Acne is an inevitable struggle, and it can pop up anywhere, be it your face, scalp, or back. The latter is also known as bacne, which might not seem very annoying because it is not visible, but it can be even more frustrating to treat. Dr. Elizabeth Mullans, a board-certified dermatologist with over 20 years of experience, says, “Back acne is caused when sweat, bacteria, and skin oils are trapped on the skin. Pores on the back are much larger than those on the face, which makes the back an easy target for bacteria buildup.” Thankfully, there are products in the market that can be used specifically to treat acne. For example, your back has thicker skin than that on your face. So, you can use more active ingredients (acids, retinoids, exfoliators, etc.) that will help clear up the spots. Also, the skin on your back is not as exposed to sunlight like the other parts of your body, and hence you can use ingredients that make your skin sensitive to the sun without thinking about sunburns and irritation.
Want to know how to get rid of bacne once and for all? Keep reading this article to find out the 9 best products for back acne worth trying!
9 Best Products To Get Rid Of Back Acne
1. Best Overall: PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash
The PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash has an effective formula that tackles even the worst breakout. It is a fast-acting foaming wash containing 10% benzoyl peroxide to clear acne quickly. Dermatologists recommend it as it kills all the acne-causing bacteria effectively to clear existing breakouts as well as prevent new blemishes from forming when used as part of a daily routine. In addition, it cleans and unclog pores on the face, chest, and back.
Key ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide
- Fast-acting formula
- Dermatologist recommended
- Suitable for daily use
- Unclogs pores
2. Best Fragrance-Free Moisturizer: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
The Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream has a rich, non-greasy formula that offers intense and 48-hours of long-lasting hydration. The formula has a dermatologist-backed blend of niacinamide (vitamin B3), panthenol (vitamin B5), and hydrating glycerin to improve the resilience of sensitive skin. This moisturizing cream defends against 5 signs of skin sensitivity, including irritation, roughness, tightness, dryness, and a weakened skin barrier. The non-comedogenic formula is brilliant to cure acne as well.
Key ingredients: Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Panthenol (vitamin B5), and Glycerin
- Defends against 5 signs of skin sensitivity
- 48-hours hydration
- Dermatologist tested
3. Best Non-Comedogenic: Differin Adapalene Gel Acne Treatment
If your back acne looks more like a few big zits than a breakout over the entire area, use the Differin Adapalene Gel Acne Treatment. It is non-comedogenic and helps prevent breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, and clogged pores. The formula is enriched with adapalene 0.1% (retinoid), which helps restore your skin tone and texture by clearing acne. In addition, it reduces the risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation.
4. Best For Deep Cleansing: Proactiv Silicone Body Brush
Are you finding it difficult to cleanse those hard-to-reach areas of the body? The Proactiv Silicone Body Brush helps you cleanse areas like your back, neck, and shoulders. This silicone brush removes all the stubborn impurities dirt and feels gentle on your skin. You can use it as your daily exfoliating brush and get soft, radiant skin. This brush will help you root out acne-causing clogged pores and bacteria and help you get healthy, clean skin.
- Suitable for all ages and skin types
- Offers deep cleansing
- No way to hang the brush
5. Best Durable Scrubber: AQUIS Double-Sided Exfoliating & Cleansing Back Scrubber
The AQUIS Double-Sided Exfoliating & Cleansing Back Scrubber has a dual texture specifically designed for exfoliation. It is meant to cleanse your skin gently, and you can easily use it on all the hard-to-reach areas. It quickly wicks water away from the skin. It helps clear clogged pores and flushes out acne-causing bacteria. The proprietary Aquitex technology cleanses better and dries faster without releasing microplastics or toxic dye into our water systems. The material is ultra-durable and made to last. After use, you can use the handles to hang the product for drying.
- Dual textured
- Quickly wicks water away from the skin
- Easy to hang
- Might be too long for some users
6. Best Overall: Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray
The Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray targets multiple skin concerns like body acne, clogged and enlarged pores, uneven skin texture and tone, and redness. The formula of this body spray is enriched with ingredients like barberry extract that soothes skin sensitivity and offers antioxidant benefits. Salicylic acid, a BHA, penetrates deep into the pores and helps to clear breakouts. The licorice extract soothes redness and other skin irritation. Simply spray it on and let the formula work its magic and provide you with clearer, blemish-free skin. It even eliminates all the acne-causing bacteria, dirt, and oil.
