[thrive_drop_caps color=’red’ style=’1′]S[/thrive_drop_caps]alicylic acid comes from the bark of a willow tree, and being used as the main ingredient in many skin care products. The companies may market it as BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid, but it’s still the same salicylic acid used in medicine long ago.
It may be found in acne treatments to dry up pimples while acting as an anti-inflammatory or it may be in a peel, since it is far gentler, but also more efficient than Alpha Hydroxy Acid, working well on both dry and oily skin.
The reason Salicylic acid works so well as an exfoliant is its ability to dry out and destroy the sticky substance that holds dead skins together, making them harder to remove.
Removing these dead tissues helps control oil production, reduce the visibility of pores and in doing both, control acne. In fact, if you checked all the over the counter acne and oil control products, you’d find that salicylic acid is in most of them.
While it may be a bit harder to get salicylic acid, it’s relatively easy to get a substitute that works the same way. You’ll find it in your medicine cabinet in a bottle labeled aspirin. Aspirin is changed slightly to make it more palatable and causing a change in the name to acetylsalicylic acid.
Moisturizing Acid Peels
- 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 cup water – this is your neutralizing solution which is very important.
- 5 or 6 aspirin tablets
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp aloe-vera gel or 1 tbsp honey
- A gentle, emollient rich moisturizer to apply afterwards or Coconut oil (your choice)
- Rubbing alcohol ASPl (OTC 70% is fine) – this removes fats and oils from skin allowing the peel to work optimally
- In one bowl, combine the uncoated aspirin tablets with the lemon juice, then add aloe vera or honey. The lemon juice adds an extra dose of vitamin C which helps whiten and strengthen the skin.
You’ll notice the aspirin tablets will dissolve immediately, but you can help it along by crushing them using the back of a spoon. It will form a paste-like consistency. Set this aside.
- In the second bowl, pour 1/2 – 1 cup of cold water and stir in the baking soda. Tap water will work fine, but cold water will bring a refreshing feeling to the skin.
1-2 days before you use the peel, start washing with a soap-free cleanser (a cleanser without sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureate sulfate).
This will ensure that the peel penetrates your skin effectively. All acid peels work best when the skin hasn’t been cleaned with overly alkaline products.
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”Step #1: Prepare the Skin”] [/thrive_text_block]
Before you apply the peel, you’ll want to prime your skin. While a commercial spa might use acetone to clean it and remove dirt and grime, you can do the same with over the counter rubbing alcohol.
This eliminates the grease from the skin, allowing the acidic mixture to work its best. Use a makeup pad, gauze square or cotton ball soaked in alcohol and wiped your face clean with it as a primer.
[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=”Step #2: Applying the Peel”] [/thrive_text_block]
- Applying the mixture can be done with a fan brush or a gauze pad soaked in the solution. Just dip the pad or brush in the aspirin mixture, squeezing it out enough, so it doesn’t drip or putting it on the size of the dish to prevent dripping and wipe your face with it like a toner. Keep it away from the eyes, throat, and lips!
- Start by applying it to your T-zone where it tends to be oiliest. Work away from the t-zone toward the cheeks. Once you’ve put on the first stroke, you’ll start monitoring your time. You’ll leave it on for ten minutes.
What to Expect:
The mixture may sting a bit and become quite hot. You may need to sit next to a fan to help reduce that sensation. However, the more tingle you feel, the more you know it’s working. If you feel you can’t handle the sensation or it becomes too hot and burns, remove it and neutralize the acid.
[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=”Step #3 Neutralize the Acid and Remove the Peel”] [/thrive_text_block]
You’ll neutralize the acid by using the baking soda and water mixture. Simply dip another piece of gauze or cotton ball in the baking soda solution and wipe it over your face several times, at the minimum three.
If after wiping this solution you still feel it’s burning, you can splash cold water on your face or hold a washcloth soaked it cold water on your face to cool the burning sensation.
Removing the Peel
- Once your 10 – 15 minutes is up, apply the baking soda solution all over skin to neutralize the acid
- Wipe/pat thoroughly all over, repeating at least 3 times
- Your face may still feel quite hot, if so splash with plenty of cold water until it calms down. Or, apply a cold wash cloth to skin and leave it on
[thrive_text_block color=”green” headline=”Step #4: Finish the Process with a Moisturizer”] [/thrive_text_block]
You’ll love the smooth appearance your skin has, but you’ll also need to protect that baby soft look with a moisturizer. Peeling has a drying effect on the skin, so using your favorite moisturizer liberally is important. Virgin coconut oil is one of my favorites.
Not only does it cool, moisturize, soothe and protect the skin, it also has antibacterial properties. No matter how oily your skin normally is, you’ll feel some dryness for a few weeks following the peel.
Expectations and Aftercare:
- You’ll see milia, those small hard bumps, open up the following treatment. The same applies to whiteheads. Don’t pick at them or pinch them. They’ll soon dry out and disappear. The salicylic acid helps dry them out very quickly, while it also helps kill bacteria.
- Your face will be slightly red for a few days, besides being dry. You may also feel a little irritation. That’s normal. Just continue to apply moisturizer to relieve the problem.
- Slight redness, dryness and a little irritation is normal for a few days. Keep applying moisturizer
- Don’t forget to use sunscreen. Even better, stay out of the sun for a few days if you can. Your skin is particularly susceptible to damage immediately following this peel. Also steer clear of other exfoliating procedures, scrubs or peels immediately following.
- Let your skin have a rest for a while. If your skin begins to flake, just apply more moisturizer and give it a few days to heal. Don’t pick at the flakes. The salicylic acid makes this occur, and it’s perfectly natural for this type of peel.s
The Final Results
After a few weeks, you’ll notice great improvements, such as a disappearance of problems with blackheads and whiteheads, smaller pores and far fewer breakouts.
Even though you have oily skin, you may still have fine lines. These disappear. This peel can even out your pigmentation and help make acne scars disappear.
[thrive_text_block color=”purple” headline=”Using the Peel Frequently Provides Cumulative Benefits. “] [/thrive_text_block]Sticking to a regimen of treatments can make your skin healthier while reducing flare-ups.
① If you want a mild peel, use only five to six aspirin, but for those want a more aggressive on, doubling the amount of aspirin, and lemon juice can provide it.
② If the peel doesn’t eliminate blocked pores, use more aspirin. Start the routine with the milder peel first and build up to the most aggressive blend.
③ The above recipe (5-6 uncoated aspirin) is a very mild solution. If you want a mild peel, use only five to six aspirin, but for those want a more aggressive on, doubling the amount of aspirin, and lemon juice can provide it.
④ If the peel doesn’t eliminate blocked pores, use more aspirin. Start the routine with the milder peel first and build up to the most aggressive blend. Build slowly.
ONE MORE WARNING ABOUT THE SUN
I can’t reiterate it enough. Peels leave skin sensitive to the sun and quite susceptible to damage. If you must go out in the sun, use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15.
If your skin feels like it’s burning or stinging more than you think it should, rinse off the peel, neutralize it and see a doctor if necessary. If you’re allergic to aspirin, also avoid the peel.
[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=”How Frequently to Use the Peel”] [/thrive_text_block]
Even though it doesn’t have any exotic ingredients, this type of peel works extremely well. You can use the peel as frequently as three times a week, less for more sensitive skin.
Your skin will always look soft and smooth after a peel and have smaller visible pores since it removes the dead cells that cause the skin to look dull and makes pores look bigger.
Underneath those dead cells is fresh, glowing skin. The peel works in ten minutes or less.
Using it any longer than ten minutes can cause skin irritation.