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The Truth about Black Masks

March 23, 2017

If you’ve been on Facebook or YouTube lately, you’ve probably seen the ads and videos for these ‘miracle’ black masks. The ones that remove all your blackheads and buildup and purify skin with charcoal? You’ve maybe even seen some of the YouTube tutorials for the DIY versions. All this buzz probably has you intrigued, but before you click the ‘BUY NOW’ button, read this!

Blackheads and build up on your nose and chin are annoying, I get it. But if you watch any of those videos about removing those masks, you’ll notice one thing: they’re all in pain. Haven’t seen it yet? Watch the video below! (WARNING: There is a little bit of profanity.)

Generally, when it comes to skin care, you shouldn’t be screaming when you apply it or remove it from your skin.

As she points out in this video, many of these masks are made by unregulated, kind of sketchy companies. Without regulations, you can’t be certain about what is in these masks and what it will do for (or to!) your skin.

So, on top of potentially not doing what they say it will do due to lack luster ingredients, there is a very real risk of damaging your skin. These masks, especially the DIY versions, bond themselves to the oils and live skin cells which all get ripped off upon removal. You’re essentially ripping off the top layer of skin when you remove the mask.

‘What’s so bad about that? It’s basically like exfoliating right?’ Well, no, not really. When you use a proper exfoliator it removes only the dead skin cells that are sitting on the skin. Your live skin cells and natural oils are left in tact to do their job. When you remove these oils, you open your skin up to micro-organisms and pollutants that will cause damage (and probably more blackheads) to your skin.

Many of the ‘blackheads’ that you’re worrying about are actually sebaceous filaments. The natural oils settle into the pores to protect skin from everyday chemicals and pollutants. Removing these is what will cause further breakouts and even more serious problems with continued use.

What’s more, the aggressive pulling from these masks causes pores to enlarge even more. In many cases, the mask isn’t able to remove the entire blackhead or get all of the debris out from your skin. Which means those blackheads you just pulled out? Yeah, they’re going to come back bigger and nastier next time.

Using the Black Mask once likely won’t cause long term damage, but your skin is going to be incredibly sensitive for the next month or so. During that time, especially the first week after the mask, avoid any harsh chemicals or exfoliants on your skin. Make sure you are cleansing your skin regularly and applying moisturizer to help rebuild the oil barrier. If blackheads are a problem, using a mud mask to help gently bring the debris to the surface of the skin once a week will help to treat and prevent any future breakouts. Also, investing in a regular exfoliator to use 2-3x a week will be more than enough exfoliating for your skin.

What do you think? Have you used a black mask? Did you notice any negative side effects?

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