The floaty dresses of summer with their plunging backs, the hide-nothing bikinis, the scooped swimsuits… they all fill me with a deep… dread. Utter and complete dread. Because while the sun sets the stage for some tantalising skin show, it also brings to the surface all those spots and blemishes that are the hallmark of body acne. Or bacne. Or the despair of our summer days. Well, help is at hand with this 5-step plan that will have you revelling in those backless dresses and pretty swimsuits through the sunny days. Hola!
Whatever your skin type, switch to a gentle cleanser for eliminating sweat, dirt and other skin irritants. Also avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and harsh chemicals.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Harsh chemicals can further irritate body acne, so opt for baking soda instead. It will exfoliate away the dead skin gently yet effectively, while simultaneously controlling pore-clogging oil, which is a major cause of acne. Mix baking soda with a little water to form a paste. Gently massage the paste on your acne for about 30 seconds, then rinse off thoroughly.
If your skin is extra greasy, opt for plain oatmeal as it absorbs oil from the skin. Cook the oatmeal, allow it to cool, and apply on your body acne for a few minutes. Then rinse off using circular motions.
For dry skin, mix cucumber juice with lettuce, alfalfa or carrot juice. Apply the mixture on your body acne, leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Clay masks, on the other hand, work superbly for oily and congested skin. Look for bentonite clay – it attracts impurities and draw them out of the skin. Mix equal amounts of clay powder and water, then apply it on the body acne. Leave the mask on until it’s completely dry and then rinse it off with cool water.
Follow this up with an aloe vera mask, which soothes inflammation, fights infection and promotes healing without clogging the pores. Simply apply aloe vera juice or gel to the skin, leave it on for half an hour and then wash off in the shower.
Instead of pore-clogging and body acne causing creams, switch to natural oils. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, which basically means that it won’t clog the pores. Plus, because it’s so similar to human sebum, it may even trick the skin into producing less oil. If you add a few drops of tea tree oil to the jojoba oil, it will have the added benefit of busting body acne causing bacteria, thereby helping inflammation and infection.
Take control of body acne by eating healthy. This means you need to include essential fatty acids in your diet, from fish, flaxseed oil and avocados. Vitamin A from egg yolks, green and yellow fruits and vegetables will help as well. Plus, zinc is very healing – get it from liver, seafood, green vegetables, brown rice and wholegrain bread. Don’t forget bioflavonoids (found in oranges, red capsicum and other red foods), as well as vitamins B and C. Sounds overwhelming? Take nutritional supplements.
And avoid dairy foods… they are mucus-producing, which can slow lymphatic drainage and block pores, thereby allowing toxins to build within the skin.