How to reduce body breakouts and bacne caused by the heatwave

How to reduce body breakouts and bacne caused by the heatwave

The heat does some strange things to our skin. It can cause our makeup to melt, our pores to block and it can cause our oil glands to go into overdrive – and it’s not just our faces that a few extra degrees can have an impact on.

Bacne, aka back acne, and body acne can pop up out of nowhere, even if you’ve never been a sufferer before. And if you’re finding your skin is flaring up this past month, it could be a result of the heatwave, say skin experts.

“People tend to suffer from acne more in the summer because the hot weather means that we sweat more, so more oil accumulates on the skin. This then acts to block pores, fuels bacteria and ultimately result in spots,” explains Dr Lauren Hamilton, cosmetic doctor and co-founder of London skin clinic, Victor & Garth.

If you’re finding your skin is flaring up this past month, it could be a result of the heatwave

“The dreaded ‘bacne’ and breakouts across other areas of the body such as the chest and upper arms can also be exacerbated by the heat, which is why you might be suffering from breakouts more so now than ever.”

So what’s the fix, we hear you asking?

Dr Hamilton says it’s actually very simple. “Use a product that contains a BHA such as benzoic or salicylic acid. These remove dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin, working to unclog pores and stop spots from forming,” she says.

“You also need to choose your skincare products carefully in the heat as they can cause irritation. SPF is obviously non-negotiable, but try to choose one that’s oil free. As for your moisturiser, go for something not too thick as it could block pores.”

What to do if your bacne leaves scars

Stay out of the sun as much as possible and coat yourself in a high SPF to reduce the appearance of scars

If your heatwave-induced breakouts have already started to leave red marks and scars on your body, don’t worry, there are a few things you can do about it. “When you notice acne scars forming, you should stay out of the sun as much as possible. Sunlight can darken a scar and make it look more prominent when acne scars are beginning to appear,” explains Dr Qian Xu, founder and medical director at Skin Aesthetics.

“It would be best if you used a daily sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 protection. You also need to be careful with how you are washing your skin. It might sound counterintuitive, but overwashing and cleaning the area excessively can worsen your acne scars.”

Dr Xu also stresses the importance of not picking at your acne when it appears. “If home methods and good skincare don’t work for you, there are several different treatments that can be used to reduce and remove acne scarring: dermabrasion, microneedling and chemical peels, to name a few,” she adds.

Your body acne clearing toolkit

Shop these bacne fighters

Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion

A cult classic product and a long-time favourite with beauty editors, this body moisturiser contains a lactic acid complex to gently exfoliate and moisturise the skin. It works wonders on keratosis pilaris, the little bumps often found on the tops of arms, and has been touted in online reviews as an excellent cream for keeping bacne at bay.

The full-size cream usually costs £22.50 but we have a travel-perfect size in our OK! Beauty Box Summer Survival Kit. The box is packed with 14 products worth over £200 but you can save 80% on the RRP and pick one up today for only £35 here.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Hydrating SPF50+ Suncream for Body, £13.60 here

If you’re out and about, make sure to slather your body in a high factor, non-perfumed body SPF like this one.

CeraVe SA Body Wash for Rough & Bumpy Skin, £10 here

This body wash has a blemish-fighting and skin-smoothing formula containing salicylic acid. It also boasts ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier: your body’s frontline defence against germs and bacteria.

Murad Rapid Relief Blemish Spot Treatment, £22 here

Instead of picking at a pimple, try dabbing on some of this instead. The spot treatment reduces blemish size and redness in just four hours, and minimises the risk of redness and scarring.


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