Getting rid of acne on your face is hard enough. But fighting body acne (sometimes referred to as "bacne") is a whole other challenge.
You just finished healing that cystic pimple on your chin, and now you can feel another breakout popping up between your shoulder blades. What gives?
Whether it's on your back, butt, or torso, body acne is a pain, especially when warmer temps roll around and you're ready to show more skin. You probably already know that you should use body cleansers and topical treatments that contain skin-clearing ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, just like you would on your face, to fight breakouts at the source.
But Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, recommends keeping a few other factors in mind, as well. She suggests making sure all the other products you're putting on your body are oil-free formulations and looking for lotions that contain aloe or glycerin. "Aloe is soothing for acne-prone skin," she explains. "And glycerin is moisturizing but won't clog pores."
Here, our top picks for body acne treatments that will help you get rid of all-over pimples for good.
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Prescription Strength Retinoid Acne Treatment
We've often recommended this powerful pimple- and wrinkle-fighter—the only retinoid available without a prescription—for your face, but you can use it on your body as well. "Differin Gel is highly effective in keeping pores open and minimizing breakouts, and it is better tolerated than most retinoids," says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash
You can't go wrong with this classic drugstore body wash, a favorite of Dr. Jaliman's. It contains 2% salicylic acid to gently target breakouts anywhere on the body, as well as glycerin and aloe leaf extract to keep skin soft and moisturized, not dried-out.
Yuni Shower Sheets
It's always a good idea to shower ASAP after a workout, and not just to prevent body acne (although it can make a big difference): The dark, moist environment of yoga pants can also enable yeast and bacteria to thrive down there. Don't have time for a full shower in between SoulCycle and brunch? At the very least, change out of your sweaty gym clothes and wipe down acne-prone areas with these pre-moistened body wipes; they cleanse and refresh skin with ingredients like peppermint and antibacterial neem extract, and they're small enough to stash in your gym bag.
Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
In addition to salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, another great acne-fighter to look for in a body wash is alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), says Ava Shamban, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKINxFIVE. This budget-friendly Mario Badescu cleanser also contains oat protein to soothe sensitive skin and papaya and grapefruit extracts to exfoliate.