Bringing Sexy Back, Er, Back

Wed, 16 January 2013 3:02PM

Oh, summer! Strappy dresses, bitsy bikinis and…backne. Yep – those pesky back bumps and shoulder spots have a way of ruining sultry summer outfits. Even more annoyingly, they seem to arise without warning and can be super tricky to shift. In addition, steamy, sweaty days can make the problem worse. It seems unfair, doesn’t it, that when you’re covered up all winter, skin seems so much smoother. Then, as soon as the temperature rises and you want to strip down to strapless frocks, bam! Breakouts.

Always on a quest for ways to solve the conundrum, I caught up with skin guru and education manager of the International Dermal Institute, Emma Hobson, for her take on the issue. “Treat body breakouts exactly the same was as you would treat them on your face,” was her answer. And, if you’re in doubt about that, she explained, “Keep skin well cleansed, exfoliate using products that contain salicylic acid and moisturise.” Moisturise? Yep – while adding more grease seems counterintuitive, Emma stressed that if you use an oil-free lotion that’s non comedogenic (won’t clog your pores) it’s fine (and may actually discourage your skin to produce more oil of it’s own, as it’s not so dehydrated).

“In addition, you can use spot treatment products to treat the breakouts – there are some fantastic options on the market that you apply directly to spots to help heal them quickly and effectively.” She suggests looking out for one that works over night to help treat bumps while you sleep. Consider Dermalogica Clean Start Bedtime For Breakouts, $40, 1800 659 118, for overnight success.

But how do you find treatment that’s tough enough to beat body breakouts? With the right ingredients, that’s how. Seek out the best backne buzzwords with Emma’s guide:

Salicylic Acid: “It gently exfoliates [dead skin] cells that are being retained within the follicle without causing dehydration and tightness.” Find it in Dermalogica Medik8 BetaGel Serum, $79.52.

Tea Tree: “An extremely effective anti inflammatory and antimicrobial [antibacterial] essential oil.” Find it in The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Gel, $12.95, The Body Shop.

Alginated Zinc Triplex: “A combination of hydrolysed Algin (from brown seaweed) and zinc sulphate that has shown terrific antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions.” It’s also been proven to reduce sebum production. Find it in Dermalogica MediBac Special Clearing Booster, $72, selected salons.

Benzoyl Peroxide:A chemical that introduces oxygen [into the skin], which kills bacteria. It also has the added benefit of causing a drying and peeling action on blemishes.” Find it in Dr Le Winns Medic Spot-Clear Gel, $19.95, selected pharmacies.

And while you’re working on blasting blemishes, do consider that you need to treat troubled skin with care. “Ensure you’re not using drying and irritating soap on the skin – use a fragrance-free body wash instead,” Emma suggests. A simple, gentle cleanser such Ego QV Wash, from $10.45, from supermarkets, will sweep away grease and grime without provoking further problems.

Then, there’s just one more thing to consider. Seriously. “Absolutely NEVER squeeze a spot!” Emma stresses. “It is an inflamed lesion filled with bacteria and if you squeeze you can spread the infection, cause damage delicate skin and end up having not only more spots but a scar as a result. Remember a spot may last a week a scar can last a lifetime.” So hands off, Primpers, no matter how tempting it is to pop those bad boys.

Have you suffered from backne before?

What treatments did you find worked best for you?

Until next week,

Emily x

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17 Comments

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Wed, 16 January 2013 03:23pm

    When I was younger, my skin was prone to breakouts (usually right before an important event), I used then, and still use today Cetaphil to help combat and clear acne. That combined with regular exfoliation tends to keep my skin relatively blemish free.

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Wed, 16 January 2013 06:34pm

    She looks so elegant in that back shot! Wow! Luckily I have never. It sounds painful….

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Wed, 16 January 2013 11:03pm

    Thankfully my back never has breakouts. I use the QV wash and lotion for my daughter who has mild eczema and it does work wonders. The Body Shop tea tree gel looks good!

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 11:25am

    That is a great article but thankfully for me, I dont suffer breakouts on my back, and only very occassionally on my face.

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 03:57pm

    The Body Shop does a Tea Tree scrub. 2 in 1!!

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 09:58am

    Wow reading the comments, you guys are so lucky! Backne absolutely sucks. It’s gotten a lot better since I started using a Garnier face washing liquid on my back when in the shower.

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 01:44pm

    no, thankfully i haven’t, the acne on my face is bad enough, i can’t imagine the horror of having it on my back as well… ugh :(

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 09:24pm

    great products

  • Posted by: beautybee1 Master Fan // Sat, 19 January 2013 09:34am

    I did get the occasional pimple on my back but I didn’t really treat it except for cleansing with soap. I know some people get cystic acne on their backs so I think I was quite lucky.

  • Posted by: Its_Jess Master Fan // Mon, 21 January 2013 08:02pm

    I’ve had the occasional pimple on my back but never fully fledged acne! It would be horrible to have to deal with it on the face AND the back! Glad I haven’t had to worry about that! taylor swift looks great in that pic!

  • Posted by: Morning Star Devotee // Tue, 22 January 2013 08:36pm

    I’ve never had to deal with acne on my back, but I do like using tea tree products whenever my skin is a bit inflamed.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Fri, 25 January 2013 05:36pm

    great tips

  • Posted by: wittyusername Enthusiast // Fri, 25 January 2013 05:40pm

    Backne, the word never ceases to make me giggle

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 17 February 2013 01:43pm

    i dont suffer from acne… i just get occasional pimple

  • Posted by: cookiesandcream Devotee // Fri, 12 April 2013 10:19pm

    i really need to update my scincare routine

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Fri, 21 June 2013 08:00pm

    Thankfully I only suffer with the occasional pimple. Body is like the face and needs regular cleansing and exfoliating, helps to keep skin maintained.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sat, 13 July 2013 06:04pm

    Taylor Swift looks amazing, love her hair :)

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