When Kimberly Francis saw a charcoal face mask sold by the company Yes To at her local Target before the holidays, she thought it would be the perfect stocking stuffer for her 11-year-old stepdaughter.
But after the tween used the mask on Monday night, she ran upstairs to her parents and told them the mask "felt like it was burning" her face.
"We had her take it off and her face was already clearly burned," Francis, who lives in Missouri, told BuzzFeed News.
Horrified, Francis tried to help her stepdaughter with the pain, washing her face with a gentle cleanser and applying lidocaine. The child's face remained deep red, in the pattern of the mask. She told Francis she almost left it on despite the pain because the package read, "if it's tingling it's working."
The tween is one of multiple women and girls who told BuzzFeed News they had a bad reaction after using a Yes To product. Dozens more have commented on the company's social media accounts, complaining of a burning sensation and redness after using the masks.
Now, Yes To is pulling one of its masks, the "Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask," after the complaints.
The recall came after many people shared scary photos and descriptions of what they said was a reaction to the unicorn grapefruit mask, a shimmery fuchsia paper product saturated with ingredients advertised as leaving complexions bright and even.
Donna Baines of New Jersey told BuzzFeed News her 15-year-old daughter got the unicorn grapefruit mask for Christmas from her father.
"She put it on for 15 minutes, and when she took it off, her face looked like it was sunburned and was very itchy," she said.
Baines said the incident is especially troubling because she believes this specific mask was marketed toward young girls.
"I was also worried that other children received this mask as a gift for Christmas," she said. "The unicorn makes it seem like a kids' product."
Sarah Moore, of Missouri, agrees. Her 13-year-old daughter, Lauren, tried out the unicorn grapefruit mask after a sleepover. Moore said she thinks the fact that it was "marketed as a unicorn mask made it very appealing" to her teen.
According to Moore, Lauren felt a burning sensation after only a few minutes.
"But the package read 'if it’s tingling, it’s working,' so she left it on," Moore told BuzzFeed News.
Finally, she couldn't stand it and took the mask off.
"[Her face was] red, swollen, and physically hot to the touch exactly where the mask was only," Moore said. "Her eyes started to burn and water also."
Adults said they had a bad reaction to the grapefruit mask as well. Kayley Pate of Oklahoma told BuzzFeed News she also got the mask for Christmas and "immediately it started burning" when she put it on.
After a few minutes, she realized something was wrong, so she took it off and washed her face.
"Where the mask was, my face was bright red and looked like I had the worst sunburn of my life," she said. "It was painful and hot to touch."
Women also posted complaints on the websites for retailers like Target and Ulta, which have been selling the mask. As of Tuesday, the product was no longer sold on Target's website, but listings remained online for Ulta and Amazon.
While many of the complaints named the now-pulled grapefruit mask, customers complained about other masks as well.
Francis said her stepdaughter used a different, charcoal mask, and other reviewers said they had issues with other products. Customers have also complained on Ulta's website about the Yes To's cucumber under-eye masks, with one writing "after only 30 seconds of use, I had a huge rash on my face."
All the women that BuzzFeed News interviewed said their skin or their kids' skin has gone back to normal after the reaction. Pate said she found the ordeal confusing because she doesn't have sensitive skin and has used Yes To products before.
Francis said she will never buy a Yes To product again.
"It's scary when you think you can trust a product from past use and then something like this happens," she said.
Meanwhile, Baines said she is sharing her daughter's story so the company knows there is a real, pervasive problem and something needs to be done.
"They should be repackaged, recalled, and retested for safety," she said.