Key Ingredients: Barberry extract, Licorice extract, and Salicylic acid
- Gentle for all skin types
- Overwhelming scent
7. Best Body Wash: Exposed Skin Care Body Wash
The Exposed Skin Care Body Wash has a gentle formula that works like an exfoliating cleanser to treat and eliminate breakouts all over the body. This acne treatment body wash is infused with acne-fighting salicylic acid that unclogs and shrinks pores; pro-vitamin B5 to control oil production; and sage extract that prevents dryness and irritation. In addition, it has a soap-free formula that won’t over-dry your skin. It is designed to be used daily.
Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, Provitamin B5, and Sage extract
- Gentle formula
- Contains pure natural extracts
Dr. Anna Chacon, a board-certified dermatologist, says, “Salicylic acid helps treat acne by unclogging pores that may be blocked. It does so by helping to break down the bonds between skin dead skin cells to release them from the pores more easily. This, in turn, helps to break down natural oils such as sebum. In addition, salicylic acid also helps to decrease the sebum production of the skin, which in turn leads to fewer breakouts.”
8. Best For Clogged Pores: Pelican For Back Medicated Body Soap
The Pelican For Back Medicated Soap deep cleanses your skin and clears up all the clogged pores. The formula features a blend of charcoal, mud, and papain to deeply cleanse your skin and treat back acne. All these ingredients will give your skin smooth and bright-looking. It helps to clean all the acne-causing bacteria and prevents them from recurring. It contains moisturizing ingredients such as collagen, ceramide, and concentrated glycerin to help hydrate your skin. The soap has a herbal citrus fragrance.
Key ingredients: Charcoal, Mud, and Papain
- Medicated formula
- Works for the entire body
- Soothing fragrance
- Not for the sensitive areas
9. Best Lightweight Lotion: Koji White Kojic Acid Body Lotion
Keeping your skin moisturized is a key step that you can’t miss out on. The Koji White Kojic Acid Body Lotion visibly brightens your skin and helps to reduce the appearance of scars, age spots, and uneven skin tone. The formula contains concentrated Kojic Acid to reveal brighter, smoother skin. It has antibacterial properties that help to treat and prevent acne. It has a lightweight and quick-absorbing formula that is gentle enough for everyday use. As a result, the lotion promotes soft and supple skin texture. In addition, it has a pH-balanced formula and strengthens the natural moisture barrier of your skin.
Key Ingredients: Kojic acid
- Suitable for all skin types
- pH-balanced formula
Note: “Exfoliation helps remove dirt from the top layer of the skin. Be sure not to scrub the skin too hard, as it can irritate peeling off the top layer, causing acne scars. Avoid heavy moisturizers and only use non-comedogenic products. Spot treat pimples with a salicylic acid, sulfur, zinc, or 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel,” suggests Dr. Elizabeth Mullans
Back acne can be quite frustrating and annoying to deal with. Luckily with the right products, they are both preventable and treatable. The reviewed products in the curated list have a gentle formula, contain natural ingredients, and work effectively to keep acne-causing bacteria at bay. If you suffer from back acne, incorporate a few dermatologist-recommended products into your skincare routine. These products will work wonders on your skin and clear all the existing breakouts without causing any skin irritation.
Why Trust StyleCraze
StyleCraze articles are backed by expert opinions and insights from professionals. The author, Oyendrila Kanjilal, is a certified skin care coach who believes that using the right products works effectively to treat back acne. She has consulted experts and carefully reviewed all the products on the list to help her readers make the right choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does salicylic acid help with back acne?
Yes, salicylic acid can help both treat and prevent back acne.
Is back acne hormonal?
Yes, back acne might occur due to hormonal issues, accumulation of dirt, or friction with clothes.
Why am I getting acne on my back, chest, and shoulders?
One of the most common types of acne to develop on the shoulders and back is usually caused by friction. However, it’s possible to get acne on the chest as well.
How long does back acne last?
If you use the right products to treat back acne, the treatment is likely to show results within 4-8 weeks. After this span, if you don’t see any improvement, you should seek advice from a dermatologist.