Some background info before I explain what I did to be free from active acne on my back…
I’ve suffered from back acne (bacne) since I was a teenager. I’ve been to dermatologists and taken courses upon courses of antibiotics. I’ve used countless over the counter creams, ointments, tea tree oil etc. My derm always said I was lucky it affected my back and not my face, but it also meant that I pretty much only wore clothes that covered my entire back because the breakouts would be from my neck down to my waist.
After years of seeing my derm and even trying various beauty saloons where I would ask them to do a facial but on my back (at the time no one seemed to have any experience dealing with clients who had back acne), honestly the only thing that truly worked was birth control which was suggested by my Gynae.
On birth control, my skin was amazing. I could finally wear nicer clothes and was heaps more confident. However when I stopped taking birth control, the acne came back within 6 months and was just as bad as before.
What finally worked?
I figured I was breaking out due to hormones causing my skin to produce more oil and which would get clogged easily leading to the acne. I had pretty much all types of acne on my back, with the worse being cystic acne. So I tried various different bar soaps and body wash for acne skin (Acne Aid soap, T3 body wash, some essential oil based soap, mud soap etc etc).
Finally I tried antibacterial shower gels/cream (Dettol, Protex, Aiken, and Antabax) and the one that worked best for me was Antabax. Not saying the others won’t work but my skin responded best to the Antabax range of antibacterial shower gels, specifically the fresh/cool range. The sensitive range doesn’t really work for me, not sure why. Nowadays I make sure I stock up on this every time it goes on sale. LOL.
I coupled this with Aiken’s antibacterial talc and this combo miraculously cured my back acne. I’m guessing it works because of the combination of antibacterial properties in both products and the talc helps to absorb excess sebum.
My daily ritual
Morning and evening I would shower with the antabax shower cream, then I would apply a generous layer of Aiken talc to my whole back. By generous I mean you can pretty much see a layer of white powder covering my back and all my clothes would have powder stains. haha.
The photo on the left was my back at it’s worse. To be fair, this was taken a few years back after I stopped taking BC. I don’t have a picture of my skin before I started my new 2 product regiment because I never thought it would work. Photo on my right was taken very recently. All in I think it took about 2 months for me to notice it was working, 6 months for my back to completely clear up.
I no longer have any active acne on my back, what remains are the scars. I honestly don’t even care about the scars, I’m just so happy to not have painful, itchy acne to deal with. Even when I have the occasional acne popping up, I pat on extra powder where the acne is and it goes away quickly. I’ve reached a point now where I can skip a few days and my skin will be fine.
I’m sharing this for those who have the same problem and who have also exhausted every typical method recommended. This is an affordable alternative method to try out (antabax is about RM15 when not on sale for a 650ml bottle, Aiken is about RM5 for the small 150g bottle). I hope it works for you the same way it works for me, because I completely understand the pain of having bacne.
You can find both products at Watsons, Guardian, Caring (I think) or at the supermarkets like Aeon / Aeon Big.
P.s. I am aware some people are wary about using talc, perhaps you can try alternative options as long as it is something that can absorb the excess sebum. Aiken’s antibacterial talc contains talc, corn starch, zinc oxide, chlorhexidine, dihydrochloride, and fragrance.