An aspirin face mask will save your skin in a pinch. It sounds like an old wives' tale, but aspirin masks actually work. The active ingredient in aspirin is a form of salicylic acid, which any skincare geek knows is a powerful exfoliant. In turn, it helps get rid of the offending bump. The downside, however, is that salicylic acid's exfoliating action can take moisture along with it. People with oily skin types can get away with mixing the aspirin with water, but otherwise, add your favorite non-comedogenic oil, like avocado or sweet almond oils to the mix. Hemp seed, argan, and jojoba oils are also budget-friendly picks to have on hand.
The fourth and final ingredient needed to whip up your face mask is one that will you likely find in your kitchen cabinet: honey, which has natural hydrating, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. Adding honey helps to ward off bacteria, so the area where you apply a glob of honey doesn't become infected. It also helps moisturize the skin, and reduce swelling associated with any pesky bumps you might have.
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- 3 to 4 uncoated Aspirin tablets
- For oily skin: 1/2 teaspoon water OR
- For normal to dry skin: 1/2 teaspoon oil
- Pour some relatively hot water into a large glass bowl, with a smaller glass bowl in the middle. Take one teaspoon of honey and a half teaspoon of water or jojoba oil, and put them together in the smaller bowl so that it softens.
- Crush three to four uncoated aspirin tablets using a mortar and pestle or a fork. Remove the smaller bowl from the hot water and add crushed aspirin, mixing them together. If the consistency is still too thick, add a tiny bit more liquid. It won't be the usual thick mask that you're used to, but you don't need it to be.
- Test the temperature of the mask, and if it's fine, apply it over the inflammation using your fingertips, staying far away from your eyes.
- Let it dry for about 10 minutes and then remove it with warm water, making sure all traces are gone, and pat dry. Use the mask once or twice a week, depending on your skin type, and the severity of your issue.
- If you're allergic to any of the ingredients or salicylic acid, if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that has you avoiding aspirin.
- Don't use on areas that have been waxed or had a salicylic acid, glycolic, or an enzyme product applied in the last four days.
- Do not apply to irritated, inflamed, cut, or sunburned skin.
As always, it's best to check with your doctor or dermatologist if you have any questions about using this mask if you have a certain skin, health, or medical condition.
Arif T. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:455-461. doi:10.2147/CCID.S84765
Burlando B, Cornara L. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013;12(4):306-313. doi:10.1111/jocd.12058