Should A Charcoal Mask Tingle Or Sting?

It can feel rejuvenating to apply a charcoal face mask. Charcoal masks remove oil, dirt, and toxins from the skin, making them very beneficial. However, if you've used a charcoal mask before, you may have felt a tingle or sting. Is this tingling or stinging sensation common? We've researched this question thoroughly and have some important information for you.

It is common for a charcoal mask to make your face tingle or sting. A tingling feeling usually occurs because exfoliants in the charcoal mask are dissolving dead skin. In contrast, a stinging feeling indicates that the chemicals in the mask are irritating your skin. 

The sensations you can feel from a charcoal mask are more complex than "good" or "bad." It's important to know how the chemicals in a charcoal mask play a role in a tingle being okay and a sting being harmful. Keep reading to learn more about the tingling and stinging sensations behind charcoal masks and skincare products as a whole.

Homemade facial mask and scrub by activated charcoal powder and yogurt on white wooden background, Should A Charcoal Mask Tingle Or Sting?

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Is It Bad If a Face Mask Tingles?

It's generally okay if a face mask tingles. In fact, tingling can be very beneficial. As we've established, you may feel a tingling sensation after applying a face mask due to the exfoliants in the mask dissolving dead skin. There are two kinds of exfoliants used in face masks: chemical and physical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants are acids. Conversely, physical exfoliants are granular substances, such as oatmeal, turmeric, cinnamon, and chamomile.

When the exfoliants in face masks make your skin tingle and dissolve dead skin, they provide your skin with several advantages. These advantages include clean pores, a smoother skin texture, and decreased skin dullness. Therefore, if your skin tingles after applying a face mask, it's probably just a sign that the mask is removing dead skin from your face, which helps your skin in many ways.

Why Do Charcoal Masks Tingle?

Beauty portrait of woman in towel on head applying black nourishing mask on face, white background isolated

Charcoal masks tingle for the same reason that other face masks do: exfoliants. The exfoliants in charcoal masks—whether chemical or physical—dissolve dead skin, making skin tingle. However, as mentioned before, this tingling sensation is generally not a bad sign, as removing dead skin cells provides many benefits for your skin.

It's worth noting that most dermatologists recommend face masks with chemical exfoliants instead of ones with physical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants are good for people who have oily skin, but they are also harsher on the skin, which can cause more than just tingling; it can cause stinging. A stinging feeling is not a good sign. So, when you use a charcoal mask with physical exfoliants, be sure to note the difference between a tingle and a sting.

If you prefer a charcoal mask that is good for all skin types and doesn't have any physical exfoliants, try Boscia's Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask. This product cleans and minimizes your pores, while also being gentle on your skin.

Click here to find Boscia's Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask on Amazon. 

If you have particularly oily skin and want to use a mask with physical exfoliants, try The Body Shop's Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. This mask contains bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves, and tea tree oil, which are great exfoliants for purifying oily skin.

Click here to find The Body Shop's Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask on Amazon. 

What Does It Mean If Your Face Stings?

As mentioned earlier, stinging indicates that the chemicals in a face mask are irritating your skin. The irritating chemicals that cause stinging are acids and retinol. Acids and retinol prompt stinging because they cause the skin to become dry, which leads to the skin becoming inflamed.

When a face mask makes your face sting due to chemical irritation, it can destroy your skin's protective barrier. The destruction of this protective barrier is extremely harmful, as it makes your skin more susceptible to chemical burns, acne, wrinkles, and general irritation.

So, it's fair to say that a face mask should do nothing more than make your face tingle. If you're using a face mask and notice a stinging feeling, be aware that the chemical products aren't meshing well with your skin and can destroy its protective barrier.

Is It Normal for Skincare Products to Sting?

Homemade facial mask and scrub by activated charcoal powder and yogurt on white wooden background, Should A Charcoal Mask Tingle Or Sting?

It is considered normal for many skincare products to sting. However, a normal sensation isn't always a good one, and this is the case with stinging.

Some skin care products, like those that contain acids, are expected to sting when you first use them. A stinging sensation during the first use of an acid product may not be harmful. However, dermatologists say that if a product continues to sting each time you use it, it's an indication that your skin is too sensitive for the product or that you're allergic to it.

So, while it is considered normal for skincare products to sting, it's best if you don't use products that continue to make your skin sting after the first use.

Can Charcoal Masks Burn Your Skin?

Although charcoal masks have many benefits, they can burn your skin. When you peel off a charcoal mask, you are removing everything from the surface of your skin. This includes hair, natural oils, and even the top layer of skin itself. Your top layer of skin and the natural oils that lie upon it protect your skin, so peeling these things from your face can damage your skin and cause it to burn.

If a charcoal mask or any other skincare product burns your skin, you may experience redness, tenderness, and peeling. To ease these symptoms, apply some aloe vera juice to your face. Aloe vera juice lessens the pain of a burn and can help burned skin heal faster.

Click here to find aloe vera juice on Amazon. 

In addition, you can use a gentle skin cleanser and a gentle moisturizer to soothe your skin. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a good cleanser to use if you have been burned. This cleanser is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and dermatologist recommended.

Click here to find Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser on Amazon. 

A good moisturizer to use if you ever suffer a burn from a charcoal mask is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. This moisturizing cream is suitable for sensitive skin and is dermatologist recommended.

Click here to find CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on Amazon.

In Closing

Charcoal masks remove oil and dead skin cells from your face. Tingling usually means that the exfoliants in the mask are removing these impurities from your skin. Therefore, tingling is generally nothing to worry about. However, stinging indicates that the chemicals in the mask are harming your skin, which is something to worry about.

If you are going to use a charcoal mask, find one that is good for your skin type, and always be cautious of a stinging product!

Before you go, check out our other articles:

8 Types of Skin Care Face Masks To Know

Do Clay Masks Absorb Oil And Do They Clean Pores?

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