A few weeks ago I came across this book at a used book store: Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?
I couldn’t resist and bought it. I’ve read most of it now and while there’s a lot of just common sense advice “Do curling shampoos really work?” (no) or “Is it safe to use lipstick on your cheeks?” (yes), I also learned a few things. Today I’m sharing this one about the infamous Aspirin mask.
The book is written by the two men who are behind the blog The Beauty Brains, Perry Romanowski and Randy Schueller. It’s interesting to see things from the perspective of chemists, who are purely focused on the science behind cosmetic products, and with no agenda (ie. pushing their own products).
On pg 59, the question is:
Is an Aspirin mask good for the skin?
The active ingredient in aspirin is the drug called acetylsalicylic acid. After you swallow an aspirin tablet, it travels to your small intestine where this ingredient is broken down to create salicylic acid… which belongs to the class of chemicals known as beta hydroxy acids, or BHAs. BHAs are similar to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids). Both BHAs and AHAs are known for their ability to to help slough off dead skin cells when applied topically.
In theory, crushing aspirin tablets and rubbing them on your face could be beneficial because you’re delivering a skin-smoothing BHA, right? Well, not exactly.
You’re really delivering acetylsalicylic acid to the skin – not salicylic acid, which is the active BHA. And just rubbing the acetyl version on your skin won’t make it convert to the salicylic acid version… some of the salicylic acid is present, but it certainly isn’t an optimized doze.
The book goes on to recommend just buying a BHA product formulated for the skin.
Well! I used to crush aspirins and mix it with water or aloe vera and slather it on my face, I thought I was so clever! Did any of you make your own aspirin mask?
I’ll post a few more snippets from this book if you’re interested!
EDIT: Since so many of you are asking, so can you get hooked on lip balm? The Beauty Brains’ response: SORTA.
They said that constantly hydrating the lips doesn’t allow the dry skin to slough off, thus disrupting the natural renewal cycle, making the lips feel more dry – hence reapplying MORE lip balm. Creating a vicious cycle.