I'll Try Anything Once: The Pepto Bismol Facial

Will slathering my face with anti-diarrheal medicine make my skin prettier? Ugh, it better.
Publish date:
May 13, 2011
shoppables, facials, skin, i'll try anything once, M

What?! You haven't heard of this?! The Pepto Bismol Facial?! It's the world's number one secret at-home beauty treatment!

AHAHAHA. Durrr. Sorry. I know. Non-funny jokes: they're confusing.

The Pepto Bismol Facial is actually something I just heard about from ... dude, I don't even remember. Some loony DIY beauty person, I'm sure -- the type of woman who thinks nothing of dousing her hair in Corona or mooshing it full of bananas and mayonnaise, all in the name oflooking slightly more attractive when the gory mess is done (and that's a maybe).

You guys, I am so not one of those people.

I like real beauty products. But I will try anything once. Why? Because I hate myselfJane makes us do terrible things these wacky DIY stunts keep my job fun.

So, what is it about Pepto Bismol? The medicine contains salicylic acid, the famously effective acne-fighting ingredient, and, well, I have a bit of acne right now. Over the weekend I fell asleep in my makeup. (This is the acne-prone's person's "junkie nodding off with a lit cigarette" move, and oh, is the aftermath ugly.)

Anyhow, the facial went like this: I bought a bottle of Pepto Bismol, a product I am proud to say I don't keep in the house because I no longer drink enough to get hungover and unglamorously puke-y.

Then I went to my bathroom mirror and exfoliated, as I always do pre-masks -- using, this time, the excellent Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub -- waited for my face to dry, and started gooping. Impressions? While I did enjoy the Peptol's appealing bubble gummy pinkiness, it was liquid-y and annoying to apply ... though not so much that the stuff dripped off my face onto my exquisite Slayer t-shirt or anything, thank God.

Finally I got a decently even application. I washed my hands. Then I stared at myself for a while, feeling ... nothing, physically or emotionally, just sort of in the moment. I am giving myself a Peptol Bismol facial, I thought, in retrospect pretty lamely. I smell like ... salt water taffy.

Then I went upstairs to my friend Chrissy's apartment so she could take the gorgeous photo above. Her awful controlling ex-boyfriend -- whom I had never met but knew all about -- was there, and wasted no time making it sneeringly clear that he thought I was a total freak show. I didn't care, truth be told, because I happened to know that the freakiest thing in the room was not me and my pink face mask, but actually the ex-boyfriend's abnormally small penis.

(Dude's name is Yanni, BTW. And I'd like to take a second to remind Yanni that his small dick is not an excuse to be treat women horribly. Hi Yanni!)


Okay, so then Chrissy and I went back to my apartment to wash everything off. It had been like twenty minutes -- the Pepto Bismol was chalky and cracking a little -- but it didn't feel like anything (not unlike, I imagine, sex with the aforementioned small-dicked Yanni).

It took like two full minutes and lots of face wash and toner on cotton pads to get it all off. And I'm not even really sure I did, because Chrissy' was all, "Dude, look, you still have a pink sheen!"

It's true -- in, I guess, an appealing way. I was a little glowy-pink. My skin felt comfortably tight and looked good -- it still looks a little flushed, even now, half an hour later. I don't know if that's because there's still gunk in my pores or because the salicylic acid sloughed a bunch of dead skin off or what.

And okay, the little bit of acne I had does look a bit dried out and better.

So I guess I conclude the stupid Pepto Bismol facial was not, as I thought, a regrettable decision, though obviously I'll report back in a few days if I break out everywhere or something.

So, without further adieu ...


COST: Minimal. $7 for one bottle, with plenty of PB left over for hangovers.

TIME COMMITMENT: Less than half an hour. I kept my "mask" on 20 minutes; you do you.

DIFFICULTY: A little hard to apply, but not really. But it took a good 5 minutes to get it all off -- I used a scrub, toner and cotton pads.

GROSSNESS FACTOR: Fairrrly minimal. It smells funny, but not bad-funny.

IMMEDIATE RESULTS: Tight firm skin, a pink-y, glowy sheen

TWO-DAYS-LATER-REPORT: Dude, I swear my skin is clearer. And my one bad zit dried out and 'flaked' (ew, sorry) off.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: If I didn't have over 30 other masks to try, yes. No, I think definitely yes.

So there you have it! I now officially dare you to try it and report back to me in the comments section. Ooh, or trash your small-dicked ex-boyfriend. Talk about whatever you want, actually. Go!