Bum creams: they aren’t just for babies anymore. In fact, as the market for grown-up bottom beautifiers heats up (and even finds its way backstage at New York Fashion WeekTM), potions that promise to reduce acne and cellulite, firm, tighten, and lift are proliferating.
Are they a necessary add-on to your skincare routine? Of course not. After all, for most women, this is a body part largely kept under wraps. Still, plenty of skin issues can crop up down there, from the aforementioned pimples to ingrown hairs, stretch marks, and keratosis pilaris, those stubborn bumpy patches that, if you’re prone to them, can reside on your bum as well as the backs of your upper arms.
After consulting with two board-certified dermatologists — New York City-based Melanie Grossman, MD, and Amelia Hausauer, MD, whose practice is in the San Francisco Bay area — about the legitimacy of tush-specific problems, we rounded up a crop of creams that aim to tackle them through a mix of high-tech and natural ingredients.
First things first - daily habits matter. While consistently deploying a cream that targets your particular concerns can prove helpful over time, know that excellent hygiene and a healthy lifestyle can also go a long way in bouncing your bottom bummers. Rather than heading straight out to brunch or coffee after that SoulCycle® or OrangetheoryTM sweat sesh, for example, peel off those drenched Lycra® leggings and hop in the shower, stat. And, as Hausauer notes, “Minimizing stress, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced, unprocessed diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is key for glowing skin from head to tush.”
Call it the Emily Ratajkowski Effect; skimpy swimwear trends are having an impact. “We are seeing higher and higher bikinis, even here in the U.S.,” says Grossman. With that comes increased UV exposure and, inevitably, accelerated skin aging in an area that once rarely saw the light of day. PRAI AGELESS® Bottoms Up CremeTM ($30) contains a slew of plant-based oils (coconut, jojoba, acai berry, and Brazilian nut) to restore hydration and combat free radical damage that can make skin look older.
“Acne or folliculitis, a bacterial infection and inflammation of hair follicles on the buttocks, [respectively], is quite common,” notes Hausauer. “It can be embarrassing for patients, especially if it extends to the thigh region typically covered by swimwear.” The fragrance-free GreenHeartLabs® Butt Acne Clearing Lotion ($33) tackles these concerns with two classic exfoliating acids (glycolic and lactic), arnica extract for reducing inflammation, and calendula extract to soothe and “promote healing around hair follicles.” This lotion is also crafted in the U.S., devoid of parabens, sulfates, and fragrance, and meant to be slathered on clean, dry skin morning and night.
Ironically, the lead ingredient in the anti-water retention Rodial® Super Fit Size ZeroTM “sculpting gel” ($68) is, you guessed it, water. But it also contains a hefty four-percent dose of Pro-Sveltyl®, an active ingredient derived from the sacred lotus plant that is thought to activate lipolysis (aka the breakdown of fats) and is popping up in more and more cellulite products. For best results, Rodial recommends massaging it into hips and thighs with circular movements twice a day, especially right after hitting the gym. (And showering, of course.)
Our tushes are subject to the same gravitational pull as our jawlines. “People do tend to feel, over time, the effects of gravity there,” says Grossman. “It can sag. And that’s especially true for anyone who has gained and lost a lot of weight.” Cheeky Physique® Sublime CurvesTM Derriere Shaping Cream ($49) features a nutmeg-based proprietary ingredient complex it calls VoluplusTM, as well as maca root, a Peruvian herb gaining ground in the wellness world for balancing thyroid hormones, improving libido, mood, and metabolism, and even strengthening memory.
Sol de JaneiroTM Brazilian Bum Bum CreamTM ($45) has been a cult-hit since its 2016 U.S. debut and is still a best-selling body product at Sephora®. This lush, buttery brew is especially beloved for its pistachio caramel scent. It’s steeped in guaranà extract, derived from a plant indigenous to the Amazon that contains almost four times as much caffeine as coffee beans. Rounding out the ingredient list: acai, coconut oil, and a dash of mica for glow. While guaranà enjoys a rep for temporarily constricting blood vessels (read: tightening the skin), Grossman is wary of slathering on high doses of caffeine. “With any ingredient you apply to the skin, you’re always at risk for some type of sensitivity,” she says. “I would recommend trying it on a small part of your body first.”
“Stretch marks are another common concern in this region,” says Hausauer. “Just like the breasts and abdomen, skin on the bum often stretches during pregnancy and with weight gain.” While the light-reflecting pigments in Avon® #NakedProofTM End of the LineTM Stretchmark Minimizing Lotion ($18) add a bit of optical camouflage for those confidence-busting striae (the medical term for stretch marks), shea butter and pomegranate ramp-up skin’s natural elastin.
Billed as both a bum beautifier and a chafing-protectant for runners and cyclists, the LushTM RumpTM Bottom Rub ($23) is unisex. Just check out the video for the product on the Lush website showing a man rubbing Rump onto his rump. The product contains aloe vera for soothing and avocado for softening. “There’s more friction, chafing, and occlusive pressure on this skin because we are constantly sitting on our bums and wearing tight clothing,” says Hausauer, who’s a big fan of head-to-toe hydration. “Definitely moisturize your bum after bathing.”
Some complimentary products were provided to the author for the purpose of writing this article.
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