Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely been subjected to the charcoal face mask hype.
The masks, which contain activated charcoal, promise to pull toxins out of the skin, control oil, reduce the appearance of pores, and keep blackheads at bay.
Over the last year, there have been countless ads and viral videos of people peeling off these thick black masks to unveil clear, glowing skin, however, not everyone is comfortable with the trendy masks.
This week, several people took to social media to express their feelings about the charcoal masks, claiming that they are racist because they evoke blackface.
“Racism is so insidious that you can promote blackface for years under the guise of ‘pore mask’ and it goes unchecked,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another admitted that because the charcoal masks do “look uncomfortably similar to blackface,” she feels weird using them so she “will be hiding in the bathroom for 8-10 minutes.”
One user tweeted that the act of putting a black mask on then pulling it off “to get flawless skin” is racist.
Some people revealed that they no longer even use charcoal masks because it makes them uncomfortable.
“I bought a black charcoal face mask once. I looked in the mirror and was like ‘nope that’s racist’ and immediately washed it off. Been buying green tea ones ever since.”
I bought a black charcoal face mask once. I looked in the mirror and was like “nope that’s racist” & immediately washed it off. Been buying green tea ones ever since.
— Logan (@NeverLostout) March 27, 2018
While blackface does have its roots in historical racism since it was used to stereotype black people in theater, there are many who thought that the claims of the charcoal makes being racist are ridiculous.
Unlike intentional blackface, which promoted hateful and demeaning narratives about black people and their culture, people argued that the masks are not intended to be offensive, they’re skincare that happen to be make out of charcoal, which is black in color.
One Twitter user asked if this is satire, “because using a peel off charcoal face mask for skin care isn’t racist. People are taking this too far now.”
Another shared a similar sentiment about the masks being nothing more than skincare products.
“I have a charcoal face mask and I love it. Sorry not sorry but will continue to use it because it’s a FREAKIN skincare product. This racism crap has gone way too far.”
I have a charcoal face mask and I love it. Sorry not sorry but will continue to use it because it’s a FREAKIN skincare product. This racism crap has gone way too far.
— ✨J✨ (@snarkymommy2ac) February 19, 2019
The backlash over the masks comes just days after fashion brands Gucci and Katy Perry Collection were accused of selling pieces that were deemed racist.
In Gucci’s case, it was a $900 balaclava sweater with high neckline and red outline around the lips that reminded people of blackface.
As for Katy Perry’s shoe line, critics likened a pair of loafers that features protruding eyes, nose, and big red lips to blackface.
Both brands have since apologized and pulled the questionable products off the shelves and from their websites.