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Are you being kind to your butt?
[LOS ANGELES] Butt skin care is definitely a thing now.
The same way that facial beauty routines have expanded to include cleansers, toners, serums, creams and masks, beauty brands have started releasing products specially tailored to your booty. There are now sheet masks for your rear end, along with special moisturisers, exfoliating scrubs, serums and oils.
And if you want your backside to have the same dewy, post-chemical peel glow your face has after a facial, aestheticians are also offering the same services for your bottom.
Beauty analysts say the rise in butt-specific products is likely a result of the broader growth of the market for skin care, which was a US$5.6 billion industry in 2018, according to market research firm NPD Group. The companies are also catering to consumers who want their skin-care products to be "clean". (While "clean" beauty is an ambiguous term, it generally describes brands that claim they don't use harmful ingredients in their products.)
"If you think about the bigger trends in beauty and why skin care as a whole is growing so fast, it's because of clean brands," said Larissa Jensen, an analyst at NPD Group.
Ms Jensen said the skin-care industry had grown 8 per cent between June 2018 and 2019.
Consumers are also dedicating more time, money and energy into developing a beauty routine for their whole bodies.
"What we've noticed is there's a boom in what we're calling inclusive wellness. Basically this includes every aspect of yourself and every part of yourself," said Emma Chiu, the global director of research company JWT Intelligence. "We're seeing that we're embracing every part of our body, and this includes the more intimate parts of our body."
Startups are paving the way for "intimate" skin care, according to Ms Chiu, while legacy beauty brands are taking a wait-and-see approach.
Nannette de Gaspé's eponymous skin-care line, known for its dry sheet masks, offers Tush, a five-week treatment that claims to "reshape the contours of the buttocks area while restoring firmness, suppleness and bounce for a visually more sculpted tush".
Anese, a skin-care company founded in Los Angeles in 2016, took a more lighthearted and youthful approach to naming its original booty trio: the That Booty Tho peach-scented scrub, the Down with the Thickness collagen mask and the Have You Seen My Underwear oil.
Anese's newest product is Illuminaughty, an illuminating scrub that leaves an "everlasting glow" and smells like coconut and jasmine, according to its product page.
"I was nervous I would come out looking like a disco ball or a stripper covered in glitter but it was the perfect amount of glow," reads a review of the product on the company's website.
Bawdy Beauty, opened in 2017, offers four core sheet masks, each with extraordinary claims. (One claims it "gives your butt an instant glow and optically sculpts your cheeks, for a beach and Instagram ready butt #buttfie.")
The masks are currently sold in more than 800 Ulta Beauty stores in the United States, according to Bawdy's founder, Sylwia Wiesenberg.
A self-described lifelong rump obsessive, ms Wiesenberg said she quit her career in finance to "build beautiful butts". Before Bawdy Beauty, Ms Wiesenberg was the proprietor of Tonique Fitness, a booty-focused workout routine. Earlier this year, Nylon Magazine nicknamed her the "fairy butt-mother" of New York Fashion Week, after models walking for bodywear brand Chromat used her sheet masks to get their bottoms runway ready.
This fall the brand will be releasing a CBD-infused sheet mask they say will help with muscle recovery — presumably for after a workout filled with squats, glute-bridges and lunges — and a CBD-infused moisturiser, Ms Wiesenberg said.
Behind the Times
"I love how brands such as Bawdy and Anese, they're approaching this in kind of a tongue in cheek, humorous approach," Ms Chiu said. "When you're speaking about intimate skin care you don't want to be too serious."
The lighthearted, slightly mischievous tone of the marketing matches the way butts are portrayed today. The criteria for which bottoms are deemed beautiful in magazines and the media have expanded from skinny (and likely white) to a curvier model.
The convergence of the wellness, skin care, body positivity and pro-booty trends may have created a perfect lane for tush-focused entrepreneurs: every butt is beautiful, but also, every butt could be even more beautiful.
Ms Wiesenberg has taken that to heart.
"I want to feel beautiful, but more so I want my butt to fit my face," she said.