Remember Jane Magazine? I seriously loved that mag when I was 17.  Now that we’re all grown up (sigh), the creator, Jane Pratt has a freaking awesome new website:, for us mature adults.  After perusing around the sex/love, entertainment and tech sections I made my way to beauty. After the first click, a very blonde, very pink face was staring at me from under the title, “I’ll Try Anything Once: The Pepto Bismol Facial.”

Cat from tries the Pepto Bismol Facial

First thought: Well, that stuff is never coming off. Second thought: Why in God’s name would you put that on your face?

As I read on, I learned from Cat,’s beauty blogger (and resident pink face), that Pepto Bismol contains salicylic acid, you know the active ingredient in like, every acne medicines. Interesting. Third thought: I need to get an expert’s opinion. This still looks crazy.

After chatting to Faina, the owner and head esthetician at Faina European Day Spa, I learned that salicylic acid is naturally found in plants like willow bark, wintergreen leaves and birch bark (who knew?), and is used to treat problem skin, e.g. blemishes, marks and scars. The acid exfoliates these problem areas, revealing new, younger looking skin. Faina uses salicylic acid all the time on her clients. She recommends their Acne Defying Facial ($150) which includes a salicylic acid treatment: exfoliation, cleansing, pre-solution, solution and a special cream to reduce redness and promote new cell turnover. This process is similar to the way Cat treated her face with that pink gunk; she exfoliated applied and then cleansed the crap out of her face.

On a side note, I’m not sure if you are aware, but I was a Division I athlete in college. So I got special treatment. I got to take the best (easiest) classes, like Over the Counter Drugs as a chemistry course. As I checked the Pepto label, I saw Magnesium Aluminum Silicate and I remembered learning about Magnesium in OTC Drugs. You can take Magnesium pills when you get poisoning or something, because Magnesium is an absorber. It’s an ingredient in Pepto because it helps soak up stomach acid so you don’t puke. That lead me to investigating Magnesium Aluminum Silicate and if it could help your skin. According to, it’s been in liquid makeup for over 50 years as an anti-shine, anti-oil agent. So this ingredient could also help mattify skin and de-grease zits and make your skin better looking after the Pepto facial.  (See, sometimes college and the word association game pay off.)

In conclusion, there is defiantly some validity to the Pepto Bismol Facial. I may have to try this as a spot treatment first, because having my face covered in pinky gloopy grossness is not going to happen.


Wait! Before you run to Duane Reade and throw 17 bottles of Pepto in your cart, remember this: any time you use a new skin treatment, you run the risk of an adverse reaction. Everyone’s skin is different. Check the label and ask your dermatologist before you put anything on your face. You could be allergic to some of the nausea fighting ingredients in Pepto, and that won’t make you look so hot this weekend. Happy Pepto-ing!

Ps. If you break out after pink-face, there’s always Faina‘s.

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