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Excessive Microorganisms in Masks May Cause Skin Infections

  Recently, some media sent masks of 10 brands to a third-party authoritative testing organization for inspection on transferable fluorescent brightener, microorganism, preservatives, formaldehyde and other safety indicators. The testing results show that traces of formaldehyde were found in the masks of Mask Family and Enow and that molds and yeasts found in Demman masks are 29 times more than the standard. Why do masks contain formaldehyde and molds? What harm will these components cause to the human skin?

  Formaldehyde can irritate eyes

  It is reported that formaldehyde is founded in the Fresh Green Bean and Licorice Extract Whitening Silk Mask of Mask Family and the Starlight Lily Double-Effect Whitening Mask of Enow. According to the Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics issued in 2007, the limit of formaldehyde is 0.2%. In this test, the formaldehyde content in masks of Mask Family and Enow is lower than the limit and conforms to the national standard. Where does the formaldehyde in masks come from? Does a mask with formaldehyde content lower than the limit cause no harm to customers?

  Mr. Li Guangrui, Director of Department of Dermatology of Wangjing Hospital, told reporters that formaldehyde may not be directly added to the mask and that some preservatives may gradually release formaldehyde during storage so as to achieve the function of antisepsis and bacteriostasis. If the formaldehyde content in masks is lower than the limit stipulated by the standards, then the masks can be deemed as safe. If the formaldehyde content exceeds the limit, the masks may cause eye irritations upon application.

  Mr. Bing Han, a skin care expert, pointed out in the interview that, "masks with formaldehyde content under the limit stipulated by the standards can be deemed as safe, but not absolutely safe. The safety depends on user's skin condition, tolerance, and application conditions. For example, formaldehyde in washing products is less likely to cause adverse effect than the same amount of formaldehyde in masks, because that the former stays on the human skin for a shorter time than the latter. In addition, during the application of mask, the skin is highly hydrated, so the formaldehyde adsorption is fast and there is higher chance of adverse effect. The preservative system for masks should be more sophisticated than that for ordinary skin care products, and the use of formaldehyde donor is not the best choice."

  Excessive microorganisms can easily cause skin infections

  According to the mask inspection results published by the media, the high-price Demman Lavender and Olive Leaf Mask was of excessive microorganism level, and this result attracted the attention of many people. The test result showed that the content of molds and yeasts in the mask was 2,900CFU/g, about 29 times higher than the stipulated value of 100CFU/g in the Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics.

  What effect will the excessive microorganisms such as molds and yeasts have on the skin? Mr. Li Guangrui told reporters that there is certain moisture in the mask, molds and yeasts are most likely to reproduce in such a humid environment, and there are nutrients that possibly are beneficial to the growth and reproduction of molds and yeasts. The incomplete sterilization in the mask production process, the improper use of preservatives and untight packaging or sealing can cause molds and yeasts in mask.

  Mr. Li Guangrui pointed out that the excessive microorganisms in masks may cause skin infections and the toxins produced by microorganisms may also cause adverse effects on the human body.

  DIY masks may not be safer

  Masks on the market often contain a variety of chemical additives, and the reports concerning the quality problems of such masks emerge endlessly. Therefore, many people begin to make DIY masks at home and consider the DIY masks could be safe and assured. The Internet search results also show that there are a variety of DIY mask products and that the sales of some products, such as DIY mask pearl powder, vitamin E and mask powder, are quite good. Moreover, DIY mask machines are also sold at a high price.

  What’s more, many people like to use fruits and vegetables to make natural masks without knowing that the nutrients and acids of some fruits and vegetables can reduce the cohesion of the stratum corneum. Medically, the absorption ability of human skin itself is very low and a lot of nutrients that cannot be absorbed by the skin will cause skin irritation.

  It’s important to know that different skin types have different tolerances to fruit acids. Direct contact with overly high concentration of organic acids in fruits will cause corrosion and irritation and gradually result in roughness and aging of skin or even eczema or other skin disease in those with sensitive skins. Mr. Li Guangrui warmed that DIY mask may not be safer because the raw materials of DIY masks are likely to be infected with bacteria in many links such as preservation and sterilization.