Written by Chloe Toscano, August 19, 2021

Kecia Gaither, M.D., M.P.H., double board-certified in OB-GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, explained that the hype surrounding period blood masks comes from the elements present in blood. Blood is rich in stem cells, magnesium, zinc and fluid, and this has led some to believe, without evidence, that period blood can hydrate and nourish skin cells. But, as Gaither warned, these aren’t the only things present in period blood. “While menstrual blood in the uterus is sterile, once it’s in the vagina/perianal region, it becomes engulfed with bacteria,” she explained. That bacteria is what causes the strong odor often present in period blood—making it even more unpleasant to put on your face.

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