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Back and chest acne: what you can do...

  • 4 min read

Acne isn’t limited to the face alone. While that may be where a lot of people’s attention lies, chest and back acne can also leave you feeling insecure. But while acne on your back and chest may be uncomfortable, it is actually very common.

If you’re reading this then you’re no doubt keen to know how to get rid of back acne, as well as acne breakouts on your chest. In this post, we’re going to help you find some solutions.

What causes back acne?

Like your face, your chest, back and shoulders are also home to oil-secreting glands. When these get clogged, they can become infected, causing acne or breakouts. According to the NHS, around half of people with acne will experience it on their back, and around 15% experience it on their chest. Face, back and chest acne causes are all largely to do with hair follicles becoming blocked where there are oil-secreting glands.

All sorts of things can cause the pores to become blocked, which is why many of the tips for chest and back acne focus on keeping the skin clean. The main culprit is dead skin cells and oil from the skin itself.

Typically those who sweat a lot through sports tend to experience acne in these areas more. Some people find hormonal fluctuations, medications, certain skincare products, and diet can make their acne worse.

How to get rid of back acne and chest breakouts

Our tips for how to get rid of back acne are the same as those for how to get rid of chest acne. Both are usually caused by the same issues in the same person.

1.      Get cleansing

Staying on top of a cleaning regime targeting your acne-prone areas is vital. Our Organic Fennel and Cardamom Chai Soap Bar is ideal as it gently exfoliates whilst also containing green clay to draw out toxins from your pores. All you need to do is keep a bar in your shower and create a soft lather with the shower water before cleaning your skin.

2.      Get exfoliating

We also really recommend gentle exfoliation which will help to remove the build-up of dead skin cells and dirt from your pores. Try using the Coffee Body Scrub with Peppermint. Using recycled coffee grounds, it’s a gentle exfoliator and the peppermint and eucalyptus oils will help your skin feel clean and invigorated. This should help you avoid the temptation to pick your acne too, which can make things worse. Picking can spread the bacteria, as well as cause scarring.

3.      Shower regularly

If you’re prone to chest and back acne, then you should ideally be showering at least once a day. You should also shower immediately after sport or exercise. The heat and humidity of sweat close to your skin, trapped by clothing, can clog pores. So when you’ve finished your workout, hop into a cooling and cleansing shower.

4.      Change your clothes

Change clothes regularly, especially if you’ve built up a sweat. Choose loose fitting cotton clothing, and make sure you keep it clean. If you’re going to be in an environment where you know you’ll get hot, wear layers and consider taking a change of clothes.

5.      Tie up your hair

If you’ve got long hair, keep it clean and tie it up off your back and chest. Your hair will carry the oils onto your back or chest and make the acne worse. Long hair can also make your back hotter, making it sweat more, which makes the acne worse. Choose a striking short cut, or opt for a favourite up-do.


6.      Wash your bedding

It’s a faff, but washing your bedding frequently, particularly your pillowcase and sheet, will help to ensure that you don’t transfer dirt back onto your body from the bed. Hop into divinely clean sheets after a cleansing shower and your skin will begin to heal overnight. Again, choose natural fibre bedding, as this will help your skin to breathe and help you to keep cool.

7.      Take extra care in the sun

Some people will advise you to expose your acne-prone skin to the sun, but we urge you to be cautious. While some people may find it helps, others discover that the sun makes the acne darken, causing it to be more likely to scar. The sun can also dry out the skin, encouraging it to produce more oils – which will only worsen the acne.

8.      Choose skincare carefully

Not all skincare is created equally. You may find that your acne is exacerbated by harsh products or those which contain parabens. That’s why you’ll only find natural ingredients in all UpCircle skincare products. You can also specifically choose skincare products which are suited to acne-prone skin, such as our Acne-Attacker Bundle.

9.      Eat a healthy acne-friendly diet

A few simple dietary swaps can help many people combat acne breakouts and avoid them altogether. Generally speaking, those prone to acne should avoid highly processed foods which tend to contain additives and sugar. Sugar and dairy products can also be acne triggers.

Foods which may help acne include fibre rich food such as oats and green vegetables. Antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium, which are found in many nuts like almonds, are good too. Other antioxidant rich foods good for the skin include brightly coloured vegetables and fruits, like peppers and berries. It’s a myth that you need to avoid oil in your diet – it’s the actual process of standing over cooking oil which may cause your skin pores to become clogged.

Knowing how to get rid of back acne, as well as acne on your chest, will help you feel in control and more confident. Be kind to your skin, not just on your face, and treat it well both on the outside and the inside, and it will improve.