Inflammation is “the root of all evil,” according to dermatologist Dr. Rachael Eckel. Low-level chronic inflammation in the body has been linked with ageing both internally and externally, with scientists coining it “inflammaging.” Everyone can benefit from short, sharp bouts of inflammation—it’s imperative to wound healing—but stress, anxiety and modern-day lifestyles can cause low-level chronic inflammation to rumble on unnoticed. “Inflammation causes degradation in skin texture, it can cause acne and rosacea to flare up,” explains Dr. Eckel. More seriously, it has been linked to many forms of cancer and strokes. It’s little wonder, then, that skin experts like Dr. Perricone and Dr. Weil are proponents of anti-inflammatory diet and skincare routines. If you want to bolster your anti-inflammation defences, then Dr. Eckel recommends this cheap, over-the-counter, drug. Keep scrolling to find out what it is.
“I get a lot of my patients to take a daily, baby dose [75mg] of aspirin. It’s super progressive,” Dr. Eckel told us. “Everything now is about prevention. Think about acne, we don’t want to treat when there is scarring; we want to treat from the first pimple to prevent that.”
And it’s not just skin texture and disease aspirin can help to ward off. “Studies show low-dose aspirin prevents every form of cancer from melanoma to colon cancer, which is the number one cancer in developed countries. It’s cumulative, so the longer you use [aspirin] the better.”
Aspirin has also been found to help patients who have suffered from heart attacks. “Before in cardiology, when you had a heart attack, you’d get some aspirin; now, they’re prescribing it as a preventative. You see, we are ageing because our pipes are getting clogged, and inflammation leads to more clogging, and more clogging leads to more inflammation. Our blood isn’t moving as much, and waste product removal slows down so improving this will help with skin.”
Dr. Eckel advises you speak to your GP before taking aspirin since side effects can include stomach ulcers. So what can you do if you don’t want to pop an aspirin every day? “In that case, I would recommend only taking it when you’re exposed to sun. If you’re going on holiday, take a daily dose of aspirin because the sun causes inflammation,” suggests Dr. Eckel.
If you’re still not entirely convinced, then look to including a resveratrol supplement like Solgar Resveratrol 250mg (£15) into your daily routine; studies have found that this antioxidant has impressive anti-inflammatory effects. Alternatively try turmeric, which is also a powerful anti-inflammatory—here are all of its beauty benefits.