Health

What Are Butt Masks (and Do They Work)?

You have a cabinet full of skin masks, serums and creams. But why should the cheeks on your face get all the love?

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Turns out, booty masks are a thing. Skin care companies sell sheet masks designed to deliver a soft, smooth butt. And if that’s not enough, the internet abounds with recipes for DIY butt scrubs and masks.

Could your backside benefit? Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, answers your burning questions about butt masks.

Butt mask benefits

Butt masks got a boost during the coronavirus pandemic when people were getting more serious about self-care and at-home treatments, Dr. Khetarpal says.

You might wonder whether a mask for your bum is really necessary. That depends on your goals. Fans of masks for the derriere use them for a variety of reasons:

  • Moisturizing: Dry, itchy skin is a nuisance anywhere, including on your behind. Some masks contain ingredients designed to hydrate. Besides soothing dry skin, hydrating ingredients might also help the skin on your backside look firmer — at least temporarily. “When skin is more hydrated, it looks plumper and less dimpled,” explains Dr. Khetarpal. For a softer, smoother booty, look for masks with ingredients such as hyaluronic acids or ceramides.
  • Butt acne: Pimples on the butt are common — and annoying. Masks may help zap hair follicle infections that cause butt breakouts. “Look for ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to unclog pores and minimize acne,” Dr. Khetarpal says.
  • Exfoliation: If you’re looking to brighten and smooth the skin on your backside, choose a mask with glycolic acid or lactic acid. Those exfoliating ingredients can improve skin texture and fight dullness — and might also help prevent future butt breakouts, Dr. Khetarpal explains. 

How to (safely) use a booty mask

Most butt masks contain the same ingredients you’ll find in products for your face. For most people, these are perfectly safe to use on your bum, Dr. Khetarpal says. “Facial skin is usually more sensitive. If it’s safe for your face, it’s probably safe for your4 buttocks.”

Still, there’s always the possibility that skin care products can cause irritation or even an allergic reaction. To avoid a rash on the rear, Dr. Khetarpal recommends:

  • Do a test: “Try a mask on a small area first to make sure you don’t react, especially if you have eczema or sensitive skin,” she says.
  • Skip scents: Steer clear of masks with fragrance, which are more likely to cause irritation. “Even natural fragrances, such as tea tree oil, can cause reactions. I recommend avoiding fragrance altogether,” she says.

When to see a dermatologist  

Home skin care remedies can be helpful and a fun way to pamper your skin. But depending on your concerns, butt masks might not be the best way to a radiant backside.

Pimple-like bumps on your bottom, for instance, aren’t always true acne. They may have other causes, such as:

  • Folliculitis: Sweat and tight underwear can cause folliculitis — inflamed, irritated hair follicles. If it’s severe, you might need antibiotic pills or creams to help clear it up.
  • Keratosis pilaris: These bumps are caused by a buildup of keratin, a protein in the skin. “KP” is harmless but treatable with over-the-counter products.

The takeaway: Go ahead and try a mask, if that’s your thing. But if butt masks aren’t giving you the results you desire, don’t be afraid to see a dermatologist. “We treat skin conditions on any part of the body, ” Dr. Khetarpal says.

With a little TLC, your cheeks — and your other cheeks — will be smiling.

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