Do-it-yourself charcoal mask facials can cause serious and permanent skin damage

Doctor warns of scarring and infections
Posted at 3:17 AM, May 24, 2017

It looks fun, even funny and it appears all the cool pretty people are trying it on YouTube: do-it-yourself charcoal mask facials. However, the ingredients for the masks are often purchased online from unregulated vendors.

"It might be dangerous if you like all three layers of your skin," says Dr. Seth Forman, a dermatologist in Tampa.

Ouch! In some cases, users are mixing a foreign charcoal powder and mixing it with glue -- sometimes even super glue (yes, really).


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Dr. Forman says you could literally peel off layers of valuable skin doing this, which can lead to scarring and infection, especially when you get down to the second layer.

That's a high price to pay for blackhead retraction. Our doctor says there are plenty of FDA-regulated masks and acne strips (try Biore) that are safe, even if they don't get you 100 "likes" on Instagram.

You can also go to an Ulta Beuaty store or even consult an esthetician about skin cleansing treatments.

So how did this start? Charcoal is used internally for bad reactions to drugs and overdoses. Someone thought up the (bad) idea to use charcoal externally, like on your precious mug.

Dr. Forman thinks a lot of these shady online charcoal treatments will be illegal someday.

"Doing this to your face to look better?" says Dr. Forman. "You're definitely not barking up the right tree."