Charcoal masks are suddenly all the rage. Those viral videos of countless reality stars pulling gunk out of their noses really are mesmerising – and quite gross.
But can they do more harm than good?
An expert has now warned how he believes the latest beauty trend could actually be seriously damaging people’s skin, rather than improving it.
Andrew Millward, a faciaist, aesthetician and beauty writer based in Birmingham, shared his strong views on Facebook, demanding: “To anyone tempted by or intrigued by these ‘Black Charcoal Peel Off Pore Masks’. DON’T. JUST DON’T!”
Continuing his self-described “rant”, he added: “They look very damaging to the skin. Literally ripping the surface layer of skin off (& probably the vellus hair with it) so of course it’s going to feel soft & smooth underneath.
“As for all those ‘blackheads’ it pulls out. The majority of the oils pulled from the skin will be sebaceous filaments and actually needed by the skin so will be replaced within 30 days anyway to ensure healthy skin balance.
“Blocked pores (blackheads / comedones) are entirely different to sebum lined pores.
“As a one off, the skin is likely to recover without issue but continued use, stripping away the skins natural oils and irritating the skin is a sure fast track to secondary skin concerns. You have been warned!”
Many of the masks are actually made with charcoal and glue – yep, you read that right – and are produced abroad, before being flogged on eBay and Amazon.
This means they are dodging the strict EU guidelines that have been put in place to protect us from harmful ingredients.
We might take a rain-check, and perhaps you should too?