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How to Avoid Body Acne Triggers

by Emily Linehan on June 19, 2020

Like acne on the face, body acne is not only frustrating, but also sometimes uncomfortable and can even affect what outfits you choose to wear.
Like acne on the face, body acne also has several common triggers that can flare up body acne.

Here are the most common body acne triggers:

  • Stress and hormone fluctuations
  • Using pore clogging hair care or body products
  • Friction from a bra strap, sports bra, or shoulder pads (which is called Acne Mechanica)
  • Not washing immediately after sweating
  • Fragranced laundry detergent and fabric softener  

Avoiding the Body Acne Triggers
If you find yourself struggling with body acne, I would first suggest making some changes to your hair products. Take a look at my Acne Safe Hair Care suggestions:

ABBA Gentle Shampoo

AG Hair Cosmetics Moisture Shine Fast Food Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Alterna Bamboo Clarifying Shampoo

Alterna Volume Abundant Shampoo

Aveda Be Curly Shampoo 

Aveda Shampure Shampoo

Biosilk Color Therapy Shampoo
Chi Magnified Volume Shampoo 

Dermazinc shampoo (for dandruff)

Devacurl low poo original 

Enjoy Sulfate-Free Luxury Shampoo

Giovanni root 66 max volume shampoo 

JOICO Color Endure Shampoo

Kevin.Murphy Balancing.Wash Strengthening Daily Shampoo

Kirkland Signature Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo

L’oreal everpure sulfate-free volume shampoo

L’oreal everpure sulfate-free smooth shampoo

L’oreal everpure sulfate-free moisture shampoo

L’oreal everpure sulfate-free frizz defy shampoo

Malibu C Un Do Goo Clarifying Shampoo

Malibu Scalp Wellness Shampoo 

Mastey Traite Sulfate Free Normal To Dry Shampoo

Mineral fusion anti-dandruff mineral shampoo

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Maximum Strength Shampoo

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Scalp Build-Up Control Shampoo

Dry Shampoo
Batiste Dry Shampoo

Blowpro Faux Dry Shampoo

Cake Beauty The All Powderful Dry Styling

Marc Anthony True Professional 2nd Day Clear Dry Shampoo for All Hair Types

Neil George Refresh Dry Shampoo

Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Dry Shampoo


Abba Moisture Conditioner

Aveda Be Curly Conditioner 

Earth Science Pure Essentials Conditioner Fragrance Free

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Invigorating Conditioner

Herbal Essences Bio: Renew Sheer Moisture Conditioner Cucumber & Green Tea

Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Conditioner Citrus

Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Conditioner for Long Hair Juicy Pomegranate

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Nourishing Conditioner Passion Flower & Rice Milk

Herbal Essences Honey, I’m Strong Strengthening Conditioner Honey

Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Conditioner Citrus

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Conditioner Berry

Herbal Essences Blowout Smooth Conditioner Lotus

JOICO Color Endure Conditioner Sulfate-Free

L’anza Healing Nourish Stimulating Conditioner 

L’oreal Everpure Sulfate-Free Moisture Deep Restorative Masque 

Malibu Scalp Wellness Conditioner

Pantene Aqua Light Weightless Nourishment Conditioner

Pantene Pro-V Classic Clean Daily Conditioner

Redken all soft conditioner

Wella Brilliance Treatment for Fine To Normal Colored Hair

Wella “Elements” Daily Renewing Conditioner

Leave-in and Styling Products
2Chic Tangerine & Papaya butter Ultra-Volume Amplifying Styling Gel 

American Crew Hold Styling Gel

DevaCurl Curl Frizz Free Volume Foam

Ecoco Eco Styler Krystal Styling Gel 

Ecoco Eco Styler Extra Firm Hold Styling Gel

Ecoco Eco Styler Firm Hold Styling Gel 

Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel

Giovanni Wicked Texture Pomade

Got 2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse

It's A 10 Miracle Leave In (not the Keratin version)

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original Serum (NOTE: Extra Strength contains Algae Extract and is NOT approved)

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Root Booster Blow Dry Lotion (Root Volume)

Kenra Platinum Hot Spray 20

Kerastase Touche Finale Polishing Serum

Kinky Curly Curling Custard Styling Gel

Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream

L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray

Malibu C Leave-in Conditioner Mist

Paul Mitchell FIRMstyle Freeze and Shine Super Spray (Finishing Hair Spray)

Paul Mitchell Worked Up (Working Spray)

Tigi Bed Head Headrush Spray

TIGI Bed Head Men Power Play Gel

Laundry Habits
Because fabric softeners (dryer sheets, liquid fabric softener and wool balls) are major acne triggers, you will want to avoid these all together. 

Liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets leave a waxy residue on your laundry that will clog pores and irritate skin. Wool balls naturally contain lanolin which is also very pore clogging. 

For your laundry, just use a fragrance-free laundry detergent and that's it! 

If static cling is an issue, you can use Anti-Wrinkle and Anti-Static Dryer Balls.

If you need to use bleach, the acne safe version would be a non-chlorine and fragrance free bleach such as Clorox 2 for Colors Free & Clear or Oxyclean White Revive Laundry Whitener.

Sweat and Body Acne
Sweat creates the perfect environment for acne bacteria to thrive and grow rapidly. If you struggle with body acne, not showering immediately after sweating and changing out of sweaty clothing will trigger these breakouts significantly. After working out/sweating, be sure to shower ASAP and change into clean clothing. If showering immediately after sweating is not possible, wiping down with fragrance free baby wipes is second best and can minimize the breakouts (my favorite fragrance free baby wipes are the Kirkland Fragrance Free Baby Wipes from Costco or Water Wipes Baby Wipes which you can find at Target!). However, you still want to shower as soon as possible for best results. 

How to Clear Body Acne
In the Shower: As for how to treat body acne, start with an acne safe body wash like my Sensitive Body Wash. If the body acne is more stubborn or severe, you can use my medicated Clear Body Cleanser (just be sure to only use the Clear Body Cleanser on the areas affected with body acne). 

Also, you will want to make sure you rinse the conditioner out of your hair before you use your body wash so that the residue from the conditioner does not remain on the skin. After rinsing the conditioner, put your hair up in a bun and then use your body wash. 

Morning Regimen
After showering in the daytime after cleansing, apply Clarifying Serum on the affected areas and follow with an acne safe body lotion like my Essential Body Lotion.

Night Regimen
At night, after showering, you can apply Acne Eraser on the affected areas on the back. Make sure you wear a white t-shirt to bed when applying the Acne Eraser to the body as it will bleach fabrics.

Neck and Décolleté Special Treatment
If you are treating the décolleté or neck, spot treating with The Pink Potion is better since those areas are very sensitive and using the Acne Eraser all over the skin in those areas might be drying/irritating.

Staying consistent with these tips will ensure that you'll be on your way to clear, smooth, even-toned skin you’ll want to show off!


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