Written by Andrea Manitsas
Owing to the potency within a pinch of garam masala or fragrant bouquet lurking behind one's favorite curry powder, and it's obvious why eastern spices embolden the fine art of gastronomy. The use of these spices in skincare however – not so much, emboldened that is. But within those spice mixes what also lurks are some amazingly antioxidant-rich, all natural ingredients that can be used topically to great effect. The following four spices have the benefit of beauty to add to their value – so simply and so accessibly.
- Turmeric An antioxidant in turmeric called curcumin as well as anti-inflammatory agents combine to aid acne, reduce hyperpigmentation, brighten the skin and fight free radical damage (aka: wrinkle reducer!). Add a pinch of turmeric to your moisturizer or other treatment products, remembering that due to its brilliant hues, it's best relegated to night use (tends to tinge the face). You should have no problem rinsing off any residue in the morning with your daily cleanser.
- Cinnamon Cinnamon is both stimulating to the olfactories as well as to the blood circulation, granting it the ability to draw nutrients and oxygen to the skin and use its antibacterial properties to eliminate pimples. Mixing a little bit of cinnamon and honey together and dabbing it on zits is a home remedy to be reckoned with.
- Black Pepper Known to naturally create heat and loosen things up, black pepper is your black head slayer. For an exfoliating mask, combine a tablespoon of black pepper powder (grind it old-school style with a mortar and pestle) with a teaspoon of yogurt, applying the mixture over your unsightly areas. Rinse it off after 5-10 minutes.
- Ginger A ginger treatment can renew the overall radiance of your skin - imparting that proverbial healthy glow. This spicy, sushi-accoutrement has the ability to improve skin tone, fight blemishes and lighten age spots. You can rub thin slices of fresh ginger over clean skin, coating the entire face. Let it absorb for 20 minutes before rinsing off to a fresh, bright feeling.