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How to eliminate moderate to severe body acne

Please read 3 steps to eliminate body acne before you read this post

In my experience there are 3 essential steps to eliminating body acne:
1. Unlcog the pores daily
2. Diminish acne bacteria count daily
3. Protect from UVB  and UVA rays daily  
A key principle in this regimen is to follow these steps even when the skin is clear.

For detailed explanation of each step read 3 steps to eliminating body acne and then come back to this post where I give tips on eliminating moderate to severe body acne

The principle of following with all  3 steps even when the skin is clear is something  I discuss in my post 2 mistakes you shouldn't make when trying to eliminate body acne Read it and you will also learn how to use the two key ingredients for fighting acne- correctly. I am talking about Salicylic acid and Tea tree oil.

I assume that you've read my previous posts on body acne and now you would like to read about how I successfully eliminated my moderate to severe body acne and how I maintain my skin clear. Because "clear" skin doesn't mean that acne is cured, it is simply skin that has been well looked after- the pores are not blocked and the acne bacteria count is low. But for oily, acne prone skin like mine, daily care is necessary to keep those pores unclogged and bacteria count low.

For those of us with moderate to severe acne, unclogging the pores and diminishing the acne bacteria count needs to be done more intensely than for people with mild acne. How can we do that more intensely? We can layer different products containing the key acne fighting ingredients Salicylic acid and Tea tree oil. It may also be necessary to take supplements internally, but that is something I will write about in another post.

In this post I will share with you how I layer acne fighting products and what has worked for me.

Once again ( as in my previous posts on body acne ) I will focus on the use of Tea tree oil and Salicylic acid products as their effectiveness for acne is well known.

Adding Tea tree essential oil to your Tea tree toner or serum

In my previous post I wrote about getting a Tea tree oil toner and putting it in a spray bottle as the one you see in the photo. If you have moderate to severe body acne you might like to make this toner stronger by adding a few drops of Tea tree essential oil to it. I add about 6 drops of Tea tree essential oil to the spray bottle you see in the photograph. And of course you will need to shake the bottle well before each application.

What if you want your spray toner to not only smell refreshing  and help speed up the healing of body acne but also to leave you with a cool sensation? I add 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil to my spray bottle.

You can also add a couple of drops of Tea tree essential oil to each one of your serum applications. I keep repurchasing the serum from The Body shop because it is that good.

Layer the Tea tree oil products

For moderate to severe body acne you would want to layer your products. Below I list all the layers in steps, but not all steps may be necessary for you.

If you are on a budget start with the body washes and a toner, then add additional products gradually as necessary.  Eliminating moderate to severe acne takes some time, but it is absolutely possible. So start where your budget allows and you will be closer to clear skin than before.

So here is how we layer the Tea tree oil products:

Step 1. Wash with a Tea tree oil body wash. In my previous post I write about The Body shop Tea tree oil body wash, but you can try any other Tea tree oil body wash as there are many on the market. I like The Body shop body wash because it is very affordable and effective. Check out their website, there are always some sales and discounts going on and I've always been able to buy the products 30% or 40% off either in store or on-line. 

When you wash with the body wash I would advise you to massage the lather on your body really well, move away from the water and wait 2 min before you rinse it off.

Step 2. Spray the Tea tree oil toner all over. Spray really well, don't be stingy. Massage it into the skin. Then wait for the toner to dry.

Step 3. Apply a Tea tree oil serum  to the areas with inflamed acne or congestion. I love The Body shop Tea tree oil daily imperfections solution ( the one in the previous photo).  It is a serum like product. It is a super light, refreshing and diminishes the acne bacteria count.

Step 4. Apply a Tea tree oil containing cream to the areas with inflammation and congestion. I've been loving the Tea tree oil acne treatment cream by Kstims skin care, but there are many to choose from on the market. Read my review of this lovely cream here

I mentioned earlier that you may not need all four layers. My skin has been clear for a long time and I only use  a body wash, a toner and occasionally the serum. A few days ago after trying a new sunscreen, the skin on my chest and the back of my neck became congested ( exactly where I had applied the sunscreen).Then I used all mentioned layers- body wash, toner, serum and even the Tea tree oil cream. Aafter two applications the skin was perfectly clear again.

Layer the pore unclogging products

Another thing you can do to eliminate moderate to severe body acne is to add one more layer of Salicylic acid containing product.

I list the layers I would use in the steps below, but once again, you may not need all layers.

