Skip To Content
    Updated on Sep 14, 2018. Posted on Sep 24, 2015

    Here's How To Actually Get Rid Of Acne All Over Your Body

    Because sometimes your body hasn't realized it's NOT going through puberty anymore.

    Anyone who's dealt with acne knows how much it can suck.

    HBO / Via

    Whether you just get occasional spots or you deal with unrelenting breakouts, acne can be damaging to not just your skin, but your self esteem, too.

    The good news is that it doesn't need to ruin your life. BuzzFeed Life spoke with Dr. Rachel Nazarian, F.A.A.D., of the Schweiger Dermatology Group and Dr. Michele Green, Chief Resident in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and rounded up these simple things you can do every day to prevent and reduce your risk of acne — wherever it pops up.

    Alright, let's get to it!

    1. First, understand what acne is and what causes it.

    Cartoon Network / Via

    Acne can have many different causes — changes in hormones, genetics, dirt and bacteria on your skin, etc. Nazarian says that the tips below will help prevent and get rid of both non-inflammatory acne (which is characterized by blackheads and whiteheads that don’t tend to leave scars) and inflammatory acne (which is characterized by tender, red pimples that do tend to leave scars, like hormonal or cystic acne).

    The important thing to note here is that there's obviously a difference between the occasional breakout and chronic inflammatory acne. If you have the latter, these tips may still be helpful for you, but your best bet would be to book a dermatologist appointment so they can treat your own unique skin.

    2. Be wary of DIY acne cures and home remedies.

    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via

    Common home remedies can actually make acne worse, says Nazarian. For example, lemon and sugar scrubs don't work because the acid and rough sugar will tear your skin, and sanitizing gels are much too strong and can irritate your skin.

    Instead of concocting something risky, Green suggests applying Neosporin to a pimple when in need of a fast remedy. Neosporin – an antibiotic cream – is a great quick solution because it will kill bacteria and help make it go away faster.

    3. Stop exfoliating so much.

    4. Don’t press a phone to your face during long calls.

    Universal Pictures / Via

    Yes, your cell phone can cause acne, because the oils and bacteria from your face and hands are constantly getting transferred back and forth between your face and the screen. Nazarian suggests wiping down your phone screen at least once a day and trying to avoid holding your phone against your face.

    5. If you suffer from body acne, you'll probably want to shower every night.

    Buena Vistas Pictures / Via

    For most people, showering once a day can be overkill. But if you struggle with acne on your chest or back and you’re not showering before you go to sleep, that means your body is lying for hours at a time in the dirt, oil, and bacteria it’s collected over the course of the day, which creates an optimal environment for clogged pores and breakouts says Nazarian. It also means that these nasties will be transferred to your bedding and will be lying in wait even on nights when you do shower before bed.

    6. And you should use a body wash with acne medicine anywhere you're breaking out.

    Nazarian says the best first line of treatment is using a medicated body wash, especially when treating bacne. This is because most body washes are gentle on your skin and are able to treat your body evenly — unlike topical acne creams, which are hard to apply evenly to places like your own back (leaving some areas untreated and other areas over-treated, causing irritation).

    She recommends using a salicylic acid body wash like the one Neutrogena makes. And if that doesn't help, see your dermatologist who might move you up to a prescription-strength wash. Just make sure you're only using the medicated body wash on problematic areas, because using it on the rest of your body can really dry out your skin.

    7. If you get ingrown hairs around your groin, apply hydrocortisone cream to the area after you shave.

    8. Make a habit of putting your hair up or back before you work out.

    Facebook: video.php

    This will reduce the amount of oil and sweat that gets trapped on your forehead or on the back of your neck while you're exercising, all of which can be welcoming to pimples. Nazarian recommends a headband not on your forehead but pushed back on your hair — so that it won't trap sweat on your face.

    9. Wear lighter and looser cotton clothing or breathable clothes that wick away sweat.

    10. ALWAYS leave time to shower or at least wipe down and change clothes after exercising. / Via

    You can't let your body just sit around festering in all that sweat and grime. "Sitting in your sweaty clothes can irritate the skin and trigger some bumps," says Nazarian. If you really can't shower right away, at least use a baby wipe on most of your body and a cleansing wipe on your face (and anywhere else you're breaking out).

    11. Make sure you're changing and cleaning your bedding regularly.

    12. Wash your hoodies, scarves, and coats often. / Via

    Make sure you're regularly washing all your clothes. It's easy to neglect coats, scarves, and sweatshirts, but bacteria and dirt build up there too and get all over your face.

    13. Only use a heavy-duty cleanser once a day.

    Warner Bros. Television / Via

    Most people should only be using an acne cleanser once a day, unless otherwise instructed by their dermatologist, says Nazarian. That's usually going to be at night, so you can just wash with gentle soap or water in the morning.

    If washing your face isn't helping your breakouts, using an acne wash multiple times a day often isn't going to make a difference. In fact, it might make it worse if you're drying out and irritating your skin. Nazarian says that at this point you should set up a consultation with a dermatologist to come up with a better skincare plan.

    14. Make sure you're doing your nightly routine in the right order.

    Disney / Via

    You know you should wash your face at night, but you may not be doing it properly. Nazarian says the right order is to remove any makeup first, then wash your face, then apply any acne medicine, then finish with moisturizer. The order matters because you want to apply your medication directly to your skin without a layer of dirt, oil, or moisturizer obstructing it from fighting your acne. Plus, it might be drying, so moisturizing after can help with that.

    15. Even if you find it sexy, be careful around scruff.

    16. Shave at the end of your shower and stick to unscented shaving creams.

    17. Use a two-blade razor and shave in as few swipes as possible.

    Fewer blades means less skin irritation, and the more efficiently you can shave the better, says Nazarian. This will reduce skin inflammation, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of developing pimples on those areas of your body.

    18. Do not go bananas trying to squeeze the hell out of your blackheads.

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    "It's not a great habit to be taking care of your own blackheads and whiteheads, because if you're not doing it right you could cause scarring on something that wasn't initially going to be serious," Nazarian says. So if a blackhead isn't coming out with a little pressure, DO NOT force it. You'll just need to leave it alone or see the dermatologist to get that sucker out.

    19. And leave your whiteheads alone.

    Universal Pictures / Via

    Yeah, yeah, we know you're going to do it anyway. But if you're actually able to resist the temptation, Nazarian says the best thing you can do is to wash your face and apply a charcoal mask or one with a low-level of benzoyl peroxide to dry out the area a little without harming your skin.

    20. Stick to oil-free or non-comedogenic makeup products only.

    21. Oh, and actually take some time to unwind, relax, and minimize stress.

    22. Know when to throw in the towel and see a professional about your acne.

    BBC America / Via

    If you're having a hard time getting your breakouts under control, it's probably time to consult a dermatologist for further treatment. They can prescribe you prescription-strength creams or oral medications that are stronger than what we're talking about above.

    "You shouldn't only see a dermatologist when things are serious," Nazarian says. "If you come in once a year, that should be a minimum because that's a basic screening. You can do so much more to protect your skin if you attend your dermatologist more often."

    So check in with them if you feel like your daily routine isn't working, if your skin has gotten worse recently, or if you're just looking for some best skincare practices. They know what they're talking about, and your skin will thank them.

    Bring it on acne! We're ready!

    Warner Bros. / Via