Asprin to the Rescue

After only two uses, I think I'm ready to back up all the wonderful reviews the famous Aspirin Mask (or "pack" in my world, but I'll let it go this time around) has received on MakeupAlley.com (search for "aspirin mask"). One of my male friends used to recommend crushing aspirin with water to create a paste for spot-treatments (didn't really work well for cystic zits - better for surface ones), but I never would have thought it was wise to use this as a mask. Until now!

This is a pretty simple home remedy. You take about 2-3 uncoated aspirin and crush it with a little bit of water (just a few big drops) to make a paste. This is the base of the mask - you can add other skin-friendly ingredients that you might already use in other masks, like vitamin E oil, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, or yogurt.

The first time I used this, I crushed 3 aspirin (I used the Bayer brand) with a few drops of water and vitamin E oil (I was afraid the mask would turn into a drying disaster and wanted some nurturing oil in there). I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The redness of more irritable patches of skin was almost gone and most of my comodones were significantly reduced in size (something my Clindamycin and Differin do not do). The next morning, my skin definitely appeared clearer.

That was Sunday night. I applied this again yesterday evening, this time mixed with a tablespoon yogurt (I use yogurt masks frequently during the summer). This was much easier to apply with the yogurt - I think it provides a stronger base for the aspirin paste. I massaged it in for a few minutes and then left it in for 5 before rinsing off with lukewarm water. Even better results this time, probably due to the yogurt (which acts as a moisturizer, brightener, and exfoliator).

I know aspirin is anti-inflammatory and is derived from salicylic acid, which probably explains its soothing properties. But I was surprised that there was no irritation or dryness, although I had been sure to prevent that by including moisturizing ingredients (yogurt and vitamin E oil) in my versions and also applying moisturizer afterwards. You can find some information on using aspirin as a skin treatment for rosacea and other skin problems on FutureDerm.com.

This mask is probably also best for surface blemishes (which I have more of) versus cystic acne or other skin problems. While I don't think it can get rid of below-the-surface blemishes, it might significantly reduce their appearance if irritated or inflamed. Perhaps regular use could produce better results - one would have to experiment and see.

Overall, I think this is a great mask (and inexpensive, too) to use a couple of times a week, especially if you already apply one. Just add more or less aspirin depending on your needs and give your skin a break from it once in a while. This seems totally safe to use on the skin, but I would suggest making the paste in a paper plate/cup and throwing it out - I don't like the idea of crushed up medicine lying around in my sink!

I'm quite sure the effects of the aspirin are generally short-lived so I don't think it will improve skin in the long run, but it sure won't hurt it either. I plan to use this regularly with yogurt for the summer, and will develop another recipe for the cooler months. Give it a try!


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