Somehow my husband convinced me to train with him to run a 10K. Although I’ve exercised regularly in the past, with the East Coast heat and humidity quickly becoming unbearable, I started battling clogged pores on my chest and back as a result.
No matter how quickly I rinsed off post-workout, the bumps just kept getting worse. (I might even go so far as to call them cystic at times. Oof.)
And over-the-counter and prescription products weren’t making a dent. So, when a friend mentioned an expensive spray that cured her back acne (or “bacne” for short), I jumped at the chance to make my own.
If you, too, are wondering how to get rid of back acne in time for bathing suit season, rest easy. With a couple of lifestyle changes and some ingredients from your pantry, you can calm the bumps and leave irritated skin feeling soft and hydrated.
How to Get Rid of Back Acne
Bacne is a stubborn beast. Once irritation sets in, clogged pores and dry skin can make breakouts worse, which is why you need something that sloughs away flakes and grime without further irritating your skin or clogging pores. I thought of making a back scrub to get rid of my back acne, but the logistics always throw me for a loop: how, exactly, am I supposed to apply it?
Instead of struggling with that brain teaser, I went the easy route and made an exfoliating acne body spray. Just spritz it on those hard-to-reach areas and let ingredients like apple cider vinegar, essential oils, lemon juice, and salicylic acid naturally exfoliate for you.
Salicylic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin, penetrates skin to shrink bumps and clear pores while soothing and calming inflammation [source].
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is astringent and antimicrobial [source], a double whammy for acne. Plus, the organic version with “the mother” is loaded with healthy bacteria that help reduce swelling and calm skin surface irritation.
Lastly, lemon juice gives this spray a fresh, clean scent and encourages cell turnover. It’s also chock full of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant [source] that can help make skin look supple and refreshed.
More Ways to Banish Bacne
Just remember that on top of using this spray, you should also look to see if your daily habits could be exacerbating the problem. Acne has a lot of different causes, but clean eating can go a long way toward healing your skin [source].
Avoid inflammatory foods like fried foods, sugar, refined grains, dairy, and junk food. Then do everything you can to keep your skin clean and bacteria at bay, like:
Ditch backpacks, shoulder bags, and anything else that might rub against and irritate the skin on your back or shoulders.
Take a break from shirts made with synthetic materials. Synthetic fibers like polyester don’t let your skin breathe, so sweat and oils tend to build up as you wear them.
Wash your sheets at least once a week since they’re prone to absorb dirt and act as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Once you’ve got your lifestyle in check, you should see quick changes by adding an acne body spray for back acne into the mix.
-1 cup filtered water
-4 adult aspirin tablets, crushed
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-10 drops lavender essential oil
-10 drops tea tree essential oil
1. Pour the water into a small bowl and microwave on high for 60 seconds.
2. Add the crushed aspirin and sea salt to the warmed water and stir until dissolved.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir again. Pour into a spray bottle.
To use, spray evenly over affected areas (do not spray directly onto the face). Gently rub in with your hands and allow to dry.
Spray should keep for 2 weeks unrefrigerated, longer if stored in the fridge.
Bacne Body Spray FAQs
What does aspirin do in this recipe?
Aspirin is a source of salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory often used in acne treatments to reduce redness and shrink pimples.
Can I use this acne body spray as a foot spray?
I don’t see why not! The ingredients may help if you suffer from yeast or bacteria growth. They may also encourage cell turnover and keep your feet feeling soft and smooth.
Can I use other essential oils?
Sure, you can use whichever essential oils you like. Oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, and cedarwood are all antibacterial, while lemon and grapefruit oils contain vitamin C and may help improve skin tone. But you’re not limited to using these alone. Choose essential oils that you like for either their medicinal qualities or their scent.
Can back acne be hormonal?
Hormones can certainly be to blame for almost all forms of acne, including back acne. High testosterone levels are known to increase sebum production, which can clog pores and trigger breakouts.
If you don’t see much relief after implementing the lifestyle changes mentioned in this post, then it’s best to consult a dermatologist or even an OB/GYN to see if your hormones might be to blame.
Where can I find that spray bottle?
We got this from one of our favorite bottle companies, Rail19.
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DIY Exfoliating Back Acne Body Spray
- 16 ounce spray bottle
- Place crushed aspirin into a small bowl. Pour in 1 cup hot water and stir to dissolve.
- Let cool for several minutes for adding the remaining ingredients. Stir again.
- Transfer to a spray bottle and use within 1–2 weeks.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.132