Yes, it’s true, I’ve been writing quite a lot about acne as of late and here’s why: I’m in a major fight with my pimples. I’ve just suffered a serious break out that took about 6 weeks – and 6 dozen products – to clear up. Fortunately, I’m over the worst of it. But let’s get real: By 30 (+), aren’t we supposed to be over our breakout years? I distinctly remember my mother (gynecologist, dermatologist, and psychiatrist - fine, maybe not my psychiatrist but I am quite certain talks of acne angst were discussed at some point during therapy) promising me that my pimples would be gone by the time I finished high school. That was definitely not the case. The reality is that I am still prone to acne flair ups from time to time and, although they are less consistent, when a breakout hits, it always feels like the first time (and I don’t mean that in that other “first time” feel good way). Feelings of angst, isolation and depression settle in big time. Perhaps now even more so then in my teen years because at age 30 (+), shouldn’t I be done with zits? Haven’t I suffered my fair share?
It really comes down to this: Pimples don’t discriminate, not against race, class or age. And, it’s not necessarily a matter of how well you take care of your skin because, for me, I take care of my skin so well (after all, I am blessed with the opportunity to try some of the finest products on the market). Of course, if you’re prone to acne and you fall asleep with a face fall of makeup, eat greasy food all day everyday, and don’t take the precautions needed to avoid breakouts (facials, peels, retinoids, etc), then, yes, your skincare maintenance – or lack of - is most definitely a factor. But if you’re on this blog, then let’s assume that you love your skin and you give it all of the TLC that is so rightfully deserves.
And now, onto a fantastic DIY anti-acne mask that my friend, actress Kelly Kruger, who also suffers from the occasional WTF breakout, shared with me. The aspirin acne mask has been around for a very very long time and it is a tried and tested way to treat acne and aging! And it takes about 2 minutes to make and 15 minutes to see results. It’s one of my favorites yet.
*If you have an aspirin allergy, do not attempt this mask!
What You’ll Need:
5-7 Uncoated aspirin pills
Distilled Water (bottled water like Fiji or Evian)
1 tsp Organic Honey
Benefits of the Ingredients:
Aspirin – An anti-inflamatory so it will immediately reduce redness. Contains salicylic acid which is one of the most commonly used ingredients in acne products as it cleans out pores and exfoliates the skin (which is ideal for sloughing away fine lines and wrinkles too).
Honey – The antibacterial properties in honey benefit acne-prone skin by reducing breakouts and healing current flair ups. It’s also a natural humectant so it locks in necessary moisture to keep skin hydrated and glowing.
In a mug, drop the aspirin in with just enough distilled water to create a paste consistency. Let the aspirin dissolve in the water (you can mix a bit if necessary). If it seems a bit too pasty, add more water. If it is too liquidy, add another aspirin. I’d advise not to use more than 8 aspirin. Once you have your paste at the consistency that you like, you can apply to skin as is. However, I find that by adding 1 teaspoon of organic honey, the mask is less drying to the skin. You also receive the added benefits of honey (and I love honey for acne-prone skin) so I have included honey in my directions. You could also sub the honey for olive oil if your skin is extra dry or irritated. I’ve read that people use jojoba oil and tea tree oil as well. It really is a matter of personal preference and what benefit you are going after.
How to Use:
Apply to the face, jaw, chest, back – any area that is prone to breakouts. Leave on for 7-15 minutes. This is great for men too as aspirin is wonderful for ingrown hairs (i.e. beard acne). Use up to two times a week but make sure that you make a new batch each time you use.
*You will notice an immediate glow to the skin once you rinse off the mask. Skin will feel heavenly soft and look luminous. Blackheads should decrease after the first use as well. Enjoy!