In the U.S., people spent more than $2 billion treating acne in 2004, reports the American Academy of Dermatology. And while most people think of acne as a facial problem, many of the 85 percent of Americans who have to deal with acne at some point during their lives know that breakouts are also likely to occur on your back and chest.
Acne can occur whenever oil clogs a hair follicle, creating a hard bump — and your chest has as many oil glands as your face, explains New York City dermatologist Arielle Kauvar in “Fitness” magazine. Sweating during hot weather or intense exercise sessions can make the problem worse. That’s why you may notice pimples popping up on your breasts as well as your face.
You may be tempted to bypass moisturizer for your breasts if they’re prone to breakouts, but don’t — your chest is one of the first spots on your body to show signs of aging. Use a lightweight moisturizer that contains antioxidants to guard against zits and protect your cleavage from the effects of age.
To keep chest acne at bay, switch to a body wash that contains salicylic acid, cucumber or azulene — all of which keep your pores clear by drying up excess oil, explains New York City aesthetician Lia Schorr in “Cosmopolitan” magazine. Stick to cotton bras and tops, especially when it’s hot or you’re working out. And apply a mud mask to your chest once a week if you know you’re prone to breakouts.
If you have an active breakout, use a body wash that contains 5-percent benzoyl peroxide to dry out and shrink your acne lesions, then follow up with a salicylic acid spot treatment to soothe inflammation and combat infection, recommends Kauvar. If benzoyl peroxide irritates your skin, choose a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.
If you need a quick fix to make your cleavage look creamy and pimple-free, use a cotton swab or cotton ball to disinfect your pimple with peroxide before lightly patting on a creamy concealer that’s just a tiny bit darker than the color of your skin, recommends Schorr in “Cosmopolitan” magazine. Look for a concealer that contains salicylic acid for best results. Follow up with a quick pat of translucent powder to keep your camouflage in place.