How to Get Rid of Chest Acne: The Most Effective Natural Ways

How to Get Rid of Chest Acne: The Most Effective Natural Ways

Chest acne can make you feel very self-conscious if you go swimming, go to the beach, workout at the gym, or wear a low-cut top. The appearance of pimples, whiteheads, pustules, or large spots across your upper body can be very unsightly and draw unwelcome attention. Because your chest area is often covered, sweat, excess oil and irritation from clothing can make getting rid of chest acne a challenge.

But don’t worry, there are many effective home remedies that can help you get rid of chest acne quickly. Many of these natural remedies kill off acne-causing bacteria, soothe inflammation, and reduce the amount of sebum the skin produces.

In this article, you will find out how to use natural ingredients like tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, aloe vera, and other natural remedies to help get rid of your chest acne. You can also use many of these remedies at home to prevent chest acne returning.

First of all, it’s important to find out what causes pimples and pustules to appear on your chest.

What Causes Chest Acne

Outbreaks of acne on your chest are caused by the same reasons that cause acne on your face or back (“bacne”). Your skin produces an oil called sebum to help protect your skin. However, if the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, your pores can become clogged and infected which results in acne, pimples, and pustules.

There are a number of other reasons why acne can especially affect your chest. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that some other reasons for outbreaks of acne are:1

  • an unhealthy diet
  • working in a dirty environment
  • taking certain medications
  • being under emotional or physiological stress

Another reason for chest acne is wearing tight-fitting clothing that doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and clogs up pores on your chest.

Why Chest Acne is Difficult to Treat

Home remedies are an effective way of getting rid of chest acne. However, there are a few factors that make treating chest acne more problematic than getting rid of acne from your face.

The journal Archives of Dermatology describes a condition called acne mechanica. This occurs when acne on the chest is aggravated by items of clothing rubbing, causing friction, or creating pressure on the skin. This can make it harder to treat the underlying causes of chest acne.2

Another factor that makes it trickier to get rid of pimples and red bumps on your chest is to do with the type of skin on your upper body. The website says that the skin on your back and chest contains more sebum and acne causing bacteria than the rest of your body. The skin is also thicker and has larger pores, making it easier for them to become inflamed and fill with pus.3

Let’s look as some of the best home remedies that will not only get rid of your chest acne but also care for your skin at the same time. At the end of the article, you will find out some ways that dermatologists treat severe forms of chest acne.

The Best Home Remedies to Get Rid of Chest Acne

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a great natural home treatment for getting rid of chest acne. Tea tree oil contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in clogged pores. Tea tree oil is useful for treating all types of acne because it kills off acne-causing bacteria at the source. Tea tree oil is also a great home remedy for whiteheads and blackheads.

Many scientific trials have confirmed the effectiveness of tea tree oil for acne and for reducing the appearance of pimples. For example, the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology reported on the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil. The review found that tea tree oil is effective against a broad range of bacteria including Propionibacterium acnes – a strain of bacteria linked to acne outbreaks.4

A study from Australia found that tea tree oil has more benefits than benzoyl peroxide (a popular acne drug) in treating outbreaks of acne. The researchers discovered that using tea tree oil to reduce acne outbreaks caused less itchiness, skin dryness, and scaling than using benzoyl peroxide products. They concluded that tea tree oil was an effective acne treatment with fewer side effects.5

How to use

To use tea tree oil to clear chest acne effectively, you should dilute some in a carrier oil to make a toner for your skin.

  • Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to 30 ml of a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, or coconut oil.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply to the chest acne.
  • Use daily to cleanse your chest of bacteria and reduce inflammation in infected pores to prevent acne.

You can also use 5-10 drops of tea tree oil with aloe vera or witch hazel (30 ml) as a great natural skin cleanser. Using a cotton ball, apply the natural anti-acne remedy to the affected skin on your chest and allow to dry. Use 3 times a day for best results and help clear acne from your chest.

Unlike other essential oils (apart from lavender oil), you can apply undiluted tea tree oil directly to an infected pimple (spot treatment). Use a cotton swab with a drop or two of tea tree oil and dab directly onto the inflamed pimple to kill off infection and reduce inflammation.

Lavender Oil

Another essential oil you can use for getting rid of acne from your chest is lavender oil. Similar to tea tree oil, lavender oil has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on skin inflammation and pimples.

A study published in the journal Molecules found that lavender essential oil has a strong antibacterial action against Propionibacterium acnes strain of bacteria.6 Other studies have shown that lavender can help to reduce redness, inflammation, and swelling that are associated with skin infections.7

You can use lavender oil in the same way as tea tree oil to reduce the number of pimples on your chest. Dab a small amount of lavender oil directly on an inflamed spot for instant relieve and to kill bacteria.

