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Aspirin Masks 101

Do it Yourself treatments are rather popular right not and seems that a new one pops up every day. One of the more popular items that has been circulating for some time now is the aspirin mask for skin.  Before continuing, I will note that this use of aspirin, while fairly popular in the  DIY beauty realm, is an off label use of aspirin, meaning it hasn’t been approved by any governing body. So, I am not vouching for its safety or effectiveness.  Instead this is a general report on their use. Be sure to read the safety portion of the article to see if you are one who particularly should not try an aspirin mask.

Aspirin Mask


Just as it sounds, the aspirin mask is made up of crushed aspirins that are usually mixed with water and honey. The reviews on such a mask are mixed, but a majority report that the mask works well to clear acne, remove blackheads, and clean the pores. Many swear by the masks as part of their normal skin care routine.


The idea behind the use of aspirin for a mask is two-fold. First, the gritty texture of aspirin is ideal for exfoliating skin. In addition, aspirin contains salicylic acid which is known for safely removing dead skin cells and is used in many skincare products. Exfoliation of skin is necessary to remove dead skin cells and give skin a polished glow. Aspirin, when crushed, is great for this. However, aspirin dissolves quickly in water. Therefore, an aspirin mask must be applied seconds after the concoction has been made. A slight bubbling action will occur in the mask which is very normal and not harmful.

The second idea behind using aspirin as a mask for skin is to reduce skin’s inflammation. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory agent that is proven to reduce inflammation in the body. The idea behind using aspirin topically is the same as when taken orally. Aspirin is believed to calm and soothe stressed out and irritated skin. However, these beliefs are not necessarily founded in science.


While people in the beauty industry recommend aspirin masks, the FDA and the official board of skincare science have yet to prove that aspirin masks are either safe or unsafe. There are several cases in which an aspirin mask should definitely not be used, as in the following:

• If you have allergies to aspirin or salicylic acid
• If you have severe acne and are being treated with medication for acne
• If you are breastfeeding
• if you are pregnant
• if you have sunburned skin or wind chapped skin


The basic recipe for making an aspirin mask is simple. Just crush six to eight aspirins and mix with a few tablespoons of water. The mixture will bubble and must be applied immediately after mixing the water and aspirin so that the aspirin will not dissolve. However, if the aspirin does dissolve, salicylic acid is still present in the mixture but the texture will no longer be gritty. This grittiness helps the salicylic acid in the exfoliation process.

Some people like to use honey in the water/aspirin mixture. Honey is a great moisturizer and has been used for years in skincare products. Other popular ingredients in the aspirin mask are:

• crushed oatmeal
• essential oils such as jojoba or coconut oil
• mayonnaise for really dry skin
• crushed avocado
• a favorite skincare lotion
• cold cream

After applying, leave the mask on the skin for a few minutes until it dries and then massage the mask on the skin with wet fingertips before rinsing off. You can also do the opposite and massage for a bit first and then let it sit for a minute or two. Massage carefully, especially if you have sensitive skin, as the aspirin is rather gritty and can be a bit heavy as a scrub.

Aspirin masks are often used as little as once every week to several times per week by people who swear by them.

Have you used an aspirin mask? If so, what were the results?

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