While peel-off masks are nothing new, they have seemed to make a comeback in the mainstream. People all over the internet are sharing their experience with the new “charcoal peel masks” with the hopes of ridding their black heads for good. However, anything that seems too good to be true, it usually is.
The fact of the matter is, while these popular masks seem promising and almost magical, they have major potential to damage your skin. As you will find out, they are simply not worth ripping your facial hairs off for.
What’s in Those Things Anyway?
First off, charcoal, while a great detoxifier for internal use, is actually very abrasive for the skin. It can cause minor damage to the skin surface when applied to the skin. Additionally, commercial charcoal masks contain a variety of toxic ingredients including:
• Hexylene Glycol: Known to cause skin irrational, low acute oral and dermal toxicity in laboratory animals. It is toxic to the liver, kidneys, lungs, gastro-intestinal tract and central nervous system.
• Glycerin: made from a highly processed, low grade dried vegetables that are then bleached, and deodorized. It is a viscous fluid that thickly coats the skin and pulls in moisture, which can actually dehydrate the skin cells and deprive it of oxygen.
• Dmdm Hydantoin: toxic formaldehyde component
• Tetrasodium Edta: Preservative made from formaldehyde, known carcinogen and cancerous.
• Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate: Known toxin when inhaled, toxic and damaging to the lungs and skin. Even the cosmetic industry admits that this ingredient is toxic and yet it is still used.
How Peel-Off Masks Damage the Skin
If the ingredients on their own weren’t bad enough, together they make a glue that binds to the cells on the skin’s surface as well as tiny vellus hair, and then rips them off. While some sebaceous oil plugs (black heads) may be removed, they will come back in a few days if the underlying causes are ignored. But more than blackheads, the mask is removing cells from the outer layer of skin (stratum corneum) and some hair along with it (ouch).
Most people claim the masks make their skin feel “soft” and clean; however, this is because the outer layer of the skin was just removed…there are more effective ways to cleanse the skin without damaging it.
What’s more, is that these masks can actually lead to further blackheads and imbalances in the skin by stripping it of all its oils, which are necessary for healthy skin. The natural oils of the skin (sebum), is a key component of the protective barrier of the skin. Without sebum your skin is vulnerable to harmful pathogens and toxins in the external environment. Ripping off the top layer of the skin not only weakens its defenses, acting as a crutch, it can lead people to ignore the underlying causative factors in their blackheads to begin with.
So this is the major problem with most commercial skincare products, they promise long-term solutions that usually cause new and additional issues. That is why we recommend a holistic approach to skin care, supplemented by high quality, truly natural skincare products that are gentle and native to the body.
Handling Black Heads the Right Way
To start off, a change in values and knowledge is key for managing anything wisely. Instead of looking for a magic lotion, increase your understanding of the skin so you can recognize its symptoms as communication signals. This will make it easier for you to make lifestyle shifts that improve the health and appearance of your skin.
For example, it might be helpful to understand that having pores and skin oil are good things. Many people seek to completely eliminate pores and oil for pure aesthetic and it is this fragmented approach to skin wellness that leads to issues. However, pores help the skin breathe and oil protects the skin from bacteria.
Additionally, find out if you actually have blackheads or if you’re just looking at sebaceous filaments. A blackhead is an actual buildup of dirt, oil and bacteria in the skin pore. But a sebaceous filament, while visible, is not necessarily harmful and will manage itself.
The best solution to handling blackheads or any skin problem is to focus on skin health, not just beauty. Healthy skin will inevitably be beautiful, so learn about your skin and body and make adjustments to your lifestyle to support the health of your largest organ. Not many people know their skin is just a reflection of the health of their Liver and Lungs. You can scrub the skin day and night but if you are engaged in toxic behavior the Liver and Skin will suffer.
Lastly, natural clay masks are far more effective for cleansing the skin and are not abrasive and damaging. Also, clay has added benefits such as its ability to increase circulation to the skin. And in general, be sure that whatever skin care products you are using are truly natural. If you don’t recognize the ingredient, probably don’t use it, or do some research. As you’ve learned, a quick couple of minutes on Pubmed will expose the truth about toxic chemicals in common skin care products.
For a super effective and clean mask experience, please consider the Alitura Clay Mask. With powerful ingredients such as Freshwater Pearl powder, American Ginseng, and four different clays, the Alitura Clay Mask is truly one of a kind.