Last week I was asked to comment on a news article about Aspirin facials. I had never heard of them before so I started researching and was shocked to find that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles out there about the wonders of crushing up aspirin and putting it on your face for smoother skin. Apparently it’s been around for decades as a great exfoliant and cheap alternative for chemical peels. Am I the only one who finds this a little alarming??
Aspirin has been linked to numerous adverse side effects when taken orally, including kidney failure, liver failure and ulcers. And we KNOW that what we put on to our skin gets absorbed in to the bloodstream, not at the same level as when taken orally but a portion does get absorbed through the skin. I can understand why someone might take it when in severe pain, but I just don’t get why you would add that extra toxic load to the body for a facial.
The great news is that the active ingredient in aspirin (salicylic acid) that can help to smooth the skin, can also be found in nature.
In fact, in the humble strawberry. So I played around and made a face mask using crushed strawberries and banana, a bit of oil, cinnamon and lemon juice – it worked a treat! My skin definitely felt smoother and my pores were smaller.
Here’s why all of these ingredients are so good for your skin:
Strawberries: A natural source of salicylic acid. SA is a common anti-acne ingredient used to clean out pores and get rid of blackheads without over drying the skin. Also used as a natural exfoliant.
Bananas: Packed full of vitamins, bananas are also soothing and moisterising for the skin. They help to hold this mask together and add a lovely coolness.
Cinnamon: reduces inflamation and redness (another reason why people claim aspirin is a good option)
Lemon: Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons are a natural astringent that tighten pores and brighten the complexion. Lemons are also commonly used to even out skin tone (good for minimizing the appearance of acne scarring).
Sweet Almond Oil (or you can use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Jojoba or Grapeseed): This oil is rich in vitamins E and K and essential fatty acids, it can help protect your skin from free radicals and environmental aggression.
What you need:
4-6 strawberries, washed and diced
1/4 banana, sliced
1 tsp Sweet Almond Oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
Squeeze of lemon juice
In a bowl, mash the strawberries and banana. Add the oil, lemon juice and cinnamon and stir. Apply to clean face with clean hands and lye back and relax for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
If you have any remaining strawberries in your batch, you can soak a cotton pad in the juice and apply as a toner twice a day. Keep this DIY strawberry toner (complete with seeds and pulp) in a closed container in the fridge and it will last for up to 5 days.