I’ve never had a real problem with acne, but every once in a while I’ll have a terrible breakout and can’t figure out for the life of me what’s causing it. I’m sure you’re familiar with common causes of breakouts, such as diet and beauty products, but if you’ve already cut out the caffeine and dairy and washed your makeup brushes thoroughly, there may be other triggers you’re not even aware of. Here are a few other reasons you may be breaking out all over your body, and how you can deal with it.
Working Out. It’s hard to think of many negatives associated with working out, but if you have acne-prone skin, you’re more likely to have breakouts on your face, as well as your body. Working up a sweat doesn’t cause acne, but it does clog your pores, causing dead skin cells and oils to become trapped. Fear of “bacne,” however, doesn’t mean you have to skip the workouts. But you should skip the spandex workout gear in favor of breathable, light-weight clothing made of natural fabrics that won’t cause friction or trap sweat against your skin. Also, whether you work out at home or at the gym, be mindful of sweaty equipment. Gym equipment is a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Use antibacterial hand wipes to clean equipment before and in-between exercises.
Showering. After talking workouts, it’s especially important to mention showering. Not showering when you should can also cause breakouts all over your body. Make sure to shower right after every workout. I know many people like to work out before work or on their lunch break, but a quick rinse-off just won’t do, especially if you’re prone to breakouts. What you use to shower with is also important. Try using an antibacterial soap or body wash that contains salicylic acid. A popular option is Body Clear Body Wash by Neutrogena, which “treats and helps prevent breakouts on your back, chest and shoulders without over-drying or irritating your skin.” You can also use an exfoliating body wash or scrub. I recommend Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash or St. Ives Purifying Sea Salt Exfoliating Body Wash. Both are great for exfoliating dead skin cells, but they’re gentle enough not to irritate a sensitive area like your chest. Furthermore, if you use a washcloth for showering, make sure to use a clean one every time.
Sleeping. If you thought there was at least one time when you didn’t have to be concerned about breakouts, bedtime would probably be it. But nope, that’s not the case. Several night time factors also contribute to those bad body breakouts. Firstly, not getting enough sleep is a major trigger. A lack of sleep raises cortisol levels, and in turn, cortisol contributes to breakouts. Secondly, try to sleep in comfortable pajamas that aren’t too tight or causing you to sweat. If that sexy, silk nighty is causing you to burn up during the night, it’s probably also contributing to your back acne. Lastly, change those sheets and pillowcases regularly. If you’ve ever fallen asleep with makeup on, I’m sure you’ve seen what damage it does to your pillowcases. Well, on a nightly basis, the dead skin cells and oils from your skin, are also rubbing off your body and collecting on your sheets and pillowcases. Continually sleeping on those same linens causes that accumulation of nastiness to clog your pores and become trapped on your skin, causing body breakouts. By the way, as with the pajamas, you may also want to skip the silk sheets if it’s very hot or you’re known to sweat a lot. Also, be mindful that the laundry detergent you’re using to wash your pajamas and linens isn’t causing irritation. If you have sensitive skin, try trading your current detergent for fragrance-free detergent.
Life. You probably know that being pregnant or getting your monthly period causes breakouts — especially on your face, but other normal life events can also trigger body breakouts. Case in point, people who travel frequently. Not only do they have to deal with dry air that causes the skin to produce more pore-clogging oils, drastic changes in weather and climate, such as what you experience going from, say, Florida to Alaska, can also cause your body to breakout. Make sure to apply a light, natural moisturizing before getting on the plane. Also, pack some Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets to soak up excess oil. Dealing with stress on a regular basis is also a common trigger. As with a lack of sleep, stress too causes cortisol levels to raise, contributing to breakouts. Finally, many studies have been done that prove genes have a prominent role in acne. So if you’ve done everything you can to prevent those body breakouts, they may just be genetic.
Do you have any tips and tricks on how to treat and prevent acne? Please share them below!