The Charcoal Pore Cleansing Mask Fiasco and The Search for Things to be Offended About

Young woman with face mask of therapeutic black mud


Times like these make me glad I’m out of college.

So, folks at this one university are upset over perceived “black face” due to some students taking pictures of themselves with the charcoal face mask on.


The mask itself is designed to clean pores through the use of activated charcoal:

Activated charcoal is not what’s used for grilling’though it is a medical grade version of what’s used in air filtration systems. Activated charcoal is administered in hospitals as emergency treatment for poisoning; as chemicals bind to it, it can help remove them from the body.  These days, people are using food grade activated charcoal internally to detox, in supplements and juices; it’s even being used to whiten teeth. What does this have to do with glowing skin and deep cleaned hair?

1. Make pores smaller and cleaner
Throughout the day, toxins from the world around us clog our pores. When your pores aren’t clear, neither is your complexion. Activated charcoal’when used in a face mask‘binds to and helps pull the dirt out of your pores, making them less visible (it’s the oil and dirt that makes them appear bigger). This leaves your face feeling fresh. (Use it with an exfoliating scrub to get the dead skin off and experience an even deeper clean.)

2. Take care of oily skin
Oily skin? Activated charcoal may be just the ingredient you need to balance things out. Used in a cleanser or mask, activated charcoal can pull the unwanted excess oils from your skin, leaving it smooth. You’ll want to do this sparingly’once or twice per week at the most’so that you don’t over-dry your skin. If you already have dry skin, best to steer clear of it for this use, as you don’t want to dry it out even more.

3. Treat acne
Depending on the specifics of your acne’how severe it is, what’s causing it and what else is going on’activated charcoal may be able to help. In soap form, it’s slightly gritty, which might provide just the gentle exfoliating you need. It will also absorb oils and toxins on and below the skin. You can use it as a spot treatment if you don’t want to use it on your whole face’just think of it as a mini mask for your blemish.

4. Deep clean your skin
Send your chemical-ridden deep-cleaners on a little vacation. You can find cleansers that contain activated charcoal in bars or bottles. It’s important that you don’t use these daily, as you don’t want to soak up the healthy oils and moisture your skin needs. Check out the other ingredients if you’re buying a liquid cleanser’some are designed to neutralize the acidity in your skin, others have deodorizing properties; some can even double as shaving cream. Buy the product that best suits your personal combination of needs and follow the directions on the bottle.

5. Soothe and heal bites, cuts and skin irritations
Whether you  were stung by a bee or had a cut from the kitchen that’s wound up infected, activated charcoal can help speed the healing and relieve the symptoms. For minor skin ailments’including insect bites, stings, cuts, scrapes and minor infections’activated charcoal can be applied topically. The activated charcoal, when applied as a paste, helps absorb venom and infection. It will also bring down swelling and lessen pain. To make the paste: slowly add water to a bit of activated charcoal powder and mix until it is a spreadable consistency.

6. Rid your hair of toxins
Activated charcoal, when used on your hair, can pull out oil, dirt and toxins’just like it does for your skin. You can find regular and dry shampoos that contain activated charcoal. If you have very light hair, you won’t want to use the dry shampoo, as it may stain. In any case, try a test patch before using it on all of your hair at once. If you want to try activated charcoal on your hair, but aren’t sure you want to buy a bottle of a pre-made product just yet, you can make your own as you go. Just empty a capsule’or add a teaspoon’of activated charcoal to your regular shampoo and use as you normally would. The only thing you may need to switch up would be adding an extra since to your routine to get the colour fully out. The advantage to buying activated charcoal in powder or tablets is that it’s multi-purpose.

7. Add volume to your hair

When your hair feels weighted down it’s usually not only a feeling. If you’re carrying around enough dirt, your hair will start to sag and regular shampooing may not be getting it all out. Regular shampoos remove surface dirt, but activated charcoal will pull out even more. The other difference, and this is big, is that activated charcoal isn’t going to leave the residue regular shampoos will, so your hair will feel lighter and have more volume.

8. Remedy scalp conditions
Dandruff, redness, oily and itchy scalps may be relieved with activated charcoal. You can use it as a scalp treatment before you shampoo or can be mixed in with your shampoo. The activated charcoal will work on your scalp the way it does on your skin and hair: pulling out toxins and purifying. It’s unclear how deep into the hair follicle is being cleaned, but the results should be noticeable.

