To treat body acne, it helps to build your routine in a stepwise fashion. Start with a good zinc pyrithione soap for a few weeks. Acne can be caused partly by a normal fungus that lives on the skin, and zinc pyrithione helps fight this fungus. Many people see a difference just by replacing their normal cleanser with a daily zinc soap.
When you use a zinc soap, make sure to leave it on the skin for a minute or two before rinsing off, to give it time to seep into the skin and get to work.
If the zinc soap doesn’t do the trick, then add in a benzoyl peroxide (BP) cleanser for an extra kick.
The right product matters, as some cleansers can clog pores and make a breakout worse. Keep an eye on the labels to double check the ingredients. Avoid the following common inactive ingredients, which can contribute to a breakout for some people: isopropyl myristate, laureth-4, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
For your best bet, try these:
Avoid the zinc bars that contain cocoa butter (the one labeled vegan), which can trigger breakouts for some people. The Noble zinc soap made with argan oil is a great alternative. The original Noble formula with emu oil, or the Vanicream Z-Bar are good options, too.
Little hygiene things can make a huge difference when taking care of your body. Keep your soap on a perforated holder so that it doesn’t live in a damp corner of the tub. And be sure to give your soap a quick rinse before using it.
If the zinc pyrithione soap and a BP cleanser aren’t cutting it, look into adding a salicylic acid to your rotation. Salicylic acid (aka BHA, or beta hydroxy acid) is a common over-the-counter acne treatment available in lotions, gels and serums. BHA is especially helpful for oilier skin types. Among other benefits, BHA helps “degunk” pores and decrease inflammation. Look for a body wash with salicylic acid, like Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash.
If by some unholy miracle this routine still doesn’t work, consider adding sulfur soap to your routine as well. Try not to mind the scent! (It smells a bit like rotten eggs.) Sulfur can help break down dead skin cells, and has both antibacterial and antifungal properties — a real powerhouse!
Your chest and back may be stubborn. If the combination of zinc, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur doesn’t result in any improvement, we recommend you talk to your Curology provider for more in-depth advice.
Above all, be patient. Give your skin three weeks to catch up with each step before adding more products to your routine. If you experience any irritation, back off until your skin heals — overdoing it will just make things worse!
Curology is prescribed only for your neck and face, but your provider is happy to work with you to create a routine for body acne concerns. Any skin strategy works best when you ease into it and take your time. Daily commitment and a little adjustment to your routine may be all you need to clear up your skin.