As temperatures rise and the weather becomes hot and humid, we are faced with a new challenge: body acne. “Body acne can be caused by many of the same factors as facial acne : genetics, oily skin or hormonal imbalances. What makes it somewhat different is the fact that it is also triggered by external conditions such as sun exposure,” explains dermatologist Mamina Turegano. “During the summer we tend to sweat more, causing heat and moisture to be trapped under our clothing. This can clog and irritate hair follicles and pores, resulting in body acne.” Acne is the result of a build-up of oil, dead skin cells or bacteria on the skin. As such, it tends to be found on areas that contain more oil-producing sebaceous glands: the chest, upper back, shoulders and even the buttocks. Although experts say it’s more common in men, it is becoming prevalent in women. The good news is that treating body acne isn’t that much different from treating facial acne, albeit with a few tweaks here and there. In fact, many over-the-counter products designed for the face can also be used on the body. “The ingredients we use to tackle body acne are the same as facial acne, but the vehicles, strengths and the way products are applied is slightly different,” says Turegano. “For example, I am a big fan of benzoyl peroxide, which you can apply directly to the face. But if you apply it on the body it can bleach your clothes, so I recommend my patients incorporate it into their routine as a body wash. The skin on the body is also more resilient and can tolerate higher strength products.” While a body wash will help keep the skin clean, there are other products that you can add to your acne-fighting arsenal. How to pair the active ingredients in your skincare routine Experts suggest formulas containing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as zinc and sulphur, while chemical exfoliants or acids such as AHAs or BHAs will help dissolve acne-causing dead skin cells. A light, non-greasy lotion is also recommended to help prevent unnecessary dryness caused by some of the more popular anti-acne ingredients. Turegano is also a fan of salicylic wipes or pads that you can use on the go to clean the skin after a workout. Udomsak Wongparami, medical director of Niranlada Cosmetic Surgery at Thailand’s Chiva-Som health resort, says: “I tend to recommend products containing topical retinoid, benzoyl peroxide (BPO), tretinoin, azelaic acid, tea tree oil (around five per cent) and oral brewer’s yeast. Everything you need to know about exfoliating “A cleanser that contains acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid can exfoliate and inhibit inflammation. Non-comedogenic products (those formulated not to cause blocked pores) are recommended, while topical/oral steroids and greasy products should be avoided.” Udomsak warns acne sufferers not to over-cleanse the skin. As a rule, avoid applying pressure to infected areas – so, for example, if you suffer from back acne, try not to wear backpacks which can aggravate the skin further. That also means skipping potentially irritating treatments such as dry body brushing. For longer lasting results, experts recommend practical lifestyle changes and habits to help contain outbreaks. Body acne sufferers can benefit from simple practices such as showering or changing their clothes more often to avoid sweat from sitting on the skin and blocking pores. They should also opt for looser clothing made from lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton. Diet can also make a difference. Studies show that high glycaemic diets, processed food and dairy may worsen acne. Body acne sufferers may also want to investigate less conventional treatments such as laser, although the jury is still out on their effectiveness. “For acne marks or for people who don’t want to take prescription medicine, there are chemical peels. Lasers are not widely used to treat acne, although there are some benefits. I recommend peels over lasers, which can be uncomfortable as they have to cover a larger surface area,” says Turegano. Acne-fighting products to incorporate into your routine Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub (HK$290) by Sunday Riley This scrub features a detoxifying combination of salicylic acid, natural exfoliating powders, and charcoal to remove dead skin cells and clarify the skin. Available at Asaya Hong Kong Salicylic Acid Gel (HK$280) by Malin + Goetz Eliminate dirt, oil and bacteria with this clear gel that contains acne-fighting ingredients including lactic acid and salicylic acid, along with skin soothers such as lavender and panthenol. Available at Lane Crawford Spotlite Acne Treatment Device (HK$465) by Dr Dennis Gross Equipped with clinically-proven LED technology, this FDA approved device uses blue and red light to fight acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation and heal the skin. Available at Sephora Clarifying Peel Pads (HK$140) from the Sephora Collection Made using natural ingredients, these handy pads contain salicylic and glycolic acids to exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Available at Sephora Anti-Aging Body Cream (HK$2,280) by Dr Barbara Sturm Made using glacier water, this lightweight moisturiser is free of pore-clogging mineral oils and contains purslane, an anti-ageing powerhouse that calms the skin and reduces irritation. Available at Net-a-Porter Want more content like this? Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram .