How to Best Treat “Backne” (Back Acne)


Acne develops when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Sweat, surface bacteria, and dry skin can contribute to breakouts, which is why it’s so important to keep your skin clean and hydrated with a daily skincare routine. Even if you follow a daily skincare regimen, however, you probably focus most of your attention on your face.

The skin on your back is just as prone to clogged pores which can lead to uncomfortable (and unsightly) breakouts on your back known as “backne.”

Your back is the part of your body most difficult to see yourself, so it’s easy to forget about it outside your morning or evening shower. If you struggle with acne, however, it’s important to treat more than just the skin on your face if you want to get the problem under control. Here’s what you need to know about back acne and how to manage it.

What is Back Acne and What Causes It?

Whether you only experience the occasional blemish or have struggled with breakouts since adolescence, you’re likely to be familiar with acne. Acne is a chronic skin condition that affects as many as 50 million Americans on an annual basis. Though most commonly seen in teenagers when the sebaceous glands activate, acne can occur at any age and may affect the skin on the face as well as the shoulders, chest, back, and upper arms. Back acne is often referred to as “backne.”

The skin on your back has a higher density of sebaceous glands than other parts of the body which means it tends to produce more oil (and more sweat from sudoriferous glands) than other parts of the body. This makes it especially prone to acne.

Back acne is commonly associated with activities that cause increased sweating along with friction from athletic gear and clothing. The hair follicles become clogged with sweat and eventually break down, forming acne lesions. The skin on your back may not be any more prone to acne than your face, but the conditions to which the skin is exposed may increase the risk. It’s more difficult to see the skin on your back as well, so you may not catch developing lesions early enough for spot treatments to be effective.

Tips for Treating and Managing Backne

If you experience severe acne on your back, it may be time to speak to a dermatologist. Treatment products can help with the occasional blemish, but persistent acne could be related to an underlying health issue or side effects from medication. Seeking treatment for chronic acne is the first step, but it’s also important to manage the condition at home.

Here are some simple tips for managing back acne:

  • Rethink your shower routine. As you wash your hair, the natural oils and the ingredients from your shampoo and conditioner run down your back. Use body wash at the end of your shower to cleanse your skin and clear your pores.
  • Replace your loofa every 3 weeks. A wet loofah is a breeding ground for bacteria. To avoid rubbing all that bacteria all over your skin each time you shower, experts recommend replacing your loofah every three weeks and hanging it up to dry outside the shower when finished.
  • Use a long-handled brush to reach your back. Unless you’re a contortionist, it can be difficult to reach your back to give it a good scrub. Use a long-handled brush to remove pore-clogging oil and to gently exfoliate the skin on your back.
  • Avoid using oil-based skincare products on your back. Using heavy oil-based cosmetics and moisturizers on your back can increase your risk for acne flareups. Look for products labeled noncomedogenic to make sure they won’t clog your pores.
  • Keep your skin clean and dry. We’ve all been tempted to skip our daily shower when time is short or you simply don’t have the energy, but it’s important to cleanse your skin and change into clean clothes to prevent the conditions that contribute to the development of acne.

In addition to taking these steps, make sure your sports bras and other athletic gear fit well and leave room for your skin to breathe. A too-tight sports bra can lead to acne-triggering friction and irritation, not to mention trapping sweat against your skin. Look for breathable clothing materials to allow sweat to be wicked away from your body rather than to sit, develop bacteria, and trap dirt/debris.

Recommended Yon-Ka Products for Back Acne

When it comes to treating acne, whether it’s on your face or your back, it’s important to choose your skincare products wisely. The skin on your back isn’t significantly different from the skin on your face, so you may be able to use the same products as long as they’re appropriate for your skin type. That being said, your back has a much larger surface area than your face. If you don’t want to run through your supply in record time, look for products designed for use on the body.

Yon-Ka Paris offers a variety of hydrating and exfoliating products for all types of skin on all parts of the body. Here are some of the top Yon-Ka products to try for backne:

  • Gommage Doux Detox – This hydrating cream scrub delivers the exfoliating action of bamboo and apricot kernel powder along with the moisturizing and restructuring properties of sesame oil and mango butter. Gommage Doux removes dead skin cells to keep your pores clear and leaves a hydrating film on the skin for protection against dryness and irritation. Contains the detoxifying essential oils of everlasting and petitgrain, along with lavender essential oil to regenerate.
  • Gommage Doux Silhouette – Remove dead skin cells and moisturize the skin with this gentle cream scrub. A powerful duo of hydrating mango butter and sesame oil combines with the exfoliating action of apricot kernel powder to restore your skin’s healthy, hydration, and clarity. Contains the invigorating essential oils of cedar, cypress, and rosemary.
  • Phyto 152 – Enriched with the revitalizing and purifying power of rosemary essential oil, this vivifying body cream will refresh your skin with each application. Beech bud peptides support skin regeneration while hazelnut oil and aloe vera nourish and hydrate the skin. Apply after bathing to slightly damp skin, concentrating on acne-prone areas, and enjoy additional firming and toning benefits.
  • Emulsion Pure – Formulated for acne-prone skin, this regenerating emulsion is an all-natural solution to clear and rebalance the skin. Made with 98% natural ingredients and fortified with the Yon-Ka Quintessence essential oils, this treatment renews and heals the skin, leaving it fresh and healthy.

Following a daily skincare regimen is an important step in managing acne-prone skin at home, but sometimes you need a little extra help. A professional back facial is a great way to jump-start your treatment to maximize your results. Yon-Ka’s professional Le Grand Classique deep pore cleansing facial treatment can easily be adapted for the back. It includes a professional-grade Active Micro Peel exfoliation, extractions, and a clay mask. Contact your local Yon-Ka partner spa for consultation and scheduling.

There’s nothing worse than throwing on a strapless dress or a tank top just to discover unsightly blemishes all over your back. The truth is backne happens to the best of us, but with the right at-home products and a little professional help, you can restore your skin to its former health and clarity.

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