If you thought charcoal masks were the ultimate product to get rid of blemishes and toxins, you better make sure you use them properly.
Activated charcoal is everywhere now, from beauty products to health treatments, but actually, it's nothing new. For millennia, charcoal has been treated and used for these purposes thanks to its highly beneficial properties. Due to its porous nature, charcoal is an amazing material capable of absorbing many different substances, which is why it’s been an ancient beauty product and an ingredient in medicine.
Now, one of the most popular products with activated charcoal is the famous peel-off masks that allegedly clean every single pore, leaving your skin cleansed and feeling soft. However, there are so many things that can go wrong with these highly popular masks that are sold by the millions everywhere. So, if you think that instead of making your skin glow beautifully, charcoal masks are actually ruining it, here are some common mistakes you might be making.
Not getting real charcoal
Since the charcoal craze hit, tons and tons of brands have released their own charcoal masks, and alongside the legit brands, many other questionable ones have also joined the craze. For that reason, if your masks are extremely cheap or come from a dubious brand, you're probably just applying black-colored glue on your face. So, if you really want to use a charcoal mask, make sure it's the real thing.
Making your own mask
I’ve seen lots of tutorials all over social media on how to create your own charcoal masks, but please, no matter how much you love DIY projects, don’t do it. Most of these DIY masks use regular school glue that will, of course, remove a lot of things from your skin, but it will also take off some layers of your skin, not to mention that they can be quite abrasive. It sounds like a fast and easy way to remove blackheads and imperfections, but putting school glue on your skin is never a good idea.
Using them too often
Even if you’re using the best charcoal mask money can buy, you shouldn't use it that often because it can be quite aggressive for the skin. Just think about it: the fact that you're not washing your skin, but pulling it instead, means you’re subjecting your skin to a very tough process that can damage and hurt your skin so terribly that you’ll have to get more expensive treatments afterwards to help it recover.
Not cleansing properly after taking it off
No matter what products you use, if you really want flawless skin, you have to follow a proper cleansing treatment afterwards, and charcoal masks aren’t the exception. Actually, in this case, this routine is crucial. Since you can actually rip out a protective layer of skin during the process, it’s very important that you clean the area very well to avoid any possible infections or blemishes. Not only that, most of these masks won’t even remove blackheads entirely, but part of the keratin plugs above them (that aren’t really harmful to the skin), leaving all the dirt and impurities in the skin, so it’s important to do a deep cleansing and to keep a good skincare routine.
Using it on the entire face
As you might have seen already, this is a very aggressive beauty product that has to be used properly to avoid horrible consequences on the skin. For that matter, if you’re still eager to use them, it’s advisable to only apply them to specific areas and not the whole face. For instance, for most of us, the most problematic area we have when it comes to blemishes and blackheads is the nose. So, using charcoal masks on the nose every once in a while won’t be as violent as putting it on the entire skin.
Using charcoal in this format
When you see the pros and cons of charcoal masks, it seems like not using these might be a better idea and more beneficial for your skin than actually using them. The thing is, and this is the case with all peel-off masks, that it might be tricky because you do feel your skin extremely soft and smooth after using these, but it’s actually because you’re removing a crucial protective layer of the skin, leaving it in a very vulnerable state and prone to infections and other horrible risks.
Charcoal is actually quite good for the skin, due to its absorbing properties capable of trapping specks of dirt and oils accumulated in the pores, but there are other ways you can try its magic, like exfoliants and washable masks. Again, and this is advice you should follow with anything you put on your skin. Before using any of these, make sure you’re getting the right thing, that these products will react well with your type of skin, and that you’re actually doing something good for it instead of just following a trend.
Images by @boscia