Peel-off charcoal face masks took the internet by storm with beauty bloggers and celebrities alike boasting of their benefits in bizarre videos online.
And it seems that the wider beauty industry is jumping on the peel-off bandwagon – with one cosmetic company launching a peel-off foundation.
In a viral YouTube video, vlogger Raye Boyce tests out the £16 not4u Real Skin Patch from South Korea – and viewers can’t seem to stop watching.
Raye explains that the product protects skin from getting dirty – because it layers on so thick – and therefore helps combat acne.
And rather than laboriously scrubbing off your makeup at the end of the day, you simply peel it away.
So does it work? Speaking to the camera, she said: ‘It definitely changes the texture of my skin. I feel like my skin texture is better without this on, but I guess you gotta choose: a little more texture of a bunch of pimples.’
Her viewers commented saying it was was strangely therapeutic, adding that they were intrigued to try it out for themselves.
Skincare experts have been actively discouraging the use of the tacky charcoal masks warning that they could be extremely damaging to the skin.
Facialist Andy Millward recently took to Facebook to warn against the use of the masks claiming that they are ripping off the surface layer of skin.
He wrote: ‘To anyone tempted by or intrigued by these ‘Black Charcoal Peel Off Pore Masks’. DON’T. JUST DON’T!!
‘They look very damaging 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.’
He continued to say that although on appearance the masks may seem to achieve smoother skin the long-term damage will not outweigh the benefits.
He continues: ‘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!’
Dr Yannis Alexandrides of 111 Harley Street confirms that Millward is right to be concerned.
Speaking to the MailOnline he said: ‘I understand the appeal of a quick-fix solution you can use at home, and why these charcoal facemasks have gained so much popularity, but I must say I find the damage they can cause very worrying.
‘You are essentially taking the top layer of your skin off, which is why it feels so instantly smooth, but with this comes many of your essential oils and protective cells, which keep the skin healthy and help guard against bacteria.
‘This means in the long run you are leaving your skin more open to harmful pollutants and the end result is damaged, dry skin.’
Other dermatologists share Millward’s concerns especially as recent trends have seen YouTubers creating their own charcoal masks using glue as an ingredient.
California-based dermatologist Christine Choi Kim recently explained to Seventeen magazine that using the ingredient to do the opposite of what is intended.
She explained: ‘This charcoal and glue mixture could actually clog pores, leading to blemishes.
‘Sensitive skin types may react to the stripping action of peeling off dried glue which removes the top protective layers of the epidermis and could lead to rashes [and]dryness.’