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Banish Back Acne Once & For All With This Derm's 2-Minute Hack

Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Woman Rubbing Back of Neck
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Acne can crop up anywhere you have pores (some lesser-known spotlights include the ears, armpits, and even the scalp), but the most common real estate, other than the face, tends to be the back. Dubbed "backne," those sneaky spots are incredibly common, but of course that doesn't make them any less bothersome—even though they can easily hide under sweaters for the time being. 

If you're struggling with backne, fear not: Camille Howard-Verovic, D.O., dermatologist and founder of Girl+Hair, shares a simple hack over on TikTok to help those pesky zits clear. Better yet? It takes two minutes or less, promise. 

A two-minute hack to help manage back acne. 

"First, get your favorite AHA or BHA toner," says Howard-Verovic (looks like she wields The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution). Pour the mixture into a mist bottle (here's an ultrafine mister from Amazon), and "spray your back."

These exfoliating toners work the same way you might use a body wash with salicylic acid (or willow bark, the ingredient's natural counterpart) to combat body acne: Both can prevent pores from becoming clogged, as well as penetrate deep into the plugs already there and help clear them out. (On that note, we should clarify that you shouldn't be using both an exfoliating body wash and toner post-rinse; stick to one exfoliator, perhaps swapping the body wash for a gentle cleanser on the days you wish to use this toner hack.) The mister is purely for easy application, as it's near impossible to swipe a cotton round on the entire surface area yourself. 

As for which toners to spray on, any AHA or BHA product you choose can effectively penetrate those clogged pores—it depends on the person, of course, as different bodies might not be able to tolerate certain skin care ingredients (for example, some people face irritation from glycolic acid and would rather opt for a gentler lactic acid product).

Although, "Treatment for body acne is similar to treatment for facial acne, but the skin on the body tends to be tougher than the skin on the face, so it often can tolerate stronger treatments," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., once told us about how to get rid of back acne. Translation: If, say, a glycolic acid proved too irritating for your face, your back may better handle the more intense AHA. 

And don't forget to slather on anti-inflammatory, hydrating ingredients after you spray—like aloe vera or colloidal oat—to dodge irritation and scarring. Perhaps this goes without saying, but make sure said moisturizers are noncomedogenic—pore-clogging formulas will only spring you back to square one. 


The takeaway.

If you're struggling with back acne, you're not alone. Plenty of people deal with the condition, so much so, that Howard-Verovic came up with a fail-safe hack to clear up those bumps. All you need is an exfoliating toner, a spray bottle, and two minutes to spare. We echo her approval: "How simple?"

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