Body acne has always been a thorn in my side. I wore high-neck tops throughout high school and some of college to hide the angry, inflamed red dots that would spread over my back and chest; I would slather myself with everything from benzoyl peroxide and dermatologist-prescribed washes to home remedies (like, eek, toothpaste), but nothing would work. Years of research, dermatologist visits, and product testing made me realize that what my dry and pimple-prone skin needed, more than anything, was gentle moisture.

A simple switch over to Vanicream body wash, a fragrance-free, Vanicream non-comedogenic lotion, and et voila, I was born anew. My body acne went from severe to almost nonexistent…with a few exceptions. I still had this uncanny ability to break out right before big events, particularly during the sweaty months of summer.

An important realization came to me mid-shower during an especially annoying back breakout. I was holding up a sudsy loofah when I thought, “When is the last time I replaced this?” What started as a search into how often I should be replacing my loofah led to the realization that…maybe I shouldn’t be using one at all. I tried substituting with a washcloth, a mesh scrubber, and my hands to reduce breakouts — but all three methods left me feeling like I had wasted body wash. (Not to mention, there was no lather.)

After some trial and error, I purchased a well-reviewed silicone scrubber from Amazon ($10 for two of them) as a last-ditch attempt to replace my beloved loofah, and, oh my word, the difference has been astounding. I now rarely (if ever) break out on my back and chest. To cut to the chase, this is the part of the story where I say that if you’re susceptible to body breakouts, you should ditch your drugstore loofah in favor of this cost-effective silicone scrubber. Here’s why.

Meet the experts:

  • Nava Greenfield, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
  • Emmy Ketcham, is a cosmetic chemist and cofounder of Experiment Beauty.

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