Body Acne and Hygiene
Poor hygiene doesn't cause blemishes, but practicing good hygiene can help prevent acne -- especially body acne. Acne forms when oil mixes with dead skin cells and clogs pores, creating a breeding ground for bacteria [source: WebMD]. But cleansing your skin daily and exfoliating weekly can help prevent pores from becoming clogged.
Showering daily can help keep your skin clean and free of bacteria. Use a soft sponge and mild body wash and make sure you clean every part of your body -- including hard-to-reach areas such as your back [source: Acne Skin Guide]. Showering is especially important immediately after exercise or other activities that result in heavy perspiration. Also, make sure you gently exfoliate your skin at least once a week using a sponge and gentle scrub If you have oily skin, use a skin cleanser that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid -- these ingredients gently exfoliate skin and help unclog pores [source: Valeo].
But while cleansing is important, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Showering too frequently, scrubbing your skin too hard, bathing in hot water, or using harsh, antibacterial soaps can actually make your skin worse. Make sure you cleanse your skin no more than twice a day, and use warm water and gentle cleansers [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Hygiene may be an important factor, but it's not the only one. Read on to learn how stress and diet affect body acne.