No, you aren’t going crazy. That insane bacne bout you just experienced could have been caused by your conditioner. Our skin is our largest organ and anything coming into contact with it can change the way it functions. Before you throw your hands up in despair, read on to find out if your conditioner is causing your bacne.
First things first, bacne is a colloquial term for acne affecting your back. It was coined in the internet age when people were trying to get a bit more granular with their problem area.
Similarly to what happens with your face, anything that comes into contact with your back may cause it to breakout. Although we don’t realize it, products tend to wash off on us in the shower. Meaning, if you apply a heavy conditioner, when you rinse off in the shower the formula will undoubtedly make its way to your back on its way to the drain.
Conditioners tend to be a common culprit in bacne cases because of the ingredients used to hydrate hair. Heavy oils and silicones are the biggest offenders. If you are prone to breakouts, you wouldn’t dream of putting a highly comedogenic (aka pore clogging) oil like coconut on your skin. Same goes for your back, yet we don’t pay attention to it in the same way. If your conditioner is loaded with comedogenic oils and hydrators, they will make contact with your back during your showers.
The phenomena is so common that American Academy of Dermatology has a name for it, acne cosmetics. This term refers to a situation when your products are having secondary effect: nasty acne.
If you notice a big change in your bacne after you start a new hair routine, educate yourself on the ingredients the new products have to make sure you can rule them out as the cause. If you are in the middle of a particularly bad bacne episode, reach for salicylic acid sprays that you can buy over the counter from many brands.