How to Get Rid of Sweaty Spotty Chests

Chest acne

A rather less than glamorous blog topic today, however something that is very real for the ‘fit girl’. Whether you’re a gym goer, a runner or a class fanatic, the truth is that getting sweaty on the regular means your skin can suffer.

I was dealing with some rather unsightly chest acne recently that just would not go away and meant that my concealer (and bronzer) was being used not just on my face when I went out. You can see a few of them in the photo below…

How to get rid of chest acne

I think they were caused by a combination of exam stress, sweaty classes and summer runs, dirty gym equipment and wearing my gym kit for longer than was strictly necessary after a workout. I emailed my skin guru and friend, Good Housekeeping beauty editor, GD, for some advice.

  • Use a salicylic acid based cleanser on your chest – something like the Keihl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser  or Cetaphil. You can use this on your face and back too.
  • Avoid rich, heavy moisturising creams – if possible look for an oil-free body lotion to apply after a shower or before bed.

Chest acne

  • Try to shower immediately after exercise, and use a gentle, antibacterial body wash.
  • Change your sports bra once it’s worn, and make sure to wash it at the appropriate temperature to kill bacteria.
  • Don’t forget to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead skin cells and encourages the growth of new ones, as well as unblocking pores.
  • Take hand sanitiser with you in your gym bag to keep your hands clean  (I often touch my chest and neck area when I’m nervous in a gym class, probably not ideal with sweaty hands!)
  • Sounds ridiculous but don’t work out in dirty clothes – this will just exacerbate the problem. I’ve found that the Lululemon tops that have silver woven into them are great for killing the bacteria that causes you to smell as well as other nasties! They might be expensive but they last for ages.
  • Treat the delicate skin on your chest the way you would your face…with care!


  1. Chiswickmum
    June 29, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    All good advice. I would add – use sunscreen on this area too, although maybe not while you are trying out get rid of spots. Much older now, I don’t like the look I have got going on and wish I had used sunscreen on my décolletage when I was younger.

    • charlotte
      June 30, 2016 / 8:54 am

      Good advice Mum – there are lots of non-greasy formulas that you can get for your face that might be worth using on your chest (and hands!)

  2. Susan Cairns
    June 29, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    I am surprised when I hear people at my classes say they save up their gym washing for a week. I really think you have to wash all your sweaty clothes as soon as possible like you would yourself or they really will smell.

  3. June 30, 2016 / 12:12 am

    great advice. and such a real summer thing that make many self conscious.

  4. healthyhappierbear
    June 30, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    I would add that if for some reason you can’t shower immediately – use body wipes. In the states there are brands that even have salilyci acid in them!

    • charlotte
      June 30, 2016 / 7:18 pm

      Thats such a great idea – need to look into them in the UK!

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