Aloe vera

You can help treat chest acne by applying aloe vera to red bumps, pimples, whiteheads, and pustules on your upper body. Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory remedy for skin inflammation and its beneficial properties help to repair damaged skin. The great thing about using aloe vera for acne is that it can be used on its own or you can add tea tree oil or lavender oil to boost the anti-acne effect.

Aloe vera is a proven remedy for acne. For example, The Journal of Dermatological Treatment reported that aloe vera can be used to effectively treat mild to moderate outbreaks of acne. In fact, studies showed that when aloe vera gel was used in conjunction with tretinoin (a common drug used to treat acne), the effects of tretinoin on acne were enhanced. The combination resulted in less scaling and redness, which is a common side effect of tretinoin.8

Other studies into the benefits of aloe vera for your skin have shown that it contains vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids which are essential for healthy skin. Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid which is used in acne treatments to unclog pores and prevent lesions. Aloe vera helps to repair skin by boosting collagen production. 9

How to use

To use aloe vera for clearing chest acne, do the following:

  • Apply pure aloe vera gel directly to your upper body area to reduce the severity of acne.
  • Repeat the process twice a day to get rid of redness and soothe painful inflamed pores.

You can also use aloe vera to prevent acne scars from forming and keep your skin looking great.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can quickly reduce the size of inflamed pores on your chest. The astringent properties of witch hazel help to dry out infected pimples and remove excess sebum from your skin. Witch hazel is also one of the best home remedies for pimples under the skin (blind pimples).

The Journal of Inflammation reported on the anti-inflammatory activity of witch hazel. The researchers found that witch hazel is used for treating acne because of its antiseptic and astringent properties. Witch hazel also alleviates inflammation caused by acne and will help to destroy acne-causing bacteria.10

How to use

It is very easy to use witch hazel on acne-prone skin.

  • Apply witch hazel to the acne your chest by dipping a cotton ball in the liquid.
  • Cleanse your chest 2-3 times a day to reduce inflammation, kill off bacteria from infected pores, and eliminate chest acne.

There are many more ways to use witch hazel as a natural acne treatment. In my ultimate guide for using witch hazel on acne, you can find detailed instructions on how to use witch hazel for treating acne outbreaks on your chest, back, and face.


Making an oatmeal mask for acne or taking an oatmeal bath is one way to soothe chest acne and get rid of pimples. Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory and cleansing agent that can help to treat infected pores, and treat oily skin. Oatmeal can also take the pain out of inflamed pustules and help in speeding up the healing process.

Studies into the healing properties of oatmeal for your skin found that it has a wide range of uses. For example, a journal of dermatology reported that, as well as treating the bacteria that cause acne, oatmeal can reduce itchiness, treat skin infections, and soothe inflammation.11

How to use

Make an anti-acne oatmeal mask to apply to your chest by mixing it with some water and baking soda.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste.
  • Gently massage the oatmeal remedy to your chest acne and leave to dry.
  • Rinse with warm water and pat yourself dry.
  • Use the healing oatmeal mask 2-3 times a week to kill germs that cause acne and soothe your skin.

Another way to use oatmeal as a natural acne treatment is to bathe in it. This is also one of the best ways to treat back acne naturally.

To make an oatmeal bath for relief from the discomfort of inflamed pimples and get rid of chest acne, do the following:

  • Fill the bathtub with warm water and add 1 to 2 cups of ground oats.
  • Mix the oatmeal in the bath with your hand and let it set for a few minutes.
  • To boost the antibacterial activity of oatmeal, add a few drops of lavender essential oil. This will not only help to cure your chest acne quicker, but it will also calm your nerves.
  • Soak in the bath for 20 minutes.
  • While soaking in the anti-acne bath, gather together some of the oatmeal and gently press it onto the affected skin on your chest to help speed up the healing process of chest acne.
  • Rinse off in the shower with warm water and pat your skin dry.

Baking soda

The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda make it a great natural acne remedy for your chest. Baking soda helps to dry out inflamed pores and reduce redness. The grainy texture of baking soda makes it a great exfoliator to gently unclog blocked pores and help reduce the appearance of acne as well as whiteheads.

A study into the properties of baking soda found that it is a natural antibacterial agent that kills off various strains of bacteria.12 Other studies have shown that baking soda has a healing effect on wounds and can help speed up the healing process.13

Baking soda is a great home remedy to reduce the size and inflammation of large pustules on your chest and help drain the pus from them.

How to use

  • Mix 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice to form a smooth paste.
  • Apply the natural remedy directly onto the inflamed pustule on your chest and leave for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off and pat dry.
  • Apply the baking soda daily until the redness and pain of the pustules have gone completely and there is no pus.

If you have sensitive skin, you should leave out the lemon juice because it may sting too much.

For more ideas on using baking soda to combat acne, please read my article on the many natural ways to use baking soda to get rid of acne.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Raw apple cider vinegar is a natural home remedy to clear excess sebum from your skin and unclog blocked pores. Apple cider vinegar contains high levels of acetic acid which is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent to destroy acne-causing germs on your chest. Apple cider vinegar is also one of the best home remedies for blackheads.

