A recent TV report showed a man in distress after using a charcoal peel-off mask. Health authorities are now investigating it if it's a health hazard.
Do you love skin-care products like the charcoal peel-off masks? Be warned: the Department of Health (DOH) is investigating the safety of black facial masks or charcoal peel-off masks for public consumption after a TV report featured a man in distress using the product.
On Wednesday, a 24 Oras report by Tina Panganiban-Perez showed a video of a man using a black facial mask. After applying the product on his face, he felt uneasy and was subsequently distressed when he tried to peel it off.
“Aray… ah patay. Hala ano na ba nangyari dito? Aray masisira na mukha ko dito… Patay na… ah narinig niyo ‘yun? Ah wala na talaga, aray…” the man said.
Product needs testing
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the product in question should be seized and tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Kailangang kumpiskahin ‘yung produkto at ‘yung produkto na ‘yan ay dapat ipasuri sa FDA kung ‘yan ba ay kailangang sumailalim sa kanilang testing. Paimbestigahan na lang natin,” Duque said.
[“We need to confiscate the product and have it analyzed by the FDA. Let’s have it investigated” Duque said.]
Effective but people need to be responsible
Dermatologist Dr. Cristabel Sy said face masks are effective when it comes to removing dirt like blackheads and whiteheads on one’s face.
However, Sy advised everyone to check the ingredients of the product they’re using before putting it on their body. This is especially important in case the user has certain allergies to certain products.
“Look at the contents of the product especially if you have some allergy to some substances. Before putting it on your whole face, you try to put a small amount of the mask at the back of your ears or sa front ng ears kasi sensitive ‘yung area na ‘to [or in front of your ears because the area is sensitive],” Sy said.
Overusing, misusing charcoal peel-off masks
Charcoal peel-off masks work by applying the thick black paste onto your face, waiting for it to dry, then peeling the resulting “mask” off. When the mask dries, it hardens and traps facial impurities like blackheads, whiteheads, dead skin, and oil plugs. All of these are then pulled from the skin when mask is peeled off.
The result is a skin that looks polished and clean while being soft and smooth. At least, that should be the case.
But overusing the product, or at least misusing it, can damage your skin.
“The mask sticks to not just the blackheads and whiteheads, but also the skin and hair on the face,” said Dr. Low Chai Ling, medical director of The Sloane Clinic in Singapore. “When the mask is removed, it strips off the outermost layer of skin and oils that protect the skin from the environment.
“At the same time, the mask pulls out the small, fine hairs on the face, causing significant pain not unlike that of waxing. If you’ve ever waxed your delicate facial skin, you may have experienced redness, irritation, rashes and sensitivity. The charcoal peel-off mask can cause the same problems, especially if used often.”
Taking care of your skin
One of the cool features in our skin is a natural protective barrier called the lipid barrier. This lipid barrier minimizes moisture loss and is essential to our skin’s health and strength. Low said that disrupting this lipid barrier through brute force like frequent peel-off masks makes our skin more sensitive and vulnerable to irritation.
“The removal of blackheads, whiteheads and oil plugs is definitely a huge draw of this charcoal peel-off mask, which explains the product’s phenomenal popularity,” Low said.
“However, it’s the invisible damage to the skin that causes most concern. What you don’t see being removed are the skin’s protective oils, which are essential for the healthy function of the skin.”
Beware of homemade recipes
People should also be careful of homemade charcoal peel-off masks. These homemade recipes are usually shared on social media and use activated charcoal powder and, get this, superglue. Do you really want superglue on your face?
“Superglue contains cyanoacrylate, which hardens very quickly,” Low said. “When you rip off the homemade charcoal mask, you may experience skin burn and run the risk of seriously damaging your skin.”
So make sure you only use products that are good on your skin. You also have to see if they have been tried and tested by professionals.
When you buy these products, make sure they’re from reputable skincare brands. You should always check its ingredients if they’re good for you and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Avoid the haphazard homemade recipes as much as you can. If you have existing skin conditions like sensitive or dry skin, or eczema, avoid the skincare product altogether.
If you do use charcoal peel-off masks, Low said you should apply a moisturizer after peeling. This is to help regulate your skin’s moisture levels.
“While you want your skin to be clean and free of blackheads and whiteheads, not soothing or hydrating it after will only dry it out, leaving your skin vulnerable to environmental stressors and accelerating the effects of ageing,” she said.
Source: GMA News, South China Morning Post
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