“I’m getting ready to do a salon quality salicylic acid facial peel,” says Tik Tok user Loa Blasucci, who says she’s a reverse aging specialist and energy medicine practitioner. Using a mix of crushed aspirin, lemon, baking soda and Thayers Witch Hazel Toner, she smooths the mixture onto her skin, inciting the ire of dermatologists everywhere.
Although the video has amassed more than 300k views and 26K likes, many of those views come from skin experts who are silently screaming at what they see on their screens. Just one look in the comments and you’ll know that this is not a recommended treatment, despite Blasucci’s claim that a “facial” like this can cost upwards of $300 at a spa.
According to Saddle Brook, NJ dermatologist Dr. Fredric Haberman, while aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, this DIY practice can end up being harmful to certain patients: “These peels must be left on for only a certain amount of time or you may run into problems. A dermatologist must also consider a person’s skin type, color, and skin care concerns to determine what degree of salicylic acid peel will work best.”
“This is terrible advice,” says Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles Crutchfield, MD. “Putting an acid on your face in an unsupervised environment is just asking for trouble. We do not offer peels like this; we fix the disastrous aftermath of facial chemical burns. Most wise people realize that most of the time in life, you get what you pay for. If you want something done right, have a professional do it.”
As for those who should absolutely stay away from this at-home peel at all costs, the doctors we spoke with say: anyone with active dermatitis or irritation on the face, people with a history of allergy to salicylates (including aspirin), those who are using Accutane, and women who are pregnant.
“You could unintentionally burn your skin,” adds Dr. Haberman. “Salicylic acid could cause burns or scarring. On the other hand, over-the-counter salicylic acne washes from trusted brands are fine to use. It’s always best to discuss using any at-home peels with your dermatologist.”
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