Uncovering the truth about charcoal facial masks

- A hot new beauty product trending on social media has dermatologists concerned. Viral videos and advertisements for the charcoal facial masks have led more people to test out the product without knowing its true effects.

"I saw it on my Facebook feed, and I was like, 'Oh, this looks so cool.' Seeing the blackheads [removed], it was just so satisfying watching them peeling it off their nose," said Kyleigh Eubanks, who has worked as a dermatological medical assistant for seven years.  "I felt like I was pretty safe, since I work in the profession."

She said it was exciting at first, as she smeared the sticky black substance over her entire face and waited for it to dry. Once it was time to remove the mask, she got an unwelcome surprise.

"You put it on, and it's pretty much like a black glue," said Eubanks, who was left with redness and peeling skin after pulling off the mask.

Videos are going viral of people screaming as they yank the charcoal mask off their skin -- taking facial hair, even eyebrows, along with it.

Dermatologist Seth Forman of Forman Dermatology in Tampa said many people don't realize they could be taking off a protective layer of skin along with their clogged pores.

"By ripping off the top layer of skin, which is the epidermis, you do expose the lower two layers of skin to bacteria, viruses, fungi," warned Forman.

Many people are also ordering the product offline from unknown companies overseas.

"What makes it most dangerous is the fact that we don't know what's in these charcoal masks," Forman continued. "People are getting things in foreign languages that are being delivered to their doorstep. They are mixing it with super glue and other types of compounds."

The charcoal mask can leave the skin in a vulnerable state. By damaging the protective layer of skin, the skin is more exposed to the outside elements, potentially causing the skin to become more prone to breakouts.

Doctors recommend that patients carefully review the ingredients before trying any trendy new product and consult with a medical expert to make sure it is safe.

"Go get masks, go get peels, but get them done at facilities by providers you know and trust," added Forman.

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