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Derms Say This Two-Product Cocktail Is All You Need to Kick Butt Pimples to the Curb

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerMay 29, 2020

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Of all the types of zits you can get, the ones on your butt are next level. They seem to creep up out of nowhere, particularly during the sweatier months of the year, and you may not even realize they’re there until you’re checking out your backside in the mirror to see how cute it looks in a new bathing suit. Or, worse, when you sit down and are greeted with a stabbing, pimple-induced pain on your peach. The one saving grace, though, is that you only need two particular butt acne products to stop those behind breakouts in their tracks.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself dealing with butt-ne for the first time ever, derms say there’s a reason. All of our go-to quarantine activities—like skipping showers and exclusively wearing leggings as pants—create the perfect environment for pimples to set up shot. Not showering can contribute to the buildup of dead skin and dirt, and sweating underneath restrictive clothing can promote the growth of bacteria, all of which leads to breakouts.

“Butt acne is folliculitis of the buttocks, which is an infection of the hair follicles, where they become inflamed and can be tender,” says board-certified dermatologist Shari Sperling, MD, who confirms that it can be caused by things like bacteria or fungus, chronic rubbing or friction from clothing, or sweating with tight-fitted clothing.

To combat it, she first and foremost suggests steering clear of any acne-inducing habits. “Avoid rubbing, picking, or exfoliating because that can cause irritation or pigmentation changes,” says Dr. Sperling. “Wear loose-fitting clothing [and] change out of sweaty clothes after sweating.”

More importantly, though, you’ll want to stock your shower with acne-fighting ingredients, like a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cleanser. Then, after you get out, you’ll want to hit those spots hard with a topical treatment. Below, the two butt acne products that board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, recommends to kick your body acne’s butt once and for all.

Replenix 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash, $22

Butt acne products
Photo: Replenix

There’s a reason why derms—including Dr. Pimple Popper herself—consider benzoyl peroxide the gold standard for treating acne on both your face and body. The ingredient acts as an antibacterial that kills acne-causing bacteria (known as Propionibacterium acnes, or “p.acnes” for short), helping to do away with any sort of angry, red, inflamed pimple. This product has 5 percent of the active ingredient in the form of a soap-free cleanser that won’t dry out or irritate your skin. Because it’s a pretty strong solution, use it only on the areas where you’ve got body acne (in this case, your butt), and stick with your regular body wash to cleanse the rest of your skin.

Butt acne products
Photo: Glycolix

After you step out of the shower, give yourself a mini butt facial (yep, that’s a thing) with these treatment pads. They’re packed with glycolic acid, which acts as a chemical exfoliant to melt away dead skin from the surface. This helps to prevent bacteria from getting trapped under there, and speeds up cell turnover to bring healthy skin cells to the surface and replace the dead ones. With 20 percent acid, these pads are particularly strong, so if they feel like too much you can swap in the brand’s 10 or 15 percent pads. And one other thing to keep in mind? Glycolic acid is sun sensitive, so be sure to layer on some serious SPF if you’re planning to use it ahead of a day at the beach. Then, you can comfortably go forth with that “suns out, buns out” way of life.

Now that your routine is prepped and ready to kick butt acne to the curb, check out the other things a derm says you should be doing in the shower for the sake of your skin health in the video below:

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