One of the main components of summer is the amount of bare skin exposed to the world. It’s as if there is a worldwide contest raging on and every day a new competitor enters the race.
Because of my body shape, I have to bow out of the competition – for example, the use of dresses or skirts need to have an appropriate use of shorts – not just to make sure boys won’t look up for a nice view from the bottom of a staircase or in case I get stuck over a subway grate, but because my anatomy creates too much friction (and then too much whining about pain from me) to live peacefully without the presence of shorts or shapewear. Yet and still, as the skin showoff competition in the world goes on in the leg sector without my participation, the back is fair game.
Summer has it’s negative sides too though. It is not until this season and worldwide competition is silently notifying every boy and girl in this world, do people notice that after months and months of rigorous attention to their skin on the front, their back is in need of attention. Bacne is rearing it’s ugly head.
I find that bacne occurs after excessive sweating – for example, everyday is regularly a hot day for me. Between having my laptop warm up my lap (even on a cooling lap tray), the clothing I need to wear inside and outside to be decent, and the general warmth in the air, there is plenty sweat that makes its way down my back. Sometimes (okay lots of times) I’m even guilty of scratching my back against corners and doors to remove a nagging itch from my life. The sweat buildup, constant contact with clothing, and possible scratching irritates the skin on your back and may lead to acne.
The tie for first place agitator of bacne in my life is hair. My hair requires numerous products, starting from leave in conditioner, to gels, mousses, oils, and hair sprays. On the days that I don’t wash my hair, I still use products. The products then transfer onto your skin by two ways – letting your hair down, or again, sweating. That’s when you get a nagging pimple at the nape of your neck and the start of a throbbing pain in your temple.
Check out some tips to prevent and handle bacne from Annet King, Director of Global Education of The International Dermal Institute (founded by Jane Wurwand – also founder of Dermalogica skincare).
- Cleansing: Be sure to use a soap and fragrance-free anti-bacterial cleansing wash. Many people over-cleanse the skin with harsh soaps and use vigorous scrubbing tools and products. The use of Alkaline-based surfactants or soaps not only rob skin of moisture, but also provide a bacteria-loving environment.
- Toning: Spritz with an oil and bacteria controlling toner. Many bacne sufferers will try mentholated and alcohol astringents which provide a cooling sensation on their skin, however in most cases these are S.D.-Alcohol based, which strips the skin of lipids, causing the skin to over-produce oil.
- Exfoliate gently: Many people use Loofahs and brushes to try and rid the skin of back acne, which only worsens the condition. The use of such tools causes micro-lacerations in the skin, making it once again a hospitable environment for bacteria to breed and grow. A gentle fragrance-free scrub should be lightly massaged over the area and washed off.
- Treat the affected area overnight with a Salicylic Acid-based gel as well as during the day.
- Avoid waxy hair product that may come in contact with the skin on the back.
- Wear cotton clothing versus synthetic fibers which can trap oil and dead cells.
- Pillow and sheet hygiene is a must! Pillowcases and sheets should be changed at least twice a week. Avoid using fabric conditioners on bed linens.
Some Dermalogica products that may be helpful:
Were these tips helpful? What do you do to keep your skin clear in the summer?