As a dancer, you probably spend the majority of your time donning a leotard and sweating it out in the studio. But constantly wearing tight, sweaty fabrics can take a toll on your skin.
"Body acne is caused by the same factors that trigger acne on the face: overactive oil glands, dead skin cells that block pores, and a buildup of acne-causing bacteria on the skin's surface," says Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She also notes that some people are naturally more prone to acne than others because of their hormones.
So what can a dancer do to keep bacteria from clogging their pores? Jaliman recommends these tips:
1. Wear breathable fabrics to the studio, such as cotton or cotton-based materials. Always avoid polyester.
2. Showering soon after exercise is the best way to make sure there's no leftover bacteria on the skin, but that isn't always a feasible option for dancers. Instead, bring a change of clothes if you have multiple rehearsals in one day, and try wiping down your sweaty skin with organic baby wipes between sessions.
3. When you can get to a shower, Jaliman recommends washing with an antibacterial soap with salicylic acid in it, which helps treat acne inflammation, or using a toner with glycolic acid, which helps unclog pores. For an even deeper clean, try using a deep cleansing brush system, such as a Clarisonic.
4. If your body acne is persistent or uncontrollable, consider talking to a dermatologist about going on a hormone-blocking medication such as Spironolactone. In the meantime, don't let imperfect skin affect your confidence on or off the stage—it's a more common problem than you'd think.