Tuesday, 04 April 2017

Black Peel Off Face Masks: Are They Worth The Hype?

Whether you're into your skincare or not, it's hard to avoid the videos and images of black peel off face masks that are bombarding social media. While some show glamorous reality TV stars effortlessly peeling away their blackheads, others don't quite have the same effect and see users in screaming in pain. Whenever a new skincare craze comes along, we always like to do the research so you don't have to. I put one to the test to see if it was the cure to my blackhead woes, or whether it's all just one big fad.

As a side note, please excuse my make-up free selfie. I wouldn't usually leave the house without my slap on - see what I do for you guys?!

What are black peel off face masks?

These are charcoal-based masks that are designed to bind themselves to the excess oils, dead skin cells and impurities that clog the pores and pop those pesky blackheads straight out. Sounds amazing, right? I'm prone to blackheads on my nose and chin, so in theory, this sounds like a dream product.I did a little research and ordered one from a reputable online seller. If you are going to order one, please avoid purchasing from Amazon, eBay or other online marketplaces, as I've heard about people ordering masks that are actually nothing more than charcoal powder and PVA glue. Yes, that's right, the PVA glue you used to use in Art lessons at school. Be careful, we don't want you ruining your face.

My product arrived and I put it to the test...

After cleansing my face, I applied a thick layer to the blackhead-prone areas - across my nose and on the centre of my chin. One thing I will point out is that the thick liquid starts to dry quickly, so you do have to give your hands a bit of a scrub to get it off! The instructions state to leave the mask for 20-30 minutes. I opted for 30 minutes to ensure I got the full benefits in my trial, plus my skin is quite tolerant to products and I rarely suffer from sensitivity.After the 10 minute mark, the mask was definitely drying and it started to feel tight on the skin. Could I feel it drawing the toxins out of my pores? Not quite. The moisture on the other hand, I felt like my normal-to-oily skin would be bone dry upon removal.[caption id="attachment_4709" align="alignleft" ]IMG_8202 The strip removed from my nose. No blackheads :([/caption]The 30 minute timer went off and I excitedly yet apprehensively went to the mirror for removal time. I couldn't wait to watch these pesky blackheads ripped out, but I also didn't want to turn into another social media 'black face mask fail'. The mask came away easily at the sides and didn't actually hurt at all to remove. So long as you peel slowly and gently, it does come off in one piece, with a little black residue around the edges that removes easily with water. I looked down at the piece, hoping to see at least some extraction, but to my surprise there was nothing. Not one extraction. In all honesty, I hadn't expected miracles, but I did think it would pop out a few of my clogged pores. Those oh-so-satisfying Facebook videos were not to be.Surprisingly, my skin didn't actually feel too dry, but I followed with a hyaluronic acid and moisturiser to prevent this by morning.Not only did it not live up to its blackhead-banishing claims, it's not giving any benefit to your skin.

The verdict

Whether it's an unauthorised, PVA-laden product or not, these masks act as a glue. As well as binding to the congestion within the pore, it also sticks to the skin's surface and any vellus hair. Yes, your skin may feel incredibly smooth afterwards, but that's more to do with the fact that you've damaged your acid mantle, taken off all your baby hairs and removed the top layer of skin, rather than extracting pore-clogging nasties. The acid mantle is blend of natural surface oils that protect the skin from harmful micro-organisms, as well as helping to retain moisture and maintaining a generally healthy skin. I think it's safe to say that you won't be seeing any of these masks on our online shop or in clinic!

How can I get rid of blackheads?

Before you start ripping the blackheads out of your face, it's important to note that not all 'blackheads' are actually blackheads. Many are often sebaceous filaments that are there to protect the skin against harmful bacteria.For blackhead treatment at home, using a deep action yet non-stripping cleanser is your best bet. You could also add some salicylic acid into your regime. However, for best results, we do recommend an enzyme facial with extractions, such as DMK. To book a free consultation to decide which treatment option is best for you, call our clinic on 0113 282 3300.Written for you by: Ellie, Face the Future

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