Scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed these days and it’s clear that charcoal peel-off masks are the internet’s latest beauty obsession.
Unlike traditional charcoal masks that wash off with water, charcoal peel-off masks cling to the face like a giant Bioré strip to remove (or rip) impurities straight from your skin. The removal process is far from painless, as evidenced by the numerous mask removal videos that have been filmed and posted on social media. There also have been rumblings that peel-off masks might be bad for your skin. Yet despite all this, people still can’t seem to get enough.
So what’s the big deal about charcoal peel-off masks and are they better than traditional versions? I felt like I had to find out. For this week’s Fab or Flub, I decided to give the new Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask ($15.99, Target) a try. Formulated with 97 percent natural ingredients, the detoxifying mask claims to leave the skin looking clearer and feeling tighter by removing all of the gross gunk that has built up in your pores.
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Made with naturally detoxifying charcoal and lycopene-rich tomato extract, the mask says it will clear skin of impurities like excess oil and dead skin. While most peel-off charcoal masks are applied by hand, Yes To’s version is designed to be easy and less messy than its competitors. The mask comes in a squeezable tube that has a built-in YESblender Detox Applicator (similar to a spatula) for precise, hands-free application.
To apply the mask, instructions say to work a thick, even layer of the product over your face (avoiding the eye, eyebrow and hairline areas) and use the applicator to help create a clean edge. When finished, allow for the mask to dry for at least 15 minutes, then use the spatula to lift edges and peel the mask off.
While I found the applicator to be a superb concept, it did not do that great of a job dispensing the mask. Only a small amount of product came out of the tube when I tried squeezing it and what did come out was very runny (almost like it had not mixed well). The mask is definitely far messier than it claims to be and did not have that ease of application that I was hoping for.
Fab or flub?
Flub. While the concept for the Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Peel-Off Mask seemed like a sure-fire winner, the product turned out to be a disaster. Unlike other charcoal masks that I’ve tried, the Yes To mask was runny and incredibly thin. Even with help from the YESblender Detox Applicator, the mask was hard to apply and I had to use almost the entire tube of product to get a decent layer all over my face.
Once the mask had dried, removing it was a nightmare. The mask did not peel off easily and instead came off in tiny segments. After more than 15 minutes of trying to peel the mask off, I had enough and washed my face with water to get the remaining product off. Looking back, the mask probably would have worked better if I had been able to apply a thicker layer of product. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible, and the mask needs to be either overhauled completely or pulled from store shelves for good.