Gym Acne: 1. Me: 0. Well, at least for a while. This past summer, I developed a daily habit of working out an hour or more a day. My newfound workout routine not only came with a renewed sense of energy after months of staying inside, but also with a battle with body acne that populated on my back, shoulders, and chest. I started using a body wash formulated with the acne-fighting hero ingredient, salicylic acid—though it didn’t deliver the results I wanted. In mid-July, Versed’s launch of the Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist immediately caught my eye. Since the first week of August, I have been using this mist daily after I shower, and it has delivered promising results: all the body acne that has developed around my chest and shoulders is gone, and only a few troublesome pimples on my back still remain.
With a few sprays on the body and a wait time of 30 seconds for it to dry, it’s a fast, convenient treatment to target that troubling acne at any time. As it says on the bottle, you can use the mist 2-3 times a day, which for me is usually in the morning, before a workout, and after a shower. If you’re worried about the mist clinging to your shirt, though, not to worry! I use it all the time before getting dressed in the morning and it never clings to my clothes. Thanks to Versed’s body mist, I guess you could say that my gym acne and I are neck-in-neck in this battle at the moment.
As a self-proclaimed Gen Z “skin enthusiast” who is always learning about skincare ingredients and their benefits, I decided to also consult experts on the mist’s three hero ingredients—salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree oil—to understand why this mist has the incredible ability of clearing away body acne.
Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel, and Tea Tree Oil: An Acne-Fighting Trio
One of the hero ingredients of this acne-fighting body mist is the one and only salicylic acid. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Chipps of Moy, Fincher, Chipps Facial Plastics & Dermatology in Beverly Hills, salicylic acid has numerous benefits when it comes to clearing away acne. “Salicylic acid has long been a staple ingredient in acne treatment regimens,” Dr. Chipps said. “Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates into the pores and helps to break down excess keratin. It gently exfoliates the skin, and it has some antimicrobial effects to kill acne-causing bacteria. It can also be anti-inflammatory.”
While salicylic acid has the ability to mitigate acne, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Fifth Avenue Aesthetics, Dr. Marie Hayag, advised those with sensitive and dry skin to tread lightly when using a product with salicylic acid. “[It] is suitable for various skin types, but it can be drying. Those with very dry skin should make sure to stay moisturized throughout the day. People with oily, acne-prone skin would be the most compatible with salicylic acid as a treatment,” she said.
Contrary to what its name suggests, there is nothing spooky about witch hazel. In fact, it’s known to eliminate the skin of its impurities and for its calming abilities. “Witch hazel is a mild astringent, so it can be used to remove excess keratin and bacteria from the skin. It has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm redness and inflammation associated with acne,” Dr. Chipps said.
Like salicylic acid, it can also trigger a reaction in sensitive skin types, which means sensitive skin types need to beware before diving right in with witch hazel (so maybe it is actually a little spooky). “People with acne blemishes and oily skin can use witch hazel. Because the tannins in it can be sensitizing, people with very sensitive, irritated skin should be cautious and do a patch test before using witch hazel. Additionally, witch hazel can be drying, so make sure to moisturize well when using it,” Dr. Hayag said.
Tea Tree Oil
The oil that is derived from tea tree leaves is another acne-fighting ingredient that can alleviate irritated skin and fight off germs that cause acne. “Tea tree oil’s benefits come from its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Dr. Hayag. “It contains numerous compounds that kill certain types of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Most importantly, it’s been shown to be effective in killing P.acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.” She said that tea tree oil can help many acne-sufferers, but it may cause an adverse reaction with sensitive skin types because it has notes of fragrance.
The Bottom Line
I honestly would never trade this body mist for anything when it comes to treating my body acne. It’s lightweight, affordable (at a price of $15), and packed with acne-fighting ingredients that are designed to calm the skin and eliminate the bacteria that cause acne. Paying attention to skincare product ingredients and their functions make all the difference when searching for that perfect product that can tend to your skin concerns. If I kept trying products that appeared to be “good” and failed to read their ingredient lists, then perhaps I still would be on the gym acne struggle bus. Thanks to Versed’s body mist and its powerhouse ingredients, I never have to go to battle with gym acne ever again.