Chances are this scenario will be familiar: you try on something new that hugs you in all the right places. You go to sleep with visions of yourself dancing in it at a party you’ll be hosting the following night. It’s now morning and you’re brushing your teeth in front of the bathroom mirror when, you spot it, a nightmare amongst nightmares. A huge zit has erupted in the center of your chest, staring at you like a third eye. We all know body acne is the worst, but when it happens around your bosom it’s a special kind of hell. For insight, we turned to celebrity dermatologist and skin care expert Dr. Debra Jaliman, who shared her five best tips for treating and preventing these awful and annoying breakouts.
After we hit the gym, we’re left with sweat combined with bacteria on the skin—the perfect cocktail for breakouts. “Often people exercise and don’t shower right away, and this is an aggravating factor,” says Dr. Jaliman. The next time you’re feeling lazy after spin class, head straight to the shower instead of letting sweat seep in while you watch Game of Thrones. She also says it’s better to wear cotton and natural fabrics that breathe, so be wary of synthetic workout gear.
A daily dosage of natural supplements may help with a long list of ailments, pimple prevention included. “Those with folic acid, niacinamide, copper, and zinc can be effective for acne,” says Dr. Jaliman, who mentioned one product formulated specifically to combat acne, Nicomide.
Astringents, treatment creams, and even shower gels that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid help many people treat breakouts (Salicylic acid is the gentler of the two.) To destroy a chest breakout overnight, a salicylic acid-based spot treatment like Bliss No ‘Zit’ Sherlock or Indie Lee Blemish Lotion may do the trick. For long-term prevention of “chestne,” try using acne-focused body wash with a low dose of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (like Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Wash).
According to Dr. Jaliman, your usual everyday products like fragrance and sunblock could contribute to unsightly bumps on your decolletage. “Avoid anything heavy or greasy that could block the pores,” she advises. Spritze perfume away from the chest area when it’s breakout time, and find a light, oil-free sunscreen to use on the area during the day.
Pesky blackheads can also occur between the breasts, but exfoliating there regularly can help, as can professional extractions done by an aesthetician. Dr. Jaliman recommends using an electronic skin brush with an exfoliant made of rice enzymes like Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. Rice enzymes, also known as rice powders, are great for sensitive skin, and very gently slough away dead cells leaving skin smooth and radiant.