Lately, there has been an on-line obsession with the “hottest new beauty treatment,” known as the black mask. Facebook and Instagram are simply filled with posts about this overnight beauty sensation. Consumers are drawn in by images of facial pores literally being "plucked" clean of dirt and oil, revealing perfectly clean skin. Perceived to effortlessly remove pesky black heads, this mask may be doing a bit more, but quite possibly, for the worse!
Firstly, facial masks are used as part of a beauty regime to treat a variety of skin issues such as aging or wrinkles, loss of hydration, or blocked pores caused by an overproduction of oil on the skin. Peel-off masks are applied liberally to the skin, left to dry, and then slowly peeled off, removing what to you may look like unsightly black heads. In reality, these masks are drying on the skin, attaching not only to your epidermis, or the top layer of the skin that contains pores, but also to the fine hairs of your face.
As you can imagine, removing these masks can be extremely painful! The epidermis protects the skin from infection, regulates PH, and maintains the moisture balance of the skin. These masks are only recommended to be used on the T-zone, which is commonly the oiliest area of one's face. Unfortunately, when using such a mask you may be increasing your risk of more oil and breakouts. Attached to every hair follicle is the sebaceous gland, which produces oil for your skin. By subsequently removing all the fine facial hair on your skin, oil may potentially be getting trapped rather than removed.
On the plus side, the black mask’s main ingredient is activated charcoal, the medical grade and not the one used for grilling! Chemicals and toxins are known to bind with charcoal, thus it is great for detoxification, internally and externally. At Island Skin Spa, we feature the Restorative Earth Mineral Facial, which incorporates Dermalogica's new "Charcoal Rescue Mask," an all-in-one treatment mask that brightens and invigorates skin. It also features ingredients such as volcanic ash, sea salt, bamboo extract, and AHA acids to deeply exfoliate skin.
At the end of the day, it is best to do your own research to find out what you are really putting on your skin or into your body before falling for every new "in" product.