Pimples pop up in the darnedest places: Your earlobes, back, shoulders, arms, waistline, you name it. That’s because your skin can get clogged anywhere, since it’s covered in pores.
It’s also covered in dead skin cells, sweat, grime, and other delightful stuff that blocks said pores. On top of that, you might be applying products or exercising bad habits that further aggravate the situation.
So, if you’re prone to breakouts on more than just the face, you might benefit from a few alterations to your full-body grooming regimen. Here, then, are a few universal best practices that will prevent those ingrown hairs, pesky pimples, and severe breakouts.
Like your face, the pores on your body can get clogged with dead skin cells if you don’t scrub them regularly. It’s important to remove any dead, past-its-wear skin, in order to make way for the healthier skin and to keep pores clear.’
Instead of a twice-weekly exfoliator get a lightly gritty, multi-tasking bar soap. That product in particular uses witch hazel to balance the oil levels in the skin soaks up impurities and dissolves dead cells, all while softly scrubbing away any excess.
If you are prone to breakouts on a particular spot, like your earlobes or shoulders, it doesn’t hurt to target them twice a week with your grittier shower scrub, either.
Use Non-comedogenic Products
No two guys will have the same reaction to one product, and some ingredients that are healing for most, like cocoa butter, might cause you to break out. These said ingredients are comedogenic: They’re classified by scientists for their propensity to clog pores.
The biggest offenders are dyes, but many of those long-winded words on the ingredient labels fit the bill too. This mostly applies to products that you apply and leave on, like a body moisturizer, which you’ll especially want to use after shaving, waxing, or long sun exposure.
Use Oil-Free Sunscreen
Many SPF-packed products are non-comedogenic, but you’ll want to be certain about it. Of equal importance when applying sunscreen, pick a more matte option, and not an oily one.
Be Diligent After Shaving or Waxing
Again, you should treat the skin on your body the same as you would on your face. This applies doubly to guys who are shaving or waxing, since the skin below your neck is often suffocated by clothing and more readily soaks in sweat all day.
In a perfect world, you could get waxed, then lounge in an air-conditioned room for three days, showering often and getting tea-tree-oil massages.
But it’s not a perfect world, so you need to be aggressive and proactive. Immediately after shaving, disinfect the area with an ingrown-hair post-shave balm, which kills bacteria, dissolves dead skin that is dragged into the pores, and loosens trapped hair from its hold.
Shower immediately in cold water to close the pores and in the coming days, try to wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing, showering at the first sensation of sweat, and use a tea-tree toner to balance oil production and prevent bacterial infection.
Or Better Yet, Just Trim It
Shaving or waxing just aren’t as nice to your body as trimming. Instead, trim it as close as you can, and do this every week or two depending on how fast the hair grows. You’ll never remove it below the surface of the skin, thus you won’t break out or get ingrown.
Change Your Habits
This post is mostly grooming centric, but there are many habits you can alter that will significantly impact your skin’s health and clear complexion.
Quickly, they include: eating healthy, primarily avoiding sugar, junk food, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, frequently laundering your clothes, bedsheets, and towels, drinking lots of water, wearing comfortable clothing and showering immediately after workouts.