Aspirin and baking soda--to cure your complexion's hangover

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer is coming up in a couple of weeks, which means the time has arrived to talk about hangovers and how to cure them. I'm not talking about the boring old-fashioned kind of hangover you get from drinking too much. I'm talking about the hangover your face gets from overindulging in makeup and sunscreen and under-indulging in skin care.

Luckily enough, the answer to both problems is aspirin and baking soda.

The Baking Soda Exfoliator

Everyone knows baking soda is great for deoderizing refrigerators and cat boxes, gently scrubbing coffee stains off mugs and teeth--and even, believe it or not, for baking.

But the easiest, cheapest, gentlest and most effective exfoliator in the world is a pinch of baking soda. Just add it to whatever cleanser you already use. The grains are small, the scrubbing effect is gentle, and it rinses off easily. I've even been known to add a bit of baking soda to a handful of soap suds.

The Aspirin Mask

As for aspirin, you simply aren't an internet beauty maven until you've tried an aspirin mask.

This isn't as crazy as it sounds. After all, Cleopatra bathed in ass's milk, and Victorian women made masks of crushed strawberries. In both cases, what smoothed and softened the skin was the alpha-hydroxy acids (or AHAs) naturally present in these foods.

Cosmetics now routinely use neatly packaged, shelf-stable acids like lactic acid (derived from milk) citric acids (derived from citrus fruits) and glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane.) 

In addition to AHAs, cosmetics also contain BHA, or beta-hydroxy acid. This is salicylic acid, which is derived from witch hazel. And salicylic acid is the primary ingredient in aspirin. 

OK, now that you realize I'm not completely crazy, here's what you need to proceed:

1. Cheap, preferably generic aspirin. Get the kind that's uncoated; you want the tablets to dissolve quickly.

2. Warm water--about a teaspoon.

Mix two or three aspirin tablets with about a teaspon of warm water and wait from them to dissolve. You'll end up with a white, grainy slurry.

Apply the slurry to your face in circular motions, using the graininess to gently scrub your skin. Let the mask dry for a few minutes, then rinse off. You'll be left with smooth, glowing skin.

Some users add honey or aloe vera gel to the water-and-aspirin mix. Honey and aloe vera gel have moisturizing, soothing properties, and the extra thickness helps the mask stay in place.

So there you have it--the cure for your beauty hangovers! And easy on the budget, as well. (Which leaves you with more money for cute shoes!)

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