You already deal with zits on your face, but what’s more disconcerting than a blemish on the forehead is discovering one (or several) on your body. And whether you’re baring more skin during the summer heat or covering up for fall, pimples on the back, shoulders and even legs are never desirable. To figure out how to specifically treat body acne, we’ve tapped Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician (clients include Demi Lovato and Emma Roberts) and founder of her namesake skincare collection, to share her expertise on everything from the exact products to use to steps on how to safely extract blemishes at home (yes, you can). Get her tips and tricks ahead for the smoothest, clearest bod ever.
"Much acne on the body is caused by the same reasons as acne on the face, including oil production and bacteria on the skin. Oil breeds bacteria and bacteria leads to breakouts."
"If you experience body acne, every time you shower I suggest using a powerful antibacterial cleanser like the Renée Rouleau AHA/BHA Deep Pore Cleanser that contains salicylic acid to deep clean the skin, remove oils and reduce acne-causing bacteria. Exfoliate regularly as well. Do so with an exfoliating body cloth, which will gently remove dead surface skin cells."
"Use a hair conditioner without the ingredient Panthenol as this may increase the likelihood of breakouts and acne along the hairline and back. If you do get back breakouts, after rinsing out your hair conditioner in the shower, try putting your hair up in a clip (if it’s long) and then use your shower gel to wash your back. Additionally, if you experience bacne use an antibacterial cleanser and exfoliate the area with a gentle loofah or exfoliating cloth. You can also apply a spot treatment to quickly clear up blemishes."
"You can definitely use the acne products you use on your face on your body. Use products containing salicylic acid (to deep clean and reduce acne-causing bacteria), tea tree oil (to destroy acne-causing bacteria and keep pores clean) and jojoba beads (to gently exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells)."
"If you don’t like having a visible whitehead on the skin you can extract body blemishes carefully at home. When the infection comes to the surface appearing as a whitehead, you can gently squeeze it out as long as it comes out in one or two tries. Anything more than that means it wasn’t ready to come out and you will injure the skin resulting in a red or dark scar. Be sure to wrap your fingers in tissues when trying to pop a pimple. To avoid creating squeeze marks, go easy and be sure to relocate the position of your fingers. Applying a warm, damp washcloth to the blemish beforehand for two minutes can soften up the skin to make for an easier extraction. Once the whitehead is removed, dabbing on a zit-zapping product like this super powerful Renée Rouleau Night Time Spot Lotion can be useful during this phase since it gets into the pore lining to dry out any remaining bacteria to help close up the skin. Then, when it’s all healed and you’re left with a dark, discolored mark, use Post-Breakout Fading Gel to make the scar disappear quickly. You can’t always control a blemish from appearing, but what you do have control over is what happens when it shows up."
"If you experience blackheads on the body, it’s best to remove them immediately after showering as the heat will soften the hardened oil within the pore—making it easier for extractions. After showering, apply a thin coat of the heaviest moisturizer you have over the blackheads to create an occlusive seal to keep heat trapped in the skin. Next, cover the area with plastic wrap and apply a hot, damp wash cloth for five minutes. Remove the plastic and keep the skin moist by applying a bit more moisturizer. Wrap tissue over each forefinger and gently squeeze to remove blackheads or clogged pores. The goal with squeezing is to avoid positioning the fingers too close as this won’t allow the blackhead to come out. Widen them out a bit so that the blackhead will be extracted easier from the deeper level within the skin. When finished, wipe over the skin with an alcohol-free toner and then apply a cooling gel mask like Renée Rouleau Bio Calm Repair Masque to reduce any redness. Or you can use an acne, clay-based mask to purify the pores."