I suffer from acne on my shoulders and chest. I’ve tried Accutane, and every wash/cream/lotion on the planet. Or maybe it just feels that way. Any advice you could share?
First off, you need to look at your conditioner, your moisturizer and your hairspray. Acne on your shoulders is usually caused (or at least, exacerbated) by beauty products.
Eliminate all products that contain mineral oil. Mineral oil is death.
Keep a jaw clip in the shower so that you can pin your hair up while it conditions. The last thing you want is your cream-covered locks laying on your shoulders while they condition.
Wrap a towel around your bare shoulders before you apply hairpsray or gel. I’ve used a few hairsprays (Garnier Fructis with Bamboo) that left a residue that caused massive breakouts.
Secondly, you need to decide how to treat it. Creams are useless. The skin on your body is much thicker than the skin on you face and the creams won’t penetrate. So you can either go the cheap route or the expensive route.
The cheap route involves cottonballs and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. While incredibly effective at killing bacteria and exfoliating skin, alcohol is also unfathomably drying. You reach a point by week two where the acne is gone, but that’s only because you have basically removed all of the skin from your chest.
It’s not pretty. And even if alcohol is just a little bit drying, applying moisturizer to acne-prone areas is what we were trying to avoid.
So what’s the expensive route?
Jean Godfrey-June wrote about this product in an issue of Lucky magazine, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. The product is packed with glycolic acid and micro-exfoliators that eliminate dull, dry skin and clear your pores of dead skin and other impurities.
Just add a small dab (quarter size) to a washcloth (or a Clarisonic, you know how I love mine!), a bit of scrub-a-dub-dubbing and you’ll lose that acne in two to four weeks. It also works on keratosis pilaris (KP), a constant problem for my younger brother who gets it on the back of his arms. It will remove dry skin, even skin so dry it develops plaque. And lastly, if you get ingrown hairs around your bikini line from waxing or under your arms from shaving, this will knock them right out of commission.
In short, body acne is a scourge. You can fight it cheap and dirty with alcohol, but prepare for things to get dry. Or you can scrub it away with glycolic acid and a loofah. I recommend the Glytone, it saved my skin after I started working out again (sweat and acne prone skin don’t mix), so give it a try. What do you have to lose?