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,
Posted by: Emily Taylor