often known as "moon masking", is the practice of utilizing period
blood as a facial mask for cosmetic purposes.
The "Menstrual facial" consists of using period blood for your face as a mask.
Menstrual blood as skincare has no scientifically proven benefits to the skin.
Using period blood on the face is dangerous; It may cause eye and skin infections or worsen existing conditions.
Even though it seems unpleasant, this skincare tip is growing in popularity, especially because influencers publicized it on their social media by smearing menstrual blood across their faces. Are the beneficial claims true? And is it safe?
How menstrual masking works?
"Menstrual masking" treatment includes applying the menstrual blood on the face. The preparation for the treatment includes washing the face. The blood is collected from a period cup and placed in a small container. Some people even squeeze the blood out of their tampons or period pads or use freshly removed tampons as applicators. They apply the blood to the face and neck using clean fingers, keeping it away from the eyes and mouth and leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
Alleged benefits of period-blood masks
People who use menstrual blood as skincare claim that it has 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.
However, all these alleged benefits are speculative and lack any supporting evidence.
Menstrual-blood face masks – what science says?
There's no scientific evidence supporting the benefits of using period blood as a face mask. On the contrary, there are quite a few reasons why we should, in fact, doubt its effectiveness.
|Supposed benefit||Scientific explanation|
|"Menstrual blood is highly valuable because it contains stem cells"||Unfortunately, it is not true. Only a fertilized egg (fetus) has stem cells.|
|"Period blood contains micronutrients"||Yes, it does contain zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron among others. But the amount of these compounds is rather low.|
|"The micronutrients in menstrual blood can nourish the skin"||Even if period blood had significant amounts of advantageous nutrients, we couldn't benefit from them. The natural skin barrier protects the skin and the components of externally used period blood cannot bypass it.|
The dangers of applying menstrual blood on the skin
Menstrual blood applied
to the face is extremely unsanitary and unsterile. Period blood obtained from
tampons or menstruation pads is contaminated with sweat and bacteria, includes some
irritants, and should not be applied to the skin. Even blood collected in a menstrual cup still contains dead cells and other skin irritants.
Although the uterus usually doesn’t contain bacteria, the vagina does and sometimes women may have vaginal, cervical, or endometrial infections. The bacteria or fungi which may be present in the menstrual fluid can be harmful to the skin.
It can cause a bacterial infection on the face, exaggerate acne, and worsen other conditions. On top of that, red and white blood cells are present in the period fluid and can potentially irritate the skin and cause an inflammatory reaction. For example, eye
infections could develop if menstrual blood gets into the eye or viral
infections, such as the herpes virus, may spread from the genitalia to
Period-blood face masks – safe alternatives:
"Menstrual facials" have become so popular because they are presented as a less expensive alternative to platelet-rich plasma therapy, sometimes known as the "vampire facial." Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a serum containing high concentrations of platelets and growth factors, which helps renew cells. The evidence indicates that PRP continues to advance as an effective treatment with numerous dermatological applications, particularly in hair restoration, skin rejuvenation, and reduction of acne scars, even though further study is required.
Different from menstrual
blood facials, PRP therapy, is done in a sterile way, like surgery. The PRP
serum is prepared in a specific manner. It contains platelets, which are rich
in growth factors. There are no irritating components, such as white or red blood
cells, dead cells, bacteria, or yeast. Moreover, it is applied via micro-needling into the skin
for better results.
Please, remember that the claimed benefits of using period blood as skincare have no scientific research or evidence. Although it seems like a cheap way to keep your skin young, healthy, and clear, it has a lot of risks and is very dangerous. This DIY treatment may worsen your existing conditions and cause new health problems. All the reasons listed above should be enough to keep you from considering this treatment. If you are still thinking of trying this skincare procedure, please consult a dermatologist.