because it drys out your skin preventing the oils from building and starting the pore clogging process. The back brush helps to remove dead skin particles (also a factor in the pore clogging process).
  3. I started washing my back twice a day.

This process may not work for you – below I have attached some thoughts from an earlier post about acne, as they also relate to also fighting bacne. There are many causes of acne/bacne, so the best way to figure out how to conquer it is to start your trial and error process!

What works for you? Is there a particular product you love? Share it on our Facebook page!

ASK:

  • Am I maintaining a healthy diet? Although Americans are notoriously known for turning to medication to solve their problems, it couldn’t hurt to first start with considering a natural fix. Maybe the zits on your face is your body trying to say, “hey, stop feeding me greasy food” or “I need more fruits and vegetables, please”. Try to be sure you’re maintaining a balanced diet.
  • Am I not taking vitamins? Not everyone has the time or means to prepare 3 nutritious meals every day. If you must cut corners, vitamins can be a great way to ensure your body has some intake of the basic nutrients it needs to function properly.
  • Am I still smoking and drinking heavily? Our bodies are constantly changing over time. Consider how your 21-year-old self felt after a few glasses of wine versus now. Yeah…. The same difference can be said for the toll smoking and drinking takes on your skin and overall appearance! AWFUL. Both combined is a double whammy when it comes to dehydrating your skin – ie. could be the reason for breakouts.
  • Am I washing my face with the correct products for my skin type? Like our bodies, our skin also changes over time. There’s a good chance the face wash that kept your skin “clean, clear, and under control” in your teens doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately, this will have to be a trial and error process. To add insult to injury, you can probably expect to go through the same process years from now once your skin changes again. Yes, maintaining healthy skin IS a lot of work.
  • Am I practicing proper hygiene for my skin type? There was a time when I could get away with only washing my face in the morning. Not anymore! Now, by the end of the day I can start to see my face getting greasy and needing to be washed again before bedtime. Everyone’s skin is different and like me, you may need to start new habits in order to ensure a healthy look.
  • Am I feeling stressed, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly? All of these factors can play a major role in controlling acne! Everyone knows the mental benefits of getting a sufficient amount of rest and exercise daily. If your body is stressed, lacking sleep and exercise it will not function properly, neither will your skin.
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