Yes, Butt Masking Is A Thing - Here's How It Works

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In the 2010s, Instagram was inundated with sheet mask selfies. These masks, a tried and true K-beauty trend before they ever hit American markets, allow active ingredients to sit directly on the skin, absorbing over the course of 10 to 15 minutes, or for however long you set your timer. While some are meant to brighten the complexion, other masks boast anti-aging and acne-fighting effects. "The physical [sheet] mask prevents the evaporation of beneficial ingredients," explains physician's assistant Laura Dyer in a conversation with The Cut. In other words, each active has the chance to work its magic before washing down the drain — plus you can look like a ski mask-clad villain in the process.

As well as sheet masks, there are clay masks, cream masks, and peel-off masks, each designed with a specific purpose in mind. While certain skin concerns are most effectively treated by a certified dermatologist, over-the-counter formulas can offer temporary relief. In recent years, the market has expanded to include hand masks, hair masks for all different types and textures, lip masks, and even butt masks designed to target acne, dry skin, and conditions like keratosis pilaris. If you're already a fan of face masks, a hydrating butt mask could be just what you need to achieve smoother, healthier-looking skin. Here's how they work and what you need to know before ordering a supply.

Butt masks and face masks share similar ingredients

When it comes to their ingredients, face masks and butt masks have a lot in common. "Butt masks offer various usages contingent on the type of ingredients they contain, including acne-specific ingredients, moisturizers, and exfoliators," New York-based family nurse practitioner Jodi LoGerfo explains to Byrdie, adding, "So, they really aren't that different than masks intended for use on the face. Rather, they are for specific skin conditions of the butt." Best of all, because the skin on your bottom isn't quite as delicate as the skin on your face, you don't need to worry too much about irritation.

Butt pimples are especially uncomfortable. Most often caused by inflamed hair follicles, you can target these pesky bumps with an exfoliating mask. Shop for solutions that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acids — the Le Tush Clarifying butt mask available on Ulta Beauty is always a great option. If the skin on your rear is dry, try out a more hydrating formula like Bawdy's plant-based collagen butt mask. Or, turn to one of the viral booty scrubs from Anese. The brand has been making a splash on social media since well before the Pandemic. Although certain products advertise cellulite and stretch mark-fighting ingredients, very little scientific evidence supports these claims. At the very least, a mask treatment will make your butt look temporarily lifted.

Can you use a regular face mask on your butt?

Due to their similar list of ingredients, it's okay to use your face mask collection on your rear. However, as is the case with any new product, it's best to start with a patch test — after all, no one wants to deal with an allergic reaction on their butt. Swab a small amount of the formula on the underside of your arm, washing it off after a few minutes per product instructions. "Even natural fragrances, such as tea tree oil, can cause reactions. I recommend avoiding fragrance altogether," Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, warns Cleveland Clinic. If you notice a rash forming in the next day or two, it's best to steer clear of the mask entirely.

When applying your patch-tested mask, start with a clean, dry bottom. There will be two separate sheets in each package for your comfort. Not to worry — most masks are designed to stick to the skin while the ingredients work their magic. As wait for the next 10 to 15 minutes, turn on your favorite YouTube channel, brush your teeth, or perfect the order of your skincare routine. Whatever you do, don't sit down. If you're working with clay or cream-based solutions, massage the product into your backside and wipe it off with a wet towel after 15 minutes. Next, you'll be ready to book a butt facial — yes, those also exist.