January 05, 2023

7 Of The Best Products To Treat Body Acne

Back, shoulders, chest—these are the best products to treat body acne, according to the experts.

Setting out to address acne anywhere south of the neck can be an arduous process. It’s one part of body care we don’t often talk about, yet it has its own silent impact on confidence. For starters, one might forgo wearing the perfect buttery pale backless dress à la Andie Anderson in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days—and we know the list may only just begin there.

The most commonly affected areas are the back, chest and neck. And the cause? Well, one word can define it best: complex. “In some cases it may be related to excessive sweating or poor hygiene but in most cases it’s likely just a genetic tendency to have increased androgen sensitivity in certain body areas,” notes dermatologist Dr. Cara McDonald.

These androgens are the male hormones that drive congestion and oil production within the hair follicles which cause pesky blackheads or whiteheads (aka comedones). “Sometimes diets high in sugar or dairy, as well as protein powders and gym supplements can contribute to body acne alongside sweating and summer heat.” As frustrating as body acne is, it’s luckily preventable and treatable—and the right treatment goes back to what kind of acne and skin you have.

A measured dose of ingredients such as salicylic acid, B lipohydroxy acid (LHA), alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), zinc, niacinamide (vitamin B3) and retinoids are extremely helpful at clearing the skin, regulating oil production and increasing cell turnover. And, like our faces, the important baseline is treating your skin barrier with care, hydration and gentle cleansing.

While there are no cure-alls that are one size fits all. Here, we narrow down on seven dermatologist-approved, over-the-counter products to treat body acne. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the experts do it better.

Treat back acne

Benzac AC Moderate Strength 5% Acne Wash

If you’ve ever heard of Benzac, then you’ll know it’s a brand tied to treating acne. The Benzac AC wash, in particular, works to soak up excess oil using an ingredient called acrylates copolymer—these tactical little beads are selective in what they absorb, targeting sebum build up. It’s also formulated with Glycerin to ensure an extra boost of hydration. Use it in-shower on your chest, shoulders and back followed by your favourite moisturiser. 

SHOP NOW: Benzac AC Moderate Strength 5% Wash, $18.44

Best products

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream

In the words of Sade, call yourself a smooth operator. This rich, yet fast absorbing cream acts as a two-in-one moisturiser and an exfoliator. You’ll not only get hydration with CeraVe’s SA Smoothing Cream but the formula includes a cult favourite combo of salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid to smooth out skin texture.

SHOP NOW: CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream, $17.09

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

Target breakouts that crop up with CeraVe’s foaming cleanser. It’s a dependable shower companion that won’t disrupt your skin barrier as it contains a protective trio of ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. You’ll find it improves texture, skin tone and promotes healthy barrier function. It’s also gentle enough to use on your face. 

SHOP NOW: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, $18.89

 La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Wet Skin SPF 50+

A French pharmacy staple SPF? Say no more. La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios range is the perfect addition to your acne-fighting arsenal. Clinically-tested and famous for its non-greasy finish, this SPF contains thermal spring water to soothe sensitive skin.

SHOP NOW: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Wet Skin SPF 50+, $32.84

Versed Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist

Effective and gentle, the Versed Acne-Control Body Mist will eliminate any weird contortion when targeting those hard to reach areas. With two percent salicylic acid, the mist feels lightweight and offers pore-clearing, bacteria-fighting prevention—just make sure to let the mist settle in.

SHOP NOW: Versed Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist, $21.99

REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum

REN’s AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum uses lactic acid (one of the mildest forms of AHA) to naturally exfoliate the skin and clear pores leaving behind brightened and radiant skin. It’s the perfect way to add some active innovation to your skin ritual. Just remember it’s important to go slow with your AHA’s as it can be a little irritating. Moderation is key!

SHOP NOW: REN Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum, $67

PROPAIRA Moisturising Cream

The Propaira Moisturising Cream is the epitome of a no-fuss, high impact skin hugging formula. It reigns in any excess oil production with soothing zinc, while relieving dry skin and locking in moisture with liquid paraffin and glycerin. One could call this formula pure balance.

SHOP NOW: PROPAIRA Moisturising Cream, $29.95


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