Are The Trending Facials Using Period Blood Safe To Do?

With periods still such a taboo topic, it's no surprise that a beauty trend involving menstrual blood has garnered much attention on TikTok. As unexpected as it may seem, users have taken to the app to showcase their period blood facials, a practice also known as moon masking or menstrual masking (per HypeBae).


This may seem like a niche thing to add to your beauty routine, but PopSugar found that the trend has existed on Instagram since 2019 and has racked up millions of views on TikTok. Yoppie mentions the popularity of "vampire facials," a facial treatment popularized by Kim Kardashian, as a possible tipping-off point for the period blood trend, but HypeBae also mentions how some cultures have utilized menstrual blood in this way for many years.

While some of the users posting to TikTok are psyching out their viewers with ketchup and red-colored beauty products, others swear by the beauty and spiritual benefits of the practice. So, exactly how safe is a period blood facial?

Why menstruators are using period blood as face masks

Before breaking down what experts have to say about the safety of period blood face masks, it's helpful to establish why people use menstrual blood on their faces. Users who support the trend are motivated by the practice's alleged anti-aging and skin-improving benefits, as mentioned in the video from @athenascrystals.


Dr. Sophie Shotter, a hormone specialist, told PopSugar "there is evidence that there are stem cells in the endometrium (inner layer of the uterus), and it does also contain micronutrients such as zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron — all of which are found within the bloodstream. These substances might in principle be useful for skin health, for example in reducing inflammation."

Dazed mentions that motivations behind the trend go beyond beauty, as many use the procedure to combat shame associated with periods and connect with their feminine energy. As a ritualistic practice, it also serves as a way to connect with matriarchal ancestors and other menstruators.

Menstrual maskers often use period cups to capture blood for facials, as explained by HypeBae, which is a practice that necessitates getting up close and personal with your vagina. This, combined with the actual touching and applying of period blood, can normalize the bodily substance and monthly process it results from.


In these ways, it can be seen as a very positive and empowering process.

This is what experts have to say about period blood facials

Despite the various motivations behind period blood facials, experts warn against the practice, explaining that there is little evidence to support its benefits and that it poses a safety issue.

While Dr. Sophie Shotter explained to PopSugar the composition of period blood, she also went on to mention that it likely has little benefits to the skin as it's used for period face masks, noting "micronutrients are useful for skin health but will need delivery mechanisms to get them in. Stem cells will not be stimulating anything whilst sitting on the surface of your skin — they will have zero benefits in this situation."


Other professionals have mentioned the danger of the trend, with dermatologist Dr. Joyce Park, MD, expressing in a TikTok video that "there's no way you're collecting blood in a sterile way, so there's probably bacteria and sweat and other things that are in that blood." She mentions that menstrual masks can spread any existing infections or viruses from the genital area to the face.

In these ways, period blood facials differ from professionally-administrated treatments — the aforementioned vampire facials — in that it applies unconcentrated and unsterile blood to the outer layer of the skin with no method of injection (per New York Post). Not only does this remove any guarantee of beauty benefits, but it also makes the practice potentially unsafe.