An Advil Gel Cap To Zap A Zit: Suspicious But Possible

acne-opener04-1Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
We like to think we know our way around most of the at-home pimple remedies out there. However, when one of our readers commented that she breaks open an Advil gel cap to use as a spot treatment, we felt our eyebrows raise. Could that possibly be effective? And, more importantly, is it even safe?
We know plenty of people who have crushed up aspirin to make a face mask and swear it works wonders, but this seems like a whole new level of DIY skin care. According to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., it might actually be somewhat legit. "Using the gel from an Advil is definitely helpful but not quite as effective as an aspirin mask, which is salicylic acid and a known pimple fighter," she says.
Why it works: Advil is ibuprofen, which is anti-inflammatory. "It'll reduce swelling and redness," says Dr. Tanzi. But, an aspirin mask does more. "Salicylic acid is helpful because it's an anti-inflammatory and a known exfoliant," Dr. Tanzi says.
For all those times when we get stuck with a painful, swollen red bump, this is a good-to-know quick fix. But, we want to know — what other awesome skin-care secrets are you all hiding?

Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series