In the last decade, the global skincare market has grown 60% and is anticipated to expand another 30% in the next five years. This will make the industry worth a total of $180 billion. That’s a whole lot of cash, so it stands to reason that new products and companies are launching left and right for their share of our spending dollars.
To stand out in this already saturated market, brands are venturing beyond the face, hands, and other commonly treated areas, birthing a new market The New York Times once vaguely referred to as “inclusive wellness,” which encompasses “every aspect of yourself and every part of yourself.” One of the more unique contenders in the category is “intimate skincare,” which, as you might have guessed, is designed for areas where the sun doesn’t shine. Within the category, bum-enhancing brands have become particularly popular.
One of said companies is BAWDY Beauty, which was the first to market butt masks. Similar to face masks, butt masks are shaped for your left and right cheeks and purport to hydrate, detoxify, brighten, and/or retexturize your derriere. Following the success of their booty masks (BAWDY offers four masks, each promising different results), the company now offers CBD butt balms and clay butt masks as well.
“Our butt sheet masks and clay mask are to be treated like a facemask,” Sylwia Wiesenberg, founder of BAWDY Beauty, tells NewNowNext. She recommends they be used once or twice a week for optimal results.
“I recommend you use them before and after a beach day and for a post-workout detox to prevent breakouts and dryness as well,” she adds. “It is perfect for a couples’ spa day, or an at-home booty spa day. Why not wear it during your face treatment and read a good book for 10 to 20 minutes?”
Wiesenberg, anointed the “Fairy Butt Mother” by Nylon magazine, believes these products are necessary to our beauty routine since our glutes—responsible for balance, speed, and strength—are some of the strongest and most important muscles in the body. Therefore, they should be treated as such.
“Butt care, like any beauty routine, has a positive impact on your mind and body,” she says. “Taking care of it makes you relaxed, gives you the confidence to flaunt it, or simply feel good while looking at your booty post-shower.”
Skeptical as to whether butt-care products are really worth the investment (do these ingredients differ much from facial products?), I reached out to one of social media’s leading dermatologists, Angelo Landriscina, for his opinion.
“It’s very 2020 for dermatologists to have to take a stance on dedicated butt-care products,” he tells NewNowNext. “I find that many people who come to see me slack when it comes to skincare for their body overall. When it comes to the butt, however, there’s no need to use specific products for it. You’re just fine using the same cleansers, moisturizers, and other products you’d use on the rest of your body.”
For this reason, Landriscina regards intimate skincare as a luxury. “They may make you feel like you’re doing something special for yourself, and there’s definitely value in that,” he says, noting some skin issues can definitely affect the gluteal region, including acne, folliculitis, and hyperpigmentation. Therefore, extra consideration may be necessary.
“I’ve seen my fair share of dermatologic conditions in the buttocks,” Dr. Anna H. Chacon, a U.S. board-certified dermatologist, agrees. “However, I would generally advocate for laser hair removal if someone is suffering from a disorder of the hair follicle in this area. For rashes, I recommend use of a skin protectant, such as zinc oxide, and cleansing with plain water versus an alcohol-based wipe.”
Landriscina says our bum obsession is reflected in cosmetic dermatology as well, with clients seeking EM Sculpt and CoolTone treatments to enhance their gluteal muscles. Radiofrequency and cryolipolysis procedures, which nip the waist to create more of an hour-glass silhouette, have become particularly popular on social media. Thanks to clever marketing, so too have the products that claim to treat this part of our bodies.
“I do think the novelty of the concept has led more people to buy into it,” Landriscina adds. “It’s most definitely a new category, and if you’re a skincare hobbyist, it might seem like a natural progression for your skincare routine especially in light of our culture’s new emphasis on having a sculpted and appealing bum.”
Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical and Future Method, Dr. Evan Goldstein, says we should consider taking care of the inside of our bums as well. Goldstein has developed two hygienic products—which I’ve personally used and love—for your bum. The first is a daily butt and body scrub to effectively clean and nourish the area. The second is a unique isotonic and PH-balanced solution for douching without damaging cells and irritating the area.
“Basic hygiene principles are imperative to your butt’s everyday functions, regardless of whether or not you use it sexually,” he explains. “Unfortunately, no one teaches us the right way to go to the bathroom, let alone clean our butts and make sure everything is hygienically sound, especially before and after pleasurable acts.”
Goldstein agrees with Wiesenberg in that butt care is critical to one’s overall health and wellness. “When we look good and feel good, we become happy and healthy,” he explains.
“The ‘butt beauty’ obsession isn’t going anywhere,” Wiesenberg asserts. “People wear tighter clothing, bathing suits have less fabric, and we’ve become more comfortable showing more skin. Your butt should be treated like your face.”
No matter your opinion on the intimate-skincare industry, we’re living in a time when self-care has never been more necessary, which is exactly what the category promises. Landriscina is a firm believer that a dedicated skincare routine can be beneficial to our mental and emotional wellbeing because it gives us a reason to carve out some time in our day to take care of ourselves. So, if your interpretation of self-care includes you plastering your meaty cheeks with a hydrating butt mask or exfoliating your precious b-hole in the shower, do you, boo-boo!