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In the past few years, there has been an explosion of skincare masks on the market. Charcoal. Peel-away. Cartoon-themed. You would be hard-pressed to walk through your local CVS without passing several displays containing eye masks, nose masks and full-face masks. And now, there are new sheet masks for your stomach and glutes.
From the popular brand Yes To and available exclusively at Target, these new masks claim to impart multiple benefits when you make them a part of your beauty routine. There are masks made for acne prevention, while others focus on “retexturizing” and firming. They’re also adorably heart-shaped:
Slap one on for 10 minutes, rub in the remaining serum once the time is up and revel in your improved visage — or so the packaging claims. I was curious enough to give it a shot.
First, a disclosure: I have used several Yes To products before and have liked them very much, particularly the Yes To Cucumbers facial wipes. They’re cruelty-free and paraben-free, and most of the ingredients are easy to pronounce. They’re a great drugstore brand that’s a little less expensive than Burt’s Bees but which still aims to produce clean skin and hair products.
Because of my past experience with their products, I was cautiously optimistic about the efficacy of the body masks. So I picked up the firming masks, which boast caffeine, coffee and guarana as ingredients that will help tauten and tone your skin, albeit temporarily.
For the record, there has been some scientific research that suggests that caffeine found in coffee can decrease the appearance of cellulite by improving blood flow beneath the skin. The study was small, however, and required multiple applications of a product containing additional ingredients. Still, I hoped that I would see some firming of the skin or a reduction in period-related bloat.
Here’s what my belly looked like before I used the mask:
And here’s a shot from the side:
Having secured my before pictures, I slapped on a belly mask:
Once out of the package, the masks were extremely wet and felt kind of slimy. They had a pleasant, not overwhelming, tropical scent. I centered the stomach mask directly over my midsection and smoothed it into place. I started my timer and continued about my day, making a cup of tea and washing some dishes. The mask did not budge. The only time it wrinkled up was when I bent over the coffee table.
Once the timer went off, I peeled off the mask, rubbed in the remaining serum and photographed my stomach again.
For the record, it’s hard to force yourself to completely relax your stomach muscles. Naturally, you use your abs to stabilize your core and keep you upright. Socially, you tighten your abs because we live in a world where sucking in your stomach is de rigueur. It took me several tries to relax enough to take what I felt was a fair “after” picture. I studied it carefully and didn’t see a difference. I sent it to my best friends, knowing they would be honest. They didn’t see a difference either. I was somewhat disappointed, but not especially surprised.
Here I am from the front:
And here’s how I looked from the side:
The booty masks (which I did not photograph for obvious reasons) were far more irritating to test because they require you to lie face-down on your stomach for 10 minutes while your butt gets cold. I’m not sure if I was the wrong target audience for the booty mask (not to brag, but I would say my butt is already reasonably taut), but this mask also did nothing. I did the requisite face-down thing with the mask on and, upon peeling it off, once again experienced zero visible results.
The takeaway? It’s highly possible that the other masks — made to make your skin glow or clear up acne — are more effective than the tightening and firming option. It’s also possible that one might experience tightening and firming with multiple uses of this mask on a daily basis. However, after my lackluster initial results, I’m not especially interested in trying again. After all, I can just wear Spanx.
If you want to try the masks for yourself, though, check out this coupon that will save you a couple of bucks. Just make sure to use it before it expires on August 31. And if you want to order the masks online, you can find the belly mask here ($3.99 without the coupon) and the booty mask here ($4.99 without the coupon).
Will you give these a try?