Disclaimer: This skincare ‘trend’ is highly experimental and should not be tried at home or without medical consultation.
As uncomfortable as ‘that time of the month’ can be, the latest skincare craze has members of the wellness community believing that there are skincare benefits you’re not cashing in on during your menstrual cycle. We’re talking about “menstrual masking”, often referred to as “moon masking”.
Yes! You heard correctly. We’re talking face masks with menstrual blood. As gross as it may seem, this skincare trend is growing more popular by the day. Before we turn our faces in disgust for good, we’re here to shed some light on the bloody details…
Let’s look at how TikTok users have tacked on to the new skincare craze:
@mikay.fer no filter? #bloodmask ♬ som original – Young 若い
‘A natural, free skin-care treatment that reveals bright, clear skin’ sounds amazing at first. In fact, it’s every skincare junkie’s dream. Hold your horses, though. Before you start moon masking yourself, there are a few things dermatologists want you to keep in mind…
Spoiler alert! Experts say this trend is not effective — and it may even be unsafe.
What is mental masking?
“Menstrual masking” is a treatment that includes applying menstrual blood to the face. Preparation for the treatment includes washing the hands and face, taking blood that has been collected from a period cup, and placing it in a small container. Some choose to squeeze the blood out of their tampons or pads or use freshly retrieved tampons as applicators.
Then, blood is applied to the face and neck using clean fingers, keeping away from the eyes and mouth, leaving to set for 15-20 minutes.
Alleged benefits of menstrual blood masks
Women who have tried moon masking as skincare have claimed to reap the following benefits:
- Enhances skin texture.
- Helps obtain clear and beautiful skin.
- Nourishes the skin with necessary stem cells.
- Hydrates and reduces acne.
- Helps to feel more connected with their bodies.
But is it really safe?
Naturally, your first instinct after hearing about this skincare trend is red flags!
There are ‘minor’ dangers to this craze as menstrual blood can be unsanitary and unsterile due to contamination with sweat and bacteria. Even blood collected in a menstrual cup still contains dead cells and other skin irritants.
Although the uterus usually doesn’t contain bacteria, the blood can be seen as ‘clean’ but once it has passed through the vagina, it may come into contact with bacteria. Sometimes women may have vaginal, cervical, or endometrial infections. The bacteria or fungi which may have been picked up in the menstrual fluid can be harmful to the skin.
The bloody side effects
- Bacterial infections on the face.
- Exaggerates acne.
- Worsen other conditions.
Period blood also contains red and white blood cells that can potentially irritate the skin and cause inflammation. This is why, when blood is drawn in a sterile space at the doctor’s office for a vampire facial or platelet-rich plasma facial, the blood is spun to extract plasma and separate the red and white blood cells. The plasma component from the blood is what you want to apply to your skin because it prompts collagen production, elasticity, and growth cells for skin cell generation. This is done in sterile conditions with a professional, not at home with a menstrual cup.
Some women claim that “menstrual facials” have become so popular because they’re a cost-effective alternative to platelet-rich plasma therapy, however, moon masking and vampire facials should not be confused or likened.
Cheaper is not always safer. If you are still thinking of trying this skincare procedure, please consult a dermatologist.
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