There’s one I really love that I get at CVS with sugar in it that exfoliates.



But back to the point — are people just looking for reasons to be upset and outraged. These masks are flat awesome. And I’ve taken stupid pictures of myself wearing cleansing masks.

But to get your panties in a wad over someone wearing a charcoal cleansing mask being perceived as racist makes me thing the offended person has wayyyyyy too much time on their hands.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has been enmeshed in controversy over the last few weeks in the wake of its chancellor mistaking a photo of two white students donning beauty facial masks as blackface and falsely accusingthe students of being “racist.”


The mistake prompted a nation’s scorn, but while the media’s eye has since moved on, tension remains high at the medium-sized public university in southeast Wisconsin, which enrolls roughly 12,000 students, about 80 percent of whom are white.

Since the incident – which one student activist labeled “Bloody Sunday” – the campus has hosted diversity forums at which students have accused the campus of being steeped in racism and suggested administrators are not doing enough about it.

One Black Student Union member even told peers she missed several days of school because she was too distraught by the blackface picture to attend class.

Some students voiced fury that their peers have taken to Yik Yak – an anonymous instant messaging app – to dismiss the entire affair as false outrage over fake racism.

A campus administrator even said recently that he wished universities had more power to clamp down on free speech.

“I am very disappointed that our current legal system prevents public colleges and universities from taking more direct action against individuals who use racist language and wish that wasn’t the case,” interim Dean of Students Terry Tumbarello recently told the Royal Purple campus newspaper, likely in reference to offensive Yik Yak posts.

Prior to the controversy, the school had largely remained unaffected by the protests seen nationwide in recent months by left-liberal student activists accusing their universities of systemic racism and oppression.

All that changed Feb. 18, after two students posted a photo wearing charcoal face masks to the campuswide Snapchat account. Some mistook the photo as blackface, and within hours the university’s chancellor, Beverley Kopper, emailed the campus community to denounce the post as “racist” before she thoroughly vetted the issue.

She subsequently back tracked and deleted her statement, but still used the incident as some sort of teachable moment to advance her “campus culture” agenda.

The following week, a special “action forum” was held to discuss the tension on campus in light of the misleading controversy, attracting more than 400 attendants. A student at the forum referred to the face mask “snap” as being Whitewater’s “Bloody Sunday,” according to the campus newspaper Royal Purple.

“Students shared stories of being called derogatory terms, being referred to as illegals by their peers and professors and being told their jobs at the PB Poorman Pride Center make them useless,” the paper reported. “Working Group member, junior Sam Azzaro, has seen a dismissal of ze’s wish to be referred to in gender-neutral pronouns. As an intern for the Pride Center, Azzaro been told their job doesn’t matter to anyone.”

ome students went on to complain over what they contend is a lack of action on the part of administrators to hold students accountable for offensive speech, according to observations from a College Fix reporter at the event.

Many Black Student Union members bemoaned the fact that some peers on Yik Yak and other online outlets have dismissed the blackface controversy as made up outrage. A member of the BSU told the action forum she missed several days of school because she was too distraught by the picture to attend class.

In addition to the “action forum,” the Black Student Union and dorm leaders have held meetings in recent weeks to discuss racial friction on campus.

As tensions remain high, leaders in the community have called on the campus to remember its duty to respect free speech.

Whitewater alumni and current speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly Robin Vos, a Republican, told The College Fix he was disappointed Tumbarello expressed a desire to inhibit free speech.

“[U]niversities are supposed to be places where free speech and robust debate is welcomed, not chastised,” he said, adding “the strength of our nation is embracing free speech, not saying we wish it didn’t exist.”

And president of Whitewater’s student government, senior Allison Hetz, told The College Fix: “Personally I feel that the Constitution was written for a reason and that freedom of speech as well as every single right within the Constitution and Bill of Rights is valid and needs to be upheld. With that said, it’s equally important to remember that just because we can say something doesn’t always mean that we should.”

In an email to The College Fix, Tumbarello clarified his statement.

“The First Amendment is vital to our Democracy,” he said. “It is also a vital part of a robust learning environment for our students. I, along with UW-Whitewater, respect the First Amendment and am dedicated to providing an atmosphere where students, faculty and staff feel free to speak openly.”

