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Does Your Butt Need a Sheet Mask?

Photo: Sven Hagolani/Getty Images/fStop

Maybe it’s time to get behind the idea that we should be moisturizing our butts. The concept sort of makes sense. We have skin, our butts have skin. Skin is constantly in need of moisturizer.

Not everyone is moisturizing their butts these days, but Madonna definitely is — not surprisingly, she was an early adopter. Earlier this year she told us that she doesn’t just moisturize her butt, she gives it a mask. “There are certain special people that get to see our butt, and you want it to look its finest,” she explained, very logically. There’s even a bashful thread on Reddit asking, “So uh … how do I get a smooth butt?”

Madonna’s MDNA line doesn’t carry butt products (yet), but the beauty industry certainly wants us to get behind the idea of truly moisturizing from head to toe. At Sephora, one of the body lotion bestsellers is Sol de Janeiro’s Bum Bum cream, a moisturizer for your butt that smells so good, Shawn Mendes once Snapchatted to call it the “best smelling stuff on earth.” Recently, Credo Beauty, the Sephora of “natural” beauty, started carrying “toxin free” butt sheet masks from a company called Bawdy Beauty.

But do we really need to be moisturizing where the sun doesn’t shineparticularly because the sun doesn’t shine there at all? Sunlight is one of the biggest degraders of skin, causing collagen and structural cell breakdown and putting us at greater risk for skin cancer. According to dermatologists, unless thong pants become a trend (thanks, J.Lo) or you’re going to nude beaches, your butt is probably doing just fine.

“It’s true, [the] skin on the buttocks is usually among the healthier [skin] on the body, since it rarely gets sun exposure,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Mount Sinai Hospital’s director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology.

Dr. Zeichner admits that your butt skin is more stressed than other parts of the body. “We tend to sweat more on the buttock than [on] other body parts, plus the buttock is subject to friction, from clothing rubbing against the skin when you exercise.” Bacteria, yeast growth, friction, or low-grade chafing can result in “buttne,” a.k.a. butt acne. Dr. Zeichner explains that buttne, the red bumps and pus-filled pimples that become pimple-popper stories of legend, is often actually the result of folliculitis — inflamed hair follicles.

It may be a pain in the butt (ha), but don’t let a little buttne hold you back from moisturizing your skin. If you have acne-prone skin, you don’t stop moisturizing, and the same logic applies down there. “Keeping your skin barrier in as good shape as possible with moisturizers is the best way to minimize the risk of developing folliculitis to begin with,” Dr. Zeichner said. “Look for light lotions that won’t weigh you down or leave the skin feeling greasy.” You can also try a benzoyl peroxide body wash and dandruff shampoo to resolve buttne.

If you really do want your butt to be brighter and smoother and potentially look better than most people’s faces, you can certainly try giving your butt the same love as your face. Splash some Korean skincare products on it, or try one of the three recommendations below.

A Ten-Minute Butt Mask

BAWDY Shake It — Marine Algae Butt Mask

This works just like a sheet mask for your face, except it comes in two wedge-shaped slices that you slap onto your butt. It comes in four different “types” including Shake It, Slap It, Bite It, and Squeeze it. The most amazing thing about this product isn’t that it exists, it’s that somehow it sticks on and doesn’t slide to your toes when you’re standing up. If you can get over having your butt feel wet for the sake of dewy skin, leave it on for ten minutes.

A Butt Mask Endorsed by Shawn Mendes (Who Uses It for His Hands Only)

SOL DE JANEIROBrazilian Bum Bum Cream

This butt moisturizer smells so good — like a rich sea salt caramel sundae — that it comes pop-star-endorsed. Shawn Mendes clarified that he used it on his hands only, though, not on his butt. His own first fragrance even smells eerily similar to this. But if that isn’t enough, there are close to 3,000 passionate Sephora reviews netting this product 4.5 stars.

An Exfoliator for ‘Buttne’ (Butt Acne)

Salux Nylon Japanese Beauty Skin Bath Wash Cloth

This nylon cloth is better than a loofah or a sponge for getting super-soft skin. It’s not really a towel, it’s more like a buffer or exfoliator for getting rid of dead skin and unclogging pores. Reviewers love it for warding off chicken skin or keratosis pilaris and yes, it will work at warding off buttne, too.

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Does Your Butt Need a Sheet Mask?