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How to make your own salicylic acid lotion

Updated April 17, 2017

Salicylic acid is a type of acid derived from willow bark, and it is the active ingredient in aspirin. Although aspirin is intended for pain relief, topical application salicylic acid is often used for cosmetic purposes. Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliant and the acid can be helpful in treating acne, psoriasis and for clarifying the complexion. There are many over-the-counter lotions that contain salicylic acid, but you can also make a lotion formula at home.

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  1. Place four aspirin in a small bowl and sprinkle 3 to 4 drops of water onto the tablets to dissolve the aspirin.

  2. Mix the dissolving aspirin with a spoon to create a thick, grainy paste. If necessary, sprinkle a few more drops of water on the tablets.

  3. Mix 2 tbsp of hypoallergenic skin lotion into the aspirin paste. Add water as necessary, to thin the mixture, so that the consistency is creamy.

  4. Apply the lotion mixture to your face. Leave in place for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

  5. Tip

    You can use plain yoghurt instead of the lotion.


    If the lotion comes in contact with the eyes, rinse immediately with warm water. Leaving the salicylic acid lotion on your face for longer than 15 minutes may cause irritation.

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 aspirin
  • 8 to 10 grams/2 tbsp hypoallergenic lotion
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon

About the Author

Fiona Todd has been a writer since 2001. With work appearing in a range of media outlets, including "The Seattle Times" and "Static Magazine," she enjoys sharing her expertise in real estate, pets, gardening and travel. Todd holds an associate degree in communications from the University of Phoenix, and a real estate brokers license in Washington State.

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