In this op-ed Teen Vogue contributing writer Tatum Dooley addresses body-sheet-mask burnout.
Sheet masks are out of control. What started as harmless fun — doing a couple of sheet masks with friends and taking selfies — has proliferated into: boob sheet masks, belly masks, lip masks, finger masks, butt masks, and probably other areas that are in the works as we speak. To which we say: What about sheet masks for your tongue? Or ears? And my knees are definitely feeling left out. Beauty brands, if you’re reading this, I’ll send you my bill.
It was only a few years ago that sheet face masks started gaining traction in North America, which makes the rapid evolution into other body-part masks even more exhausting (I just got used to using them on my face!). At first, the shift toward non-face masks was with the advent of Baby Foot Mask.
Essentially, Baby Foot is a bag you place your feet in and, over the course of a few days, chunks of dry skin fall off (note: do not try this before an important event where you’ll be wearing sandals). It is essentially a pedicure in a bag, albeit grosser. But also, very effective.
I’m guessing beauty brands saw the popularity of face sheet masks and Baby Foot Mask and thought, “How can I jump on this train?” and butt masks were born sigh. While I was game to try Baby Foot, I absolutely refuse to put a mask on my butt, on principle.
Where do I start? For one, I’m not sold that the masks will do any noticeable toning, firming, or “detoxifying,” as promised (it’s such a large area! The promise alone seems ambitious). And secondly, do we really need another area of our bodies that we’re marketed to telling us it could be better? I’m fine with my butt just as it is, thank you very much. Even the mechanics of the mask don’t make sense to me, do I have to stay standing in the nude as the mask does its thing?
Moving on. Not only are there foot and butt masks, but we’ve also started seeing boob masks and even a mask for your vulva — which I’m not even going to entertain the idea of. All I will say about that is: You do not need a sheet mask for your vulva, please do not use it.
Some of these masks could be useful. The Hatch Belly Mask, for example, is meant for pregnant people who want to moisturize their expanding skin, and is a nice form of self-care. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City expands on the potential benefits. “It’s not just the cheeks on your face that are getting the all-star treatment nowadays. Generally speaking, the skin on the buttocks tends to age better than the skin on the face because it is exposed to much less UV light,” he tells Teen Vogue.
“However, buttock skin commonly develops dryness, irritation, chafing, and breakouts because of sweating and friction. With age, collagen and elastin becomes weaker, leading to loss of elasticity and drooping,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “Masks typically contain ingredients that address these issues, helping to firm, plump, and hydrate,” he continues. If these are symptoms you experience, a butt sheet mask might be the fit to add to your self-care regimen.
Plus, Sephora donated $1 of the sales in June from the Inc.redible Baddie Double Perks Rainbow Sheet Boob Mask to support LGBTQ organizations. As Sephora customer Amanda1279 concisely notes in their review on Sephora’s website about the Baddie Double Perks Rainbow Sheet Boob Mask (a tongue twister if we ever saw one), “all and all it was cute and in a sense did what it said it was going to do but at same time it’s gimmicky. I mean you won’t be mad at yourself if you purchase this I don’t think just cuz it’s cute and going towards a good cause for the month of June.”
But otherwise, we have to say: Let’s stick to good old-fashioned face masks and let regular moisturizer do the job for the rest of our bodies.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue