The Aspirin Face Mask: Is It Really A Cure-All Skin Treatment?

It sounds like the holy grail of skincare, and in theory it should work. We go dermal detective on aspirin face masks.

girl wearing a face mask

Imagine the moolah you’d save on acne treatments if there was a simple at home remedy that could kick those sebaceous glands in the goolies. According to Google there is, and it’s called aspirin.

Sure, we trust the world’s largest search engine when we’re too lazy to type .com, but when it comes to our skin, it’s best to talk to an actual living, breathing human, preferably with a degree in medicine. We put our beauty DIY question to cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Rachael Eckel.

Crushing a couple of aspirin, mixing with a little water and spreading liberally over our face will wipeout those whiteheads, right? “Aspirin has many benefits from a dermatologic point of view,” says Dr. Eckel, “but the mask thing, it’s a bit of an old wives tale!” (STELLAR is gutted, we really wanted this to be true!)

Although aspirin contains salicylic acid, the molecule is just too large to penetrate the skin.

“Although aspirin contains salicylic acid which is great for oily skin and shrinking pores, the problem is that the molecule is just too large to penetrate the skin,” Rachel explains. “If you make a paste, it will just remain blob-like on your skin and it won’t get absorbed. Sometimes I use an in-office treatment where I deliver the aspirin down the hair follicle to the actual spot, so it’s not just sitting on the surface.”

If you can’t avail of that, Rachel reveals the tiny white pill can be used for something even more powerful. “Studies have shown that if you take aspirin (orally) when you come back from the beach, its anti-inflammatory properties will reduce inflammation caused by sun exposure. It’s also been noted that not only will you have less sun damage but it decreases the rates of skin cancer too.”

We’ll take that over a zit fix any day. If you’re planning on throwing some aspirin into the hollibops suitcase along with the wide-brimmed hat and the SPF (don’t forget your first round of defence), be sure to check with your own doc that it’s ok to do so.