Step 4: Zap zits and punish pimples

Picture of Zap zits and punish pimples
Salicylic acid. It's one of the topical applications used for acne treatment, and it just so happens to be a natural part of aspirin.

Crush up the pill and add some water to make a paste. Apply the aspirin paste to your pimple and wait for several minutes. Rinse off without rubbing too much, and the pimple should diminish in redness and size. Spot treatment for those "haven't showered since Friday" weekend camping trips where you want to look your best.

Possibly true fact: the taste of salicylic acid can discourage bears from gnawing on your face.
erickap11 month ago
I have done a lot of research on aspirin as a facial treatment, so I'd like to add a couple things:
For those that use this method: It's a great treatment, but DON'T use it too often if you want to keep using it. Your skin can build up a tolerance to the aspirin, and make the treatment cease to be effective. This is good to help calm skin in emergencies, but not on a regular basis.
ALSO, Salicylic Acid (asprin) makes your skin more susceptible to sunburns. if you are going to use this treatment, use sunscreen as well.

For face masks like dollgrownup suggested, you can dissolve one or two (depending on the size) uncoated aspirin in some aloe or honey . Aloe moisturizes and soothes skin, where honey has natural antibacterial properties. Combined with the aspirin, which has anti-inflammatory properties (duh), and exfoliating properties, it makes a great mask to help sooth skin and fight acne. Just remember to use sunscreen when being out in the sun after using this treatment.
I have also read rumors about "aspirin burns" due to aspirin used on the skin. It is always a good idea to test whatever you are using on a small area of skin to make sure you do not react.
Aspirin is used in a lot of store bought face washes and whatnot, but there are certain risks involved in making your own mask that you might want to look up if you are in the least bit concerned.
dollgrownup4 years ago
I've been using this as a great exfoliant scrub with a little bit of honey. I leave it on as a mask for a few minutes, scrub, then rinse. It really does help the skin and makes it feel so soft afterwards.
robecker4 years ago
Acetylsalacylic acid (aspirin) and salacylic acid (acne wash) are more alphabetically similar than chemically. Salacylic acid loosens the connections between keratinocytes (skin cells) and aids exfoliation, while ASA is a potent anti-inflammatory, inhibiting the prostaglandin cascade - it reduces the redness and puffiness of a zit. It has long been used in Hollywood (as well as the adult entertainment industry) to reduce the appearance of blemishes from acne or hair removal.
-friendly dermatologist.
The above is true, but you DO get salicylic acid by water hydrolysis. When ASA is left wet for a little bit, hydrolysis to Salicylic acid and Acetic acid (vinegar) occurs. This is why if you take a whiff of an aspirin bottle it has that vinegar smell from the ASA that degraded from ambient humidity, and also why there is no liquid formulation of aspirin. If you are thinking ahead as to why it doesn't degrade (as much) when we take it, ASA is almost completely absorbed in the stomach rather than the rest of the intestines. This is due to the acidic conditions that keep it protonated until it can get through to the systemic circulation.

It is a great double whammy of anti-inflammatory and keratolytic action.

wilgubeast (author)  robecker4 years ago
Awesome to know! Thank you.
Darwinfish4 years ago
Bet the bear thing works great, until you run into a bear who's having a heart attack, or has a headache, or wants to remove sweat stains from its fur. Then... you're screwed. :D
HA! Great answer!
Raiqi4 years ago
The bears leave you alone did they?
wow... this one actually works... OMG...