I Tried a Magnetic Face Mask to Clear My Blackheads—Here's What Happened

Are magnetic face masks a skincare force to be reckoned with?

One of my favorite pastimes is scouring the internet for new, unconventional, or downright weird beauty trends, so when I came across magnetic face masks, I was immediately drawn (attracted? polarized?) to it. I've seen just about every face mask at this point—bubble masks, butt masks, and the oh-so-disgusting placenta face masks—and if there's one thing I've learned it's this: The beauty industry is full of gimmicks.

Curious if this would be one of them, I decided to give these magical iron particles a whirl. The science is intriguing but simple: "These masks rely on the clarifying benefit of a microcurrent created by the iron particles when the magnetic tool is hovered overtop," says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Westport, Conn. "Debris within the pore follows the gentle 'pull' to deep clean and allows for products applied afterwards to better penetrate."

I have super sensitive, combination, and acne-prone skin, and it was suffering from a serious case of maskne, so my skin was really ready to put the mask's inflammation-soothing, pore-purifying benefits to the test. My magnetic face mask of choice was AL'IVER Black Luster Mask ($19; amazon.com), which claims to "purge pores of dirt, impurities, and excess oil, leaving behind smooth, radiant, and youthful-looking skin." It's also packed with 24 different kinds of skin-protecting minerals, thanks to its use of mud from the Dead Sea.

woman testing out ALIVER Magnetic Facial Mask

Skin prep

I was so excited to try this that I initially missed the no-water rule (you're not supposed to use water to clean off the magnet), which left me with a very supercharged mess. Not to mention, iron plus water equals rust—and considering this mask is made of iron particles, that combination was not ideal in my sink.

After finally noting that the instructions say to put a tissue or paper towel over the magnet, I was back on track to prep my skin. To get the most out of a magnetic (or any) face mask, it's vital to make sure you wash off all of your makeup and rinse your face with warm water to open your pores.



After towel-drying my face, I moved on to application. The first thing I noticed was the funky texture of the face mask. If you've ever felt Kinetic Sand, that's almost exactly what the consistency of this formula feels like. The tub comes with a small applicator to slather the black gunk to your skin, which went on surprisingly smoothly. Since I wanted to get the full effect of the mask, I opted for two layers instead of one, paying particular attention to avoid getting any in my eyes (I don't know what would happen if you were to get iron in your eyes, but I don't ever want to think about it).

To be honest, the application process didn't feel any different than a traditional face mask. For starters, it didn't smell like iron, which I was totally expecting. The mask also doesn't dry hard, like a clay mask would, so the whole experience felt super comfortable and hydrating (no stinging or burning).



Fast forward 10 minutes, and it was time to see if the magnet was as magnetic as Amazon reviewers said they were. Even with the thicker coat, it only took a few seconds for the magnet to pull the mask off my face. Not only did it painlessly slide off (this part was super trippy), it left behind a baby-soft complexion in its wake.

I had to change the tissue at least four times (again, probably because I layered so much on), but it was easy to slide each one off the magnet, toss it out, and move on to a fresh tissue. When I was on my last tissue, I gently moved the magnet across my skin just to make sure everything was removed. When I was sure I removed every remaining trace of the mask off my face, I rinsed with cold water and followed up with my normal skincare routine.

The takeaway? I'm impressed. Magnetic face masks are the real deal, evident from my tissue chock-full of dead skin and blackhead remnants. Sure, peel-off masks do this too, but I can't imagine all that pulling is great for your skin.


Not only is this application and removal process a ton of fun, it really lives up to its skincare promises. This particular magnetic face mask even seemed to be more effective than my go-to blackhead removal strips—the blackheads on my nose aren't completely gone, but they are pretty darn sparse. Ultimately, I would have said that it's worth trying for the cool factor alone, but it's truthfully a great way to adress congested buildup.

AL'IVER Black Luster Mask

To buy: $19; amazon.com.

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