Will the Infamous Black Mask Trend Live Up to The Hype?
By: Brielle Sparacino
Over the years we’ve “baked” our faces, contouring ourselves into oblivion. We’ve painted our faces with Instagram eyebrows and highlighted our cheekbones so heavily, disco balls were jealous.
If you’re obsessed with beauty, chances are you’re constantly scrolling through your social media feed looking for the hottest new trend.
However, not all internet fads are makeup trends. There are just as many DIY skincare hacks circling around the internet. One of the most recent at-home skincare treatments is the black peel-off masks.
You might have seen online-trend-gurus mixing charcoal powder and Elmer’s glue to make a knock-off version of the mask, or you may have seen bloggers and barbers using the SHILLS Natural Science Purifying peel-off Mask on Instagram.
I opted to use the SHILLS peel off mask, leaving the Elmer’s glue to the real experts of that medium–kindergartners.
My curiosity about the mask sparked while watching a video of a woman peeling hard black stuff off her face in agony. In the video, she is afraid to peel off the mask because every time she tries, the pain is supposedly excruciating.
Of course, the only thought running through my mind at the time was I need to try this. I need to know if the mask hurts that badly. And so began the hunt for the infamous black mask.
After finding the mask on Amazon for a mere eight bucks, quite the bargain, I put in my order and received the package a couple of days later. Attached to my delivery was a Post-It note that read “Thanks! Free Kit in Box,” which I thought was pretty cute. Who doesn’t love free gifts with purchase?
I was pleasantly surprised to find a small brush applicator, a travel-size extractor tool encased in a clear plastic pouch and a complimentary peel-off nose strip. Although the brush was of poor quality, which was expected, the extractor and nose strip were a nice addition to the sale.
Before slathering on the mask, I made sure to read the directions carefully. It said to cleanse your face thoroughly before applying the mask to your skin. “Avoid eyebrow, eyes, and lips” and leave the mask on for 20 to 30 minutes before peeling it off.
I washed my face and brushed a fairly thin layer of the black mixture onto my skin. The layer could have been thicker, but I just wanted to make sure I applied enough to fully cover my entire face. While waiting, I noticed that as the mask hardened, it had a slightly reflective surface. I also noticed that it stiffened quickly, and by the end of the 30 minutes, it was ready to be peeled off.
There was no extra waiting time needed for the mask to dry around the nose or the tops of the cheeks. I was scared to peel it off at first, but I found that while there was some noticeable pain, it didn’t hurt me nearly as much as the woman in the video.
I also found that as I was peeling, it came off in pieces rather than all at once. I attributed that to the thin layer I applied. The mask also left quite a bit of residue on my face after it was removed, so I needed to wash my face again afterwards.
A few days later, I decided to experiment with the mask again. Only this time, I didn’t cleanse my face before applying, and I made sure the layer was thicker.
After waiting the suggested 30 minutes, I peeled off the mask and the entire thing came off in one fluid motion, much to my satisfaction. However, it did not remove nearly as many impurities as I thought it would.
I would give both the mask, and my overall experience, three out of five stars. I loved the extra goodies included with the mask and how soft it made my skin feel.
Unfortunately, the product didn’t make any significant improvements to my skin. So, if you want to use the mask simply as a spa-day treat, go for it, but don’t expect much.
This eight dollar charcoal mask won’t be revolutionizing the skincare world anytime soon.