1/ CLEAR PIMPLES
Aspirin’s primary ingredient, salicylic acid, helps beat zits by breaking down the offending clog and reducing inflammation, the root of redness, says dermatologist Dr Kavita Mariwalla. To treat your acne, crush one pill and mix with three tablespoons of water. The consistency should be like milk. Rub the mixture on your blemish before bed to help shrink the spot while you sleep. Try this trick on mosquito bites, too – it reduces itching.
2/ CUT CANCER RISK
Cancer cells can lock on to clotted blood platelets; by making platelets less sticky, aspirin makes them less likely to clot. So the odds of clingy cancer cells lingering in your arteries drop. In a University of Oxford study, people who took a low daily dose (75 milligrams) of aspirin for five years were 20 per cent less likely to die of cancer than those who didn’t pop the pill. They were also eight per cent less likely to die of any cause over the next 15 years.
3/ SOFTEN CALLUSES
Help eliminate tough skin on your hands and feet by mixing three crushed aspirin tablets, a tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of water. Rub the paste on each callus and cover it with a sticking plaster overnight. The lemon juice is an astringent, says Mariwalla. With the aspirin, it will penetrate the skin and break down the tough spots. Repeat the process for a few days and your calluses should be soft enough to grind away with a nail file.
4/ CURE DANDRUFF
Salicylic acid fixes more than just pimples: it’ll take care of dandruff, too. The acid skims the dry skin from your scalp, so the flakes land in the drain and not on your jacket. Try this: crush two aspirin tablets and mix in just enough shampoo to form a nice lather. Leave it on your hair for at least 30 seconds and rinse as usual, Mariwalla says. Do this two or three times a week to stay flake-free for life.
5/ BEAT DEPRESSION
People who popped aspirin regularly over a 10-year period were less likely to experience symptoms of depression, a study in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found. Dr Keith Souter, author of An Aspirin a Day, says the explanation may be linked to systemic inflammation: people with the highest levels are more likely to have depressive symptoms. As aspirin eases inflammation, it can help put a smile on your face.
ONE THING ASPIRIN CAN'T DO
If you take aspirin at the end of a boozy night to prevent a hangover – stop. “A pill tonight will have no effect on your head tomorrow,” says Souter. But it could make your gut ache: alcohol and aspirin both aggravate your stomach lining and could increase the risk of bleeding. If you must take an aspirin after drinking, use an old rule of thumb: wait at least an hour for every drink you had. To prevent a hangover, drink a glass of water between beers.
* Seek advice from your doctor before any long-term use of aspirin.