Written by Yoppie
10 Dec 2021
What on earth started this trend?
Why would anyone want to put period blood on their face?
IS period blood good for your face...?
Is this "menstrual masking" idea even safe?
Yes, we’re addressing THAT trend, if you can call it that. You read the title correctly; people have been applying their period blood to their skin and calling it, ahem, menstrual masking. Never ones to judge, we’re looking at whether menstrual blood really is good for your skin, why people are trying it as a mask, and if it’s even safe to do so. Let’s get to it.
You’re probably thinking; TikTok. And while we’d be tempted to agree with you, as so many questionable trends have originated in the app, this one seems to have been around several years before TikTok blew up. It’s hard to say who first stood in front of their sink and thought “huh, I wonder…”, but at some point, the brainwave was born. Whether it should have been is another story. Some suggest that Kim K could be something to do with it. Although the Kardashian has never mentioned menstrual masking, she was responsible for bringing the ‘vampire facial’ to the mainstream.
Now calm down, Edward Cullen isn’t doing beauty treatments. This facial is otherwise known as a PRP facial (platelet-rich plasma) and involves taking blood from a patient, processing it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, and re-injecting it into the face, supposedly to generate a healing response to rejuvenate the skin. The procedure has since come under fire for a) not having any scientific backing, and b) being potentially dangerous.
Whether or not the vampire facial had anything to do with the inception of menstrual masking is up for debate. Either way, several journalists and influencers have documented themselves trying out period blood facials, like this one from Cosmopolitan, and this one in the Metro. Some are singing its praises, while others are offering cautionary tales.
Don’t get us wrong; we don’t shy away from period blood, we embrace it in all its glory. That said, there’s certainly an argument for the gross-factor of taking fluids from your vagina and applying them to your face. So why are people doing it? The skin benefits, apparently.
We’ve all heard the rumours about semen being good for the skin, a similarly controversial subject, and a similar theory seems to have arisen about our period blood. Some claim it could nourish and brighten skin, and clear acne, hailing it as one of the most eco-friendly ways to take care of your skin. We’re all about reusing and recycling at Yoppie, but is this really the way? We’re not sure.
That’s the big question. Surely it must work if people are making themselves look like Carrie in the name of beauty, right? Studies suggest that period blood could contain stem cells, though this is still debated. It is, however, rich in nutrients such as zinc, copper, and magnesium, but you can also get these nutrients from regular face creams and supplements, so there don’t seem to be any unique benefits to the idea. Ultimately, there is currently no scientific evidence to support the use of menstrual blood as a face mask, so it all comes down to people’s individual experiences.
Another very good question! And the main reason for our reservations. The general idea of menstrual masking is to collect your period blood on a pad or in a menstrual cup in order to distribute it onto your face. For pads, this would be some kind of smearing action. For cups, you may have more liquid to work with. Arguably menstrual cups could be slightly more hygienic, as the blood is collected in a container and may not come into contact with the walls of the vagina. Pads could be considered less sterile as the blood has already passed through the vagina, could be contaminated with sweat, bacteria, and other fluids from the genital tract. Oh, and pubic hair. Don’t forget about pubic hair.
However, both methods of collection cannot avoid STIs if you happen to have one, and common conditions like HPV, so menstrual masking comes with a very real concern about transferring diseases from the genitals to the face. Not what you want from your skincare.
Our recommendation? If you want to try menstrual masking in the privacy of your own home, we certainly wouldn’t judge. BUT! Without any scientific backing as to its effectiveness and lingering questions over its safety for your skin and general health, we would advise against it. Stick to your favourite skincare products, and leave the blood to your pads and ‘pons.
Do you have a question about menstrual masking? Seen another period-related trend you’d like us to cover? Hop on over to our Full Stop FB group to join the conversation, and remember you can ask us anything on Instagram at @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised menstrual care package can get full-cycle care from organic tampons to hydrating face masks (and more) delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, all made from planet and skin safe materials... but without the ick-out factor.
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