We can all appreciate a healthy dose of body positivity, but at the same time, we don't want to negate or invalidate how hard the journey can be. While yes, it’s true that our skin shouldn't control us, it’s helpful to discuss our experiences around self-image. So, in this blog, Cassandra shares some of her challenges with body acne.
When Cassandra first developed acne in the 3rd grade, she was not prepared, and she deeply struggled with the changes that body acne brought. She used to wear sweatshirts and jackets during the summer to conceal herself, and she didn’t even contemplate wearing a swimsuit or going to the pool.
Wearing white was out of the question. Sometimes the body acne would pop on the back of her shirt, and make itself apparent and she hated how people looked at her.
At the time, she was unsure of what to do, but as she grew to be an aesthetician, she’s found ways to treat her body acne. She still gets regular breakouts on her face, chest, and back, but for anyone experiencing body acne, she would like to share her personalized body acne routine. This routine is not to say that our bodies need to change but it’s to say that our experiences and desires to mitigate acne are valid.
Cassandra wants to be super honest with you, and her body acne routine is actually very simple and sweet.
Although skin is different all over the body, there are medically proven ingredients for acne. There are effective ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and retinoids. So, for the first step, Cassandra washes her body with a benzoyl peroxide wash.
PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10% Maximum Strength Antimicrobial - $9.48
This is an inexpensive wash from the drugstore. However, it’s actually more gentle on the skin than other benzoyl peroxide washes.
Dr. Zenovia BP Acne Cleanser - $30
Cassandra really likes this benzoyl peroxide wash as well because it’s made by an MD specifically for hormonal acne. It is 10% benzoyl peroxide though. So, take into account that it's a bit more intense.
Benzoyl peroxide helps to exfoliate the skin and fight acne. There’s a bond in benzoyl peroxide that breaks down upon coming into contact with heat and water. This broken bond releases oxygen, and the oxygen is what kills acne bacteria. This formula also has aloe vera so it's supposed to be more soothing and perhaps not as irritating as other benzoyl peroxide washes.
Cassandra loves to keep it simple so she chooses one of these benzoyl peroxide washes and just washes it off. However, she doesn’t really use benzoyl peroxide within moisturizers because those can stain. For that reason, she primarily uses benzoyl peroxide in the shower.
As for moisturizers, you could apply multiple, but Cassandra doesn’t have time. Plus, putting a moisturizer on one’s back can be cumbersome. So instead, you can use a salicylic acid acne spray on your back. Here are two that Cassandra loves.
Sandra Lee MD Salicylic Acid Body Spray - $30
Backup Plan Acne Control Body Mist -$14.99
You can mist salicylic acid spray on a problem area, and it helps get rid of breakouts. Although salicylic acid is a large molecule, it is oil soluble and penetrates deeply into the pores. Salicylic acid has been medically proven to be an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps to get rid of acne.
Cassandra sprays salicylic acid underneath her clothing, and it helps to mitigate breakouts. Additionally, you could use a regular serum or a back mask infused with kaolin clay. Additionally, if you’re going to be out in the sun, SPF is good to reapply so you can protect your body acne from further irritation.
If you're wearing SPF, you don't have to stress over showing your acne, and for Cassandra, she’s come to the point of accepting her acne. Even though it still bothers her some days, she doesn’t let it control her life. Anything that she uses is short, simple, and efficacious. While this is a simplified routine, Cassandra’s hormones, stress, and diet all play a significant role in her acne. If she’s drinking a sugary coffee with coconut creamer, it’s probably not as good as a more balanced beverage, but that is a trade-off she's willing to make. Her body acne doesn’t control her anymore, and she feels free to wear swimsuits and open-neck shirts with or without body acne. She no longer feels the need to hide or feels hesitant to look others in the eyes whilst having a breakout. Today, she sees her flaws as features, and while she does treat her body acne, she knows that it doesn’t define her, and hopes that others can do the same.
Cassandra chats more about her routine here.