Feeling a little bored with your skincare or your diet? Maybe it is time to spice things up! Herbs and spices can add a kick to food bringing out new flavors for your palette to experience. Adding flavor to meals with herbs and spices can also replace the need for excess salt and fat in recipes, making them much healthier.
Consuming a healthier diet will help support skin health, but that isn’t the only reason to use spices. Herbs and spices have been found to be high in antioxidants that have direct benefits for your skin when added to your diet. Many herbs and spices have skin benefits when applied topically so you can spice up your skin care as well as your diet.
Here are some spices to try:
Why eat it: A rich, golden yellow herb found mostly in Indian curries, turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits because of its high concentration of the antioxidant curcumin. Curcumin has also been found to help fight free radical damage.
Why use on skin: Research has shown that curcumin may also help fight melanoma when the affected skin is treated topically with turmeric. Turmeric has long been used to treat eczema and is known to speed wound healing. Recent research suggests that turmeric may also help firm aging skin.
Hot Peppers (Paprika, Chili, Cayenne)
Why Eat it: These spices are a source of vitamin A and C, antioxidants that absorb free radicals that break down your skin’s collagen (collagen is what keeps your skin plump and firm). The colorful peppers also contain capsaicin, which acts like a sunscreen to shield skin from damage caused by UV rays.
Why use On Skin: DO NOT use on skin! While some ingredients have benefits when used topically, the capsaicin in hot peppers will burn if applied to the skin.
Black & White Pepper
Why eat it: Peppercorns are a good source of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. They are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants like carotenes, cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lycopene. These compounds help the body remove harmful free radicals.
Why use on skin: Black pepper can be found in face scrubs and body washes on the market. Products with pepper stimulate circulation and blood flow which brings more oxygen and nutrients to skin cells, giving you a healthy glow. There are DIY recipes with pepper, but beware of putting it directly on your face in its pure form as high concentrations can cause irritation.
Why eat it: It may surprise you but one teaspoon of ginger has similar antioxidant levels as one cup of spinach. These antioxidants have anti-aging benefits.
Why use on skin: Treatments with ginger can improve the radiance of your skin. This spicy root has the ability to improve skin tone, fight blemishes and lighten age spots.
Why eat it: Fennel seeds contain numerous flavonoid anti-oxidants like kaempferol and quercetin which combat harmful free radicals from the body. The seeds are also packed with many vital vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C which all help with anti-aging.
Why use on skin: This seed-like spice is known for reducing redness and irritation, making it a perfect remedy for those with sensitive skin.
Why eat it: This sweet spice is packed with antioxidants that are known to fight skin damage caused by free radicals.
Why use on skin: Cinnamon has been found to stimulate blood circulation which draws nutrients and oxygen to the skin. It has also been found to have antibacterial properties which can help eliminate pimples.
To ensure you’re using the most potent spices, store spices in a dark cupboard, away from heat and sunlight, which can decrease their potency. Also, do not use spices that are more than two years old.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring! Spices are an easy addition to the healthy recipes and foods you eat every day. Try some of these spices and we promise your taste buds and your skin will thank you!
To learn more about your skin and get tips from your personal skin care coach, check out getoku.com. To find skin care products recommendations from people with similar skin to you, check out myskin.com!