“When I have been asked by various members of our UW-Whitewater community if any steps can be taken to address hurtful speech, I have been quick to educate students, faculty and staff on the protections provided by the First Amendment.”

I mean, it’s one thing if you are being overtly racist and including slurs and obscene gestures in the picture (because of stupid people this has happened)… but it’s just two girls cleaning out their pores and wanted to take a picture..

All in all, they are probably extremely embarrassed about the whole incident being blown out of proportion. They did try to remediate the situation by speaking with the school administrator who first cried “racism”, but the situation had snow balled out of control.

The whole thing just seems stupid and overblown.

People seem to look for things to be upset and offended over.

I’ve never been a fan of this snowflake/PC culture — I’m a person who uses logic and rationality when making decisions or observing every day things. I have the ability to control my emotions an not start frothing at the mouth whenever I see something meant to be offensive or simply innocent taken out of context.

But people get upset over the stupidest of things. Like my two stupid coworkers making a fuss I am wearing a knee length dress WITHOUT stockings — which is dress code. Or people worrying about how another person is wearing their hair, or doing their makeup. People need to worry more about what’s going on in their lives instead of policing other’s lives — especially if they are not hurting anyone physically or providing intentional emotional or mental distress.

We need to support each other and lift each other up, not nitpick or judge or get offended or respond with hatred. Because this negativity and nitpicking does nothing but bring more negativity.

It’s the old cliche of getting more flies with honey than with vinegar.



2 thoughts on “The Charcoal Pore Cleansing Mask Fiasco and The Search for Things to be Offended About

  1. Oh geez don’t get me started! If that stupid fucking Harry Connick Jr even comes to this country again I’m going to organise a fucking lynch mob. Back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s in this country we had a variety show on a Saturday night called Hey Hey It’s Saturday and one of the segments they did was Red Faces, (based on the old old TV show New Faces). Unlike “XX has talent” or such shows we have today this just a short segment to win about $50 for making a complete idiot of yourself before you got gonged out. In the 80’s 5 guys dressed as Al Jolsen black face and did an act which won them the prize and were cheered off stage. 20 years later they come on a one off special of the same show and Harry Chronic Loser is the judge and the guy makes a huge scene about how racist it is and how everyone on the show should be ashamed and every one who laughed at it should hang their heads in shame.

    I get the slavery stuff and it wasn’t good, but they weren’t making fun of slavery they were putting on an act. Since then it’s just got out of hand. The national Women’s Netball (or maybe BBall) had a Halloween party a few years back and one of the girls dressed as Kim and another dressed as Kanye, she was white so of course she painted her face and the media went bat shit crazy on her. FFS last time I looked Kanye West had dark coloured skin, Apart from the big bulbous arse the girl was pictured next too if she was white no one would have known who the fuck she was! Then last year a Lollishop here that has used a Gollywog as a part of it’s logo for 25 years got told to remove the offensive Gollywog because one stupid stuck up dumbarse pinheaded local decided to complain, a local in a town of less than 20,000 people.

    I own a Gollywog and I am proud, so Harry Chronic Loser and all you idiots can all GGF.

    (As it type this I am listening to a song off the new Alestorm album which is quite apt for all this people who bitch and moan about such topics, it’s called Fucked with an Anchor. So Harry Bend over Alestorm has a present for you!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed. It’s one thing if you are being obviously racist and hateful… but something innocuous like a face mask for cleaning out pores or a hair style… jeez. Its becoming stupid.

    And in response to your other comment on my post about free speech, even if you are an asshole, I will defend your right to free speech up to the point where it causes a clear and present danger (aka yelling fire in a movie theater) of you cause actual physical harm to someone. I don’t remember if ‘fighting words’ is still a thing here — need to look up the precedenc and case law.

    Like, I despise the Westboro baptist nuts, but I will defend their rights to free speech. Because limiting their rights to free speech limits our right to free speech.

    But you have all these children in academia being coddled and indoctrinated and we are slowly turning into an Orwellian state with Thought Police monitoring you through social media for “problematic” content then scolding you and labelling you as a thought criminal — racist, bigot, facist, ignorant, homophobe, xenophobe.

    Like the stupid hair thing.


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