To use apple cider vinegar to naturally peel off layers of dead skin, you should dilute some with water and use it as a skin toner.

How to use

  • Mix equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply to your chest acne to rid bacteria from your skin and help unclog pores.
  • Repeat twice a day to help speed up the removal of pimples and pustules from your chest and help your skin heal faster.

Remember that apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be applied undiluted. It is always best to try a little on a small patch of skin to make sure it doesn’t sting too much.

Sugar scrub

Another natural way to peel away dead skin cells from your chest and unblock pores is to use a sugar scrub. The grainy texture of sugar helps to remove excess sebum and loosen dirt that can lead to acne.

In the sugar scrub, you can add some lemon juice to help fight outbreaks of acne on your chest. Lemon juice contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid which is a natural chemical peel for the skin and helps to get rid of dead skin cells. Honey is also added for its antibacterial properties and soothing effect on inflamed skin.

How to use

  • Mix 1/4 cup of sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. (Manuka honey is the best type of honey to use).
  • Gently massage the honey remedy into the affected skin on your chest.
  • Leave for 5 minutes and rinse off.
  • Apply the sugar scrub remedy 1-2 times a week to your chest acne to unblock your pores from dead skin cells and prevent more acne outbreaks.

Zinc cream

Many people have found that zinc cream has helped clear up chest acne and get rid of pimples and inflamed pores.

The journal Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology found zinc, vitamin A and E deficiencies in many people with moderate to severe acne. They recommend that acne treatments should be boosted by enjoying a diet rich in zinc, vitamin A and E.14 A healthy diet with all the proper vitamins and nutrients can also help prevent further outbreaks of acne.

If you are plagued by large, painful pimples on your chest, you can try using zinc as a topical cream or by taking zinc supplements. You can purchase a lotion containing 1.2% zinc acetate and apply the zinc cream 2 times a day to the acne on your chest until it’s gone.

You can also increase your dietary intake of zinc by taking supplements or by consuming food that contains zinc. It is not recommended to take more than 50 mg a day of zinc because too much zinc can interfere with the absorption of other trace elements in your body.

Other Methods to Get Rid of Chest Acne

Many people have found the natural remedies in this article to help them get rid of chest acne. However, if you have a severe outbreak of chest acne, it will be more difficult to treat it naturally. If you find that after using home remedies for acne, you are still plagued by inflamed red bumps on your chest, you should see a dermatologist.

Some common remedies that dermatologists use to treat severe cases of acne are:

  • Benzoyl peroxide. Helps to reduce bacteria and dry out excess sebum. Side effects are dryness, itching, and redness.
  • Salicylic acid. Used to reduce redness and peels away layers of dead skin cells. Can cause hives and redness of the skin.
  • Retinoids. Used to unclog pores and reduce the severity of acne outbreaks. Can cause irritation and skin sensitivity.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Peels off dead layers of skin to prevent pores becoming clogged and infections developing.

How to Prevent Chest Acne

If you have acne-prone skin and you suffer from outbreaks of pimples on your chest, you should take preventative measures improve the appearance of your skin and prevent acne.

Here are some tips to help prevent chest acne:

  • Regularly exfoliate your chest to prevent pores clogging up and becoming infected. Use a loofah to remove dead skin cells and prevent excess oil from causing chest acne.
  • Add some tea tree oil to your shower gel to help kill off acne-causing bacteria as you wash, pay particular attention to your upper front body area.
  • Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing to let your skin breathe and prevent a buildup of acne causing bacteria.
  • Shower after sweating to remove acne causing bacteria from your chest that can infect your pores.

Read these related articles:

1. The Most Effective Homemade Acne Face Masks
2. Baking Soda for Acne and Pimples – The Complete Guide
3. Witch Hazel for Acne – The Ultimate Guide
4. Coconut Oil For Acne – Does It Really Work?

Article Sources:
  1. Mayo Clinic. Acne causes.
  2. Arch Dermatol. 1975 Apr;111(4):481-3.
  3. Acne. Back and body acne.
  4. Lett Appl Microbiol. 1995 Oct;21(4):242-5.
  5. Med J Aust. 1990 Oct 15;153(8):455-8.
  6. Molecules. 2010 Apr 30;15(5):3200-10.
  7. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2015 Aug;87(2 Suppl):1397-408.
  8. J Dermatolog Treat. 2014 Apr;25(2):123-9.
  9. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166.
  10. J Inflamm (Lond). 2011; 8: 27.
  11. IJDVL. Oatmeal in dermatology.
  12. Compend Contin Educ Dent Suppl. 1997;18(21):S17-21;quiz S46.
  13. Am J Dent. 1995 Jun;8(3):125-7.
  14. Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology. Volume 33, issue 2.

Healthy and Natural World