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Beauty experts warn of charcoal face mask trend

INDIANAPOLIS – It's a viral trend that promises smooth, radiant skin, but beauty experts say using charcoal masks isn't the way to get a spring glow.

Beauty bloggers and people who just want to see if the black, adhesive masks really work are sharing their experiences online.

In many of the videos, smiles and speculation about what might happen give way to screams when the person tries to remove the mask after the roughly 30-minute drying period. Some said they even lost portions of their eyebrows.

"I knew (the trend) was going to take off really fast because people are always looking for a quick fix," Nicole Bell, a medical esthetician at Makeup by Sparkle, told WXIN.

Bell said one of the issues with charcoal masks is that people don't really understand what's happening when they tear the black coating off their faces.

"It is actually pulling off your protective barrier. The reason it hurts so much is because it's also pulling out those hairs – you have vellus hair and some people have thicker hair," Bell said.

Some masks are beneficial for exfoliating and rejuvenating the skin and can simply be rinsed off. The real danger, Bell said, is the do-it-yourself masks that include charcoal powder mixed with glue.  The skin may feel smooth but with a layer of skin gone, you're exposed.

"So when you're tearing that off you're literally setting yourself up for failure as far as breaking out because all the outside elements can get onto your skin and stick," Bell said.

Makeup by Sparkle Spa suggests using a mild exfoliate two to four times a week. And if you want to take your skin care up a notch, try a professional chemical peel. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to research the ingredients in your products.