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Skincare 101: Battling Body Acne

Don’t stop your anti-acne skincare routine at your face. Use these sweat and bacteria-booting tips to beat zits on your back, chest, arms and legs.


Get Rid of Gym Germs

Obviously you can’t avoid sweat at the gym, but taking time to mop it up throughout your workout will go a long way when it comes to beating body breakouts. Before your workout, wipe down any weight and cardio machines you use with an antibacterial wipe—shared gym equipment is a popular hangout for acne-causing bacteria. In between exercises, wipe sweat off your body with clean towels or anti-bacterial wipes, and then hit the shower as soon as you've finished your workout. The longer sweat sits on skin, the more likely it is to cause breakouts. Use an exfoliating scrub, like St. Ives Purify Exfoliating Body Wash ($5, drugstore.com), to unblock pores and get rid of dead skin cells. Or wash with an anti-bacterial soap, like Dial Antibacterial Bar Soap ($8 for 8, soap.com).

Skip Spandex

Just say no to synthetic materials. They’re thicker than cotton, so they trap in the moisture and oils that clog pores and lead to breakouts. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting fabrics that let sweat out and allow skin to breathe. Think about it like this: Wouldn't you rather show off those lats at the beach (sans zits) than underneath a tight-fitting micro tee in the gym?

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Treat It On Time

We know purchasing gels and creams is a pain, but don’t procrastinate. For mild cases of body acne, apply a spot treatment nightly until your breakout goes away. If you’re in your 20s, pick a gel treatment with benzyol peroxide or natural anti-bacterial ingredients such as sulfur and tomato, which help exfoliate and clear up skin. Try Neutrogena Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel ($8, neutrogena.com). Once you hit your 30s, opt for a cream-based acne spot treatment, which is less drying. Try Clearasil Daily Clear Adult Treatment Cream ($4, drugstore.com). Having trouble hitting the area between your shoulder blades or other hard-to-reach spots? Go for an acne-fighting spray, like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray ($8, walgreens.com). If skin doesn’t clear up after trying all of the above, check in with a dermatologist—you may need a prescription-strength cream or pill.

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