Bacne, shaving bumps and ingrown hairs- what lovely subjects of concern! With the summer heat and bikini season approaching, people have been coming to me about these pests. The simple solution for bacne (back acne), shaving bumps and ingrown hairs is sitting in your medicine cabinet right now! Aspirin is made up of acetylsalicylic acid, which exfoliates skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. I first heard of using aspirin for face acne years ago. I did try this on my face when I was acne-prone. While it did help with acne, my skin was left too dehydrated for my liking. The concept is great though; I wasn’t about to give up on it yet.
Further research on aspirin led me to make the connection that the popular ingrown hair solution, Tend Skin, is basically made up of acetylsalicylic acid. This product has been made very popular by waxing salons and beauty supply stores. The verdict: I tried Tend Skin on myself and other “guinea pigs”. While it works well in preventing and eliminating ingrown hairs and shaving bumps, the strong alcohol scent left my olfactory system with a hangover. I passionately hate putting anything on my skin that reminds me of how chemical-ridden it is. And to think some ladies use this around their, ahem, bikini region…yikes! For a gentler and much cheaper solution, follow these simple steps to make your fresh batch of Tend Skin for sensitive skin.
- Place 1 or 2 uncoated aspirin in the palm of your hand.
- Combine it with a 1-2 pumps of aloe vera gel.
- The aloe vera gel will begin to soak into the powdery aspirin. Speed up the mixing process by blending the 2 ingredients with your finger.
- Apply to sites of ingrown hairs and shaving bumps; scrub areas gently.
- Can be left on as a solution (apply sparingly) –or- Apply liberally and wipe off after 10 minutes.
This solution works better than Tend Skin because it’s a true concentrate of acetylsalicylic acid that is activated right before application. How clever is that?!
The mask method (apply liberally and rinse off) is also excellent for bacne. You may want to increase the number of tablets used if the bacne area is large. Use a back loofah for easy application. The skin on your back (and body) is generally “brawnier” than the skin on your face, making this safe yet extra-strength treatment the perfect solution for bacne, shaving bumps and ingrown hairs.
On a side note: while aspirin is safe for internal usage, please err on the safe side and NOT try this if you are allergic to aspirin.
Edited to add: My readers have come up with their own great ideas about using aspirin (read their brilliant comments!). I want to reinforce one reader's comment about exercising caution when using this on the face (another reason I didn't care for it as a face mask). If you do decide to try this on the face. Mix with thicker, heavier base (like honey) so there's no fear of inhaling the dried apirin. It is, after all, a medication, please use with caution!