Nod your head if this sounds familiar… you’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, loving pictures of luxurious spa treatments and beautiful bathrooms posted by your favourite brands (ahem @everybodi.co) and before you know it you can’t peel (pun intended) your eyes away from a video of someone peeling a mask off their face. Yep! We’ve all been there!
These super trendy masks come with all kinds of amazing promises. They’re filled with skin purifying charcoal (that’s why they are black). They’ll suck out any blackheads or blocked pores. As you peel them off, you’ll lift off any dirt or blockages. But are they effective as they are interesting?
As a very simple explanation, peel off masks remove some bacteria, dirt and facial hair. But that’s about where the benefits end. Along with the dirt that’s removed, the masks strip away a layer of skin, vellus hair and other natural hair like formations that help the flow of oil through your pores. As for those ‘blackheads’ that the masks pull out. These are actually the hair like formations which your skin needs to keep your oil in balance.
Using these masks also poses the risk of removing too much of the sebum that your skin naturally produces. When sebum is unbalanced, skin will produce oil to overcompensate for the loss. Oily skin is actually a sign of skin irritation.
These masks can leave your skin red, dehydrated and inflamed. Some masks use a type of craft glue and we hope we don’t have to tell you to stay far far away from those!
As a once off, your skin is likely to recover without too many issues but continued use, stripping away your skin’s natural oils and irritating the skin is a fast track to secondary skin concerns.
There are so many other ways to unclog pores in a much less irritating way. Look for non-peel off masks with charcoal or clay and exfoliates to draw out the toxins.
Trade in your peel off mask for a natural coffee scrub with the added benefit of skin repairing oils and your skin will love you for it!