Take Five Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning

by Kezia on March 11, 2008

Reveal skin with DIY skin treatments

Last week I wrote about my guilt associated with wasteful beauty product packaging. Since then (whoa – an entire week) I’ve tried to be mindful about what I buy rather than mindlessly consuming. I’m a beauty junkie – I like having the newest, sexiest products, with their life-changing, radiance-boosting claims. Lately I’ve been craving a new facial mask – something dewifying, brightening, clarifying and ultra-hydrating. But instead of trolling the aisles of Sephora or Walgreens, I looked in my fridge and medicine cabinet.

Make an Aspirin Mask

Got dull, wintry skin? How about blackheads and clogged pores? Then you’ll love (I hope) the aspirin mask. It’s made from – you guessed– it aspirin dissolved in water or witch hazel (speeds up the process).

Aspirin contains salicylic acid (aka Beta Hydroxy Acid), an exfoliant that helps slough off dead skin cells and unplug pores. It’s also used to treat acne and hyperpigmentation.

When my skin looks dull and my pores are clogged, it’s time to use the aspirin as a mask or scrub. Post-mask my skin always looks clear and soft. My friend and fellow aspirin aficionado, Kim, says her skin feels “tight, toned and plumped” after 15 minutes of the mask.

I mix aspirin with aloe vera gel because it feels less abrasive and helps calm irritation. But it’s just as effective with plain old water – experiment with ingredients to find what works best for your skin.

What You’ll Need:

  1. 5 or 6 uncoated regular-strength aspirin tablets
  2. Warm water or witch hazel
  3. Optional: aloe vera gel or organic honey

What to Do:

  1. Mix aspirin with warm water or witch hazel to form a grainy paste.
  2. Spread all over face, focusing on problem areas like the t-zone.
  3. For a thicker, less drying consistency, mix dissolved aspirin with a dollop of aloe vera gel dollop or room temperature honey. Spread all over face, like a mask.
  4. Wait about 10 or 15 minutes and remove with a warm wash cloth. Since honey is sticky and tacky, it takes a little more elbow grease and finesse to get it all off without making a mess.
  5. Follow with a hydrating moisturizer.

X Marks the Spot
I’m cursed with occasional hormonal breakouts on my jaw line and neck. I’m talking painful cystic monstrosities that make me want to hide in my apartment. I use 2 or 3 dissolved aspirins as a spot treatment that I leave on overnight. Definitely helps reduce inflammation and scarring.

Milk and Honey

When The Coveted was still fairly new, Jennine asked me how to make a mask with honey and yogurt. Although messy and drippy, I love the way honey makes my skin all soft and glowy. Plain, whole milk yogurt is cooling and minimizes the redness that sensitive types experience after masking or exfoliating.

These pictures are pretty silly (and, in my case, not very flattering). I can’t believe we posted them on the Internet. Jennine – I love being silly and girly with you. You’re a dear, beloved friend and I’ll really miss you. Bon voyage, luv.

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Jeanne March 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Strange but true — I used to keep a bottle of honey in the shower for washing my face. It really does make your face soft and glowy!

Fenke March 12, 2008 at 2:22 am

where the hell (xcuse ma language) can i get witch hazel? is it a liquid? i wanna try it, but water is no good for my face - water is too calcareous over here.

jennine March 12, 2008 at 9:53 am

ah, man! the water!?! really?

i think which hazel is kind of astringent? i always thought it was like rubbing alcohol but with a prettier package (see how smart i am)


kezia do you have any suggestions?

the_kitten March 12, 2008 at 10:40 am

Thanks for the tips! I definitely need to try that out!

Kez March 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Hey Fenke…Witch Hazel has both astringent and anti-oxidant properties. It’s been used as a toner for generations. It helps the aspirin dissolve quicker than plain water and makes the mask even more therapeutic. I like Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner — it’s less drying than others. http://www.thayers.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=14

Fenke March 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm

okay i see - i translated witch hazel, and couldn’t make anything more out of it than that it is a plant which i know as ‘hamamelis’. so you basically used a facial toner that contains it. thanks girls!

patti March 12, 2008 at 1:03 pm

I just read a tip on some blog somewhere in the blogesphere (ah, can’t remember where) about dropping in a aspirin tablet to your whites when you wash your clothes. Suppose to help get out yellow underarm stains and get your white brighter.

jennine March 12, 2008 at 1:51 pm


i don’t even have this stuff in my house. i gotta get me some asprin… it’s sounding like a miracle drug.

hailey March 12, 2008 at 1:53 pm

cool, i will have to try - too bad all my aspirin are extra-strength! lol

ms. spinach March 12, 2008 at 6:42 pm

the thing about putting aspirin in your laundry to make whites whiter is in the new april issue of lucky. now i’ve got two reasons to make a cvs run…

Patti March 13, 2008 at 12:02 am

ahhh! yes, it was in good ol’ Lucky! Thank you Miss Spinach! I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday let alone where I read what.

joanna goddard March 14, 2008 at 8:10 am

very cool. yes, i read that thing about aspirin in laundry…what a great idea. xo

Meg March 16, 2008 at 10:27 am

aspirin? what a tip!

Mel July 1, 2008 at 10:04 am

I just tried this, and it’s *amazing*. My skin is glowier and softer than it has been since I was a kid.

jennine July 1, 2008 at 10:08 am

I know.. Kezia has a lot of great tips, I’ve been hooked on the olive oil cleanse, and moisturizer. My skin has never been better!

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