Step 1. Wash your body with a Salicylic acid body wash. From my previous post you know that I alternate between The Tea tree oil body wash and the Salicylic acid body wash by Cosrx.

Step 2. Follow with the Mizon AHA & BHA toner or similar toner with those key ingredients. Spray it liberally, don't be stingy. Massage it into the skin. Wait for it to dry.

Step 3. Apply a Salicylic acid serum such as Cosrx BHA Blackhead power liquid. In the photo below. It has a very runny consistency, it feels as a slightly thicker toner. It will unclog the oil plugs in the pores while moisturizing your skin. You would apply it after Mizon's AHA & BHA toner and not every day unless your skin needs it. 

Add a layer of dead skin cells clearing product

Cosrx AHA Whitehead power liquid is another product that will help by exfoliating the dead skin cells sticking together on the surface and clogging the pores. Again, you would apply it after the AHA & BHA toner and not every day unless your skin needs it.

If you chose to try the products containing AHA & BHA, you need to remember to use them after the Mizon AHA & BHA toner and 20 min apart. What do I mean?

First apply the pH balancing toner (Mizon's toner balances the skin's pH and prepares it for the BHA or AHA products you will use next.)
Then  apply either a BHA product or AHA product
Wait 20 min for it to work
Follow with either AHA or BHA product
Wait 20 min before applying any other products

When layering go from thin to thick, so first use a toner, followed by serum, then a cream.

Read my Cosrx BHA and AHA products review here. I get both products on eBay and they are about £10 each. A little goes a very long way, because you won't use them daily. I've had the same bottles opened for months.

How to prevent "purging" of the skin

The skin may go into "purging mode" when you use BHA ( Salicylic acid ) containing products. I know this because I've been there. That is because the Salicylic acid gets the oil, dirt, dead skin cells  and bacteria out from deep inside the pores and all of a sudden there is too much bacteria present on your skin. (this is my own theory. I will amend it as my knowledge expands) Make sure you use enough Tea tree oil products that will diminish the bacteria count and your skin will not experience any purging.

How many layers of products would your skin need?

Everybody's skin is different and while we know that unclogged pores and lower acne bacteria count results in clear skin, what each person needs to figure out is how many layers of products are needed to achieve this. And also, would you need an extra layer of acne bacteria fighting product or an extra layer of pore unclogging product? Or both?

In my experience, you can't go wrong with layering Tea tree oil products. Over time they will work beautifully at diminishing the acne bacteria count on the skin. But BHA  (Salicylic acid ) products are trickier. When you first start layering them, in places where the skin seems clear and smooth the pores may actually be quite congested and blocked. While trying to unclog the pores  the BHA unsettles the skin. Often, people experience "purging". Their acne becomes worse. I've been there. But I discovered that if I layer the Tea tree oil products well while using BHA products, the skin doesn't experience purging.

In other words, I always use more Tea tree oil products than BHA products and I would advise you to try the same.

So, go ahead and diminish the acne  bacteria count as effectively as possible while working on unblocking your pores.

Gradually, the inflammation will go down and your body acne will no longer seem severe but moderate. At that point, carry on with the regimen and the acne will become less and less.

What to do once your skin is clear

Once you have clear skin- continue with the regimen. But this time it will take a bit of experimentation on your part because you will need to figure out your skin's needs. You will need to figure out what is the bare minimum of products and layers necessary to maintain your clear skin.

All the products I mention I have at all times but I don't use them all the time. On most days I simply wash, spray my body with a toner and occasionally I need to apply a Tea tree oil serum. I hardly ever need to use the Tea tree oil cream because my skin is mostly perfectly clear.

How to rotate the products

Remember that I rotate between body washes, body toners and serums. Here is how:

I have 2 body washes. One with Salicylic acid, the other with Tea tree oil. And if I use one in the morning, I would use the other either that eventing or the following day.

I have 2 toners. One with Tea tree oil from The Body shop, the other is Mozon AHA & BHA toner. I would use one in the morning, then the other one either in the evening or the following day.

I have 2 serums. One from The Body shop with Tea tree oil, the other one is Cosrx BHA Blackhead power liquid. I would use either one in the morning and then the other one either in the evening or the following day. Remember that while you can apply the Tea tree oil serum every day, the BHA serum doesn't need to be applied every day.

The products I mention may seem like a lot to some of you, but they are not expensive and last a long time. Let me know if you have questions.

Let this be your favourite summer! Enjoy it with clear skin!

In my next post I will be writing about eliminating acne for those of us with sensitive skin.

Till next time, Milu

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