Health & Body

How to Prevent Body Acne When You're Sweating All Day

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.

The Conversation
Career Advice
Tony Testa leads a rehearsal during his USC New Movement Residency. Photo by Mary Mallaney/Courtesy USC

The massive scale of choreographing an Olympic opening ceremony really has no equivalent. The hundreds of performers, the deeply historic rituals and the worldwide audience and significance make it a project like no other.

Just consider the timeline: For most live TV events like award shows, choreographers usually take a month or two to put everything together. For the Olympics, the process can take up to four years.

But this kind of challenge is exactly what Los Angeles choreographer Tony Testa is looking for. He's currently creating a submission to throw his hat in the ring to choreograph for Beijing's 2022 Winter Games.

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Cover Story
Photo by Jayme Thornton

In a studio high above Lincoln Center, Taylor Stanley is rehearsing a solo from Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer. As the pianist plays Prokofiev's plangent melody, Stanley begins to move, his arms forming crisp, clean lines while his upper body twists and melts from one position to the next.

All you see is intention and arrival, without a residue of superfluous movement. The ballet seems to depict a man searching for something, struggling against forces within himself. Stanley doesn't oversell the struggle—in fact he's quite low-key—but the clarity with which he executes the choreography draws you in.

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