Worried about bacne ruining your low-backed wedding dress? Spots on your back or 'bacne' needn't be a worry on your wedding day. It also needn't be a taboo subject. You've chosen your dream dress, now it's time to get your skin into its best shape and get rid of any spots on your back - plus find ways not to worry about it (it's true that stress can equal breakouts!).
Back acne should not be a reason to avoid a backless dress. Follow these guidelines from skincare expert Abigail James for how to get rid of spots on your back, and you'll be flaunting your smooth, clear, glowing skin in no time.
Why do we get spots on our backs?
'It's not really clear why acne appears as spots on the back but the pores are generally larger here than on other areas of the body', says Abigail. 'As with facial acne it can be hereditary, stress or hormone related. It could also be made worse by tight clothing, excess sweating when working out and possibly the body creams and products you're using.' Plus, if you've embarked on a new fitness or eating reigime in the lead up to your big day, blemishes on the back could be your body's way of expelling the toxins.
What can we do to prevent it?
It may sound obvious, but it's really important to keep clean and shower often, particularly after exercise. The colder the water, the better; even if you can't stand the entire shower cold, 'always finish with a blast of cold water to close pores and boost your lymphatic and blood circulation,' explains Abigail.
When working out, Abigail suggests to 'wear loose fitting clothing so they don't trap sweat in your pores and wash your gym kit regularly.' Post work-out, protein shakes are not your skin's best friend - 'recharge after a workout with natural proteins from nuts, nut milks, bananas and eggs.' Similarly, eating a clean diet which excludes any processed and junk food will help to boost your skin's health and appearance.
If you've got a few months until your big day, book yourself in for a back facial. Salons such as Urban Retreat in Harrods offer specialised back treatments which include a cleanse, steam, exfoliation and extraction. As with any facial, book a course for the best results.
What are the best products to use?
As a general rule, avoid synthetically perfumed body washes and creams (that includes shampoos) as they can just irritate the skin. 'Look for body washes with salicylic acid or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) in them. Derived from aspirin, this has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties to soothe stressed-out skin. Similarly, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), which are exfoliating acids from fruit and milk, help keep the skin surface smooth and promote cell turnover to prevent clogged pores.' Or, for a more natural approach, witch hazel and tea tree are brilliant ingredients to de-congest skin.
'Bear in mind that some of these products may take a while to work,' explains Abigail. 'Some may dry out your skin at first, if you need extra hydration opt for a light, natural plant oil to apply in the shower ( borage or safflower) and wipe of the excess. Or, choose an oil free, natural body cream.'
Stress is an extremely common trigger for break outs. Abigail is a huge advocate for mindfulness. Whether it's yoga, meditation, reading a book, walking outside or breathing techniques, find a method that works for you to be able to switch off and relax. Contributing beauty editor Olivia Falcon has prescribed a 7-point stress-busting plan to help you breathe, relax and chill.