Raid your pantry for these 5 beauty boosters.
What if we told you that you could score flawless skin and stronger strands using ingredients in your spice rack? It’s possible. A healthy, balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients is key to maintaining healthy skin and hair, says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., a New York-based registered dietitian who often recommends recipes packed with herbs and spices to her clients. Applied topically, they can do wonders, too.
Read on for five herbs and spices that could be the secret to your best skin and hair ever.
“Cinnamon is a potent antioxidant that helps reverse signs of sun and environmental damage to the skin,” says Jessica Weiser, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the New York Dermatology Group. “Cinnamon also increases blood flow and circulation to increase cell turnover and skin repair.” Try adding a teaspoon a day to your morning coffee or oatmeal.
As far as home hair remedies go, garlic is about as old as they come. Rich in cysteine, the amino acid that gives hair its strength, it can fortify your strands when ingested and has topical benefits as well. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, garlic applied topically has been shown to prevent hair loss and even stimulate more hair growth when placed on hair follicles. To make your own garlic hair mask, combine 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder with two ounces of oil (either olive or coconut). Heat the mixture for 30 seconds in the microwave, massage into your scalp, and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing out.
Spicy peppers—think chili, paprika, and cayenne—are rich in vitamins A and C and are great at fighting free radicals. Try to work one to two peppers into your meal rotation to see benefits. You can also use red pepper flakes or cayenne to help exfoliate dead skin. Try mixing salt and either one of the peppers into olive oil for a warming body scrub.
Turmeric has long been hailed in Indian cultures for its anti-inflammatory properties. To get in on the glow-getting benefits, mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with three tablespoons of milk, two tablespoons of flour, and a few drops of honey. Pro tip: Use yogurt (which is full of probiotics) instead of milk if you want something to help fight acne. To spice things up in the kitchen, throw a half teaspoon of ground turmeric into your morning smoothie or omelet.
Another excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient is fennel. Great for reducing skin sensitivity, Weiser recommends getting one to four grams per day into your diet. These spicy seeds pull double duty as a hair care treatment, too. Crush fennel seeds and combine with boiling water to make a rinse that will help reduce dandruff and strengthen strands.
Before You Load Up on Herbs and Spices…
Keep in mind that even natural remedies can have side effects in certain people. “There’s a misconception out there right now that anything natural can’t be harmful,” says Jennifer Chen, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford. “Just like manufactured products, natural products can be good or bad.” So before you go spicing up your hair or skin-care routine, talk to your derm.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.