Salicylic acid is a compound found in the bark of willow trees. It is an effective ingredient in skin care products. Many over-the-counter treatments for acne, blackheads and warts contain salicylic acid, including rejuvenating skin peels. The acid has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reach deep into glands in the skin, dissolving sebum in the pores. A build-up of cells and bacteria causes infection and inflammation in the hair follicle. Salicylic acid is a major ingredient in aspirin.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Aspirin tablets
- Screw-top container
- Container label
Count out a maximum of a half-dozen pure aspirin tablets.
Place the tablets into an electric blender or coffee grinder.
Add 2 to 3 tbsp alcohol and stir so all the tablets are soaked. Substitute the alcohol for fruit juice, such as lemon, if making the solution for oily facial skin. Use milk for normal, dry or sensitive skin.
Soak the tablets for 2 minutes to soften them.
Switch on the blender and allow the aspirin to dissolve into the alcohol. If necessary, stir the mixture until the last of the aspirin disappears.
Pour the solution into a clean container and screw the lid tightly.
Label and date the container clearly and store it in a cool, dark place.
Tips and warnings
- Add the solution to your favourite skin cleanser to clear the skin of blackheads and acne.
- Salicylic acid solution mixed with a couple tablespoons of natural fruit juice makes an ideal astringent for the skin.
- Add 2 or 3 tsp honey to the solution and spread over clean skin for a homemade chemical peel. For dry and sensitive skin, add yoghurt to the solution and apply.
- If you do not have an electric blender, a food processor is ideal. However, aspirins can be ground into a powder by using a mortar and pestle. In the absence of this equipment, put two aspirins into a tablespoon. Put another spoon of the same size on top of the aspirins in the first spoon. Using both thumbs and forefingers, squeeze the shallows of the spoons together. Move the spoons against each other in a slight side-to-side motion, to grind the tablets into powder.
- Salicylic acid may harm your unborn child; do not use it if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
- You may experience a stinging sensation after applying salicylic acid.
- Apply the correct percentage of this acid, as it can be absorbed through your skin.
- Do not inhale the acid or put it into your mouth.; it is harmful.
- Do not apply salicylic acid to open wounds. Keep it away from eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wear household gloves to apply it to the skin. Do not allow your fingers to come into prolonged contact with the solution.
- When preparing a homemade solution of salicylic acid, always wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves, protective eyewear and a mask.
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