Booby Creams Are Everywhere — But Do They Do Anything?

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
If you’re as fastidious about your complexion as we are about ours, then you know the importance of extending your skin-care routine below your neck. Many a dermatologist has told us that we should be doing everything to our neck and décolletage that we do to our face. But what about our boobs? (No, not our chest area, but our actual boobies.)

It seems many beauty brands have been asking themselves the same question, and they've decided that the answer is a slew of creams to treat and care for your breasts. Sisley, Talika, and baby beauty brand Mustela have introduced — or will soon introduce — creams that promise to firm, hydrate, and protect your chesticles.

While one half of our brain, when we learned this, wondered if we’d been disastrously neglecting our breasts, the other was suspicious of a marketing ploy to get us to buy yet another specialized treatment cream. So we went to skin-care straight shooter Neal Schultz, MD, an NYC dermatologist and founder of BeautyRx, to get the real story.

According to Dr. Schultz, there are ways to improve the look of your boobs in both the short and long terms. Most short-term products fall into two categories: plumpers and tensors. “Plumpers help with fine lines, temporarily [expanding the skin] to make fine lines disappear. Tensors contract the skin to make it tighter.”

Dr. Schultz says the common thread for all of these creams is hydration. “Moisturization helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and improves the texture of the skin,” he says. “And anytime the skin becomes smoother, it reflects light better and makes [the chest] look brighter and younger.” He notes that this is a temporary, instant-gratification effect, as it doesn’t actually alter the firmness of the breasts.

By that logic, why not just apply your regular moisturizer on your breasts? Dr. Schultz says you can most certainly do that and receive the exact same temporary results. He does point out that the skin on the chest is slightly different than on the face, so a moisturizer would need to be the correct formulation. “These areas don’t have a high concentration of oil glands [like the face does], and therefore can’t hold your natural moisture in,” he says. This means you would need a humectant moisturizer that's able to draw moisture into the skin. He advises putting a face moisturizer on your chest and then applying a body lotion on top of it for an enhanced smoothing, plumping, and moisturizing effect.

If you're looking for a long-term benefit, Dr. Schultz says your focus shouldn’t be primarily on moisture, but rather on exfoliation. “Regular exfoliation thickens the normal, live part of the epidermis and sends a message to the dermis to make more collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including hyaluronic acid, all of which contribute to long-term firming,” he says. He defines "regular" as daily, and says to couple that with moisturizer for a subtle firming effect — although it will take at least a few weeks to see the (subtle) difference.

The big issue with breast creams, according to Dr. Schultz, is that breasts that one may actually want to firm — large, heavy ones — aren’t going to receive any real benefit. Smaller breasts without a lot of weight, he says, will see a slight improvement, mostly because “the firming effect isn’t being fought by gravity.”

In short: Breast creams are really just clever marketing. Much like cellulite creams, they can create a change in appearance, but they cannot actually “fix” certain issues. If you really want to take good care of your breasteses, your best bet is to exfoliate and moisturize regularly. That said, these creams aren’t going to cause a negative effect — other than on your wallet — so if you prefer your treatments to be targeted, then have at it. Either way, let’s all vow to give our boobs some TLC. They warrant just as much skin-care love as our faces, and it’s high time they got the attention they deserve — other than from creepy dudes on the street, that is.