Spice Up Your Life: 5 Ways I Added Common Kitchen Spices to My Beauty Routine

Kitchen spices aren't just for adding flavor to a meal. Raid your pantry and learn how to enliven the blandness of your beauty routine with just a handful of everyday kitchen spices.

October 21, 2015
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Have you noticed the trend of more and more beauty bloggers, celebrity makeup artists, and even hairdressers raving about their beauty secret – kitchen spices? The trend towards more natural beauty products was bound to change how we all use everyday spices.

If you look beyond the trends, you’ll find the same thing I have. Using spices for beauty has been around for centuries. For example, long before chemical ingredients to plump lips, cinnamon was used for fuller looking lips.

From face masks to hair treatments, everyone and their sister are using spices. I’m one of the many working to spice up my life. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Now I just wonder why I waited so long!

Becoming a Kitchen Beautician

Sunnie Brook, who is a well-known makeup artist and celebrity hairdresser, said it’s important to your beauty regimen to be a kitchen beautician. The term’s stuck with me. It’s nice to know that beauty can go beyond your bathroom mirror and makeup bag.

She shows off her knowledge on Today Style as she dishes on some of her favorite spices such as thyme for oily skin, basil for blemishes, turmeric for brighter smiles, cinnamon as a hair lightener, and cayenne pepper for plump lips.

Now that I have a name for my kitchen beauty expertise, I’m able to tell my friends how to get more beautiful skin and hair with authority. When they ask what kind of expert I am, I proudly say, “I’m a kitchen beautician!”

I’ve discovered this is a growing trend. Becoming one yourself isn’t difficult. All you need is a well-stocked kitchen pantry.

Start From The Inside

I’m a firm believer that beauty starts from the inside. Dr. Joseph Mercola and herbalist Christina Suarez share that sentiment.

The first way I added kitchen spices to my regular beauty routine was to cook with them more often. Simply adding some anti-aging spices to my meals has made a difference in the look of my skin.

I often use basil, though Dr. Mercola recommends a general Italian spice blend that includes basil. The antioxidant rich spice helps protect against free radicals.

It’s easy to add basil to a variety of dishes. It’s not overpowering, so adding a few fresh leaves isn’t going to hurt. I recommend fresh for better results, but dried works well too.

Besides obvious beauty benefits, I’ve noticed spices such as thyme, coriander, and celery seeds helps boost my immune system, reduce annoying bloating from water retention, and eases seasonal allergies.

Feeling better makes you look better. Plus, the more strain on your immune system, the less healthy your skin and hair look. Start from the inside and you’re on your way to looking more beautiful.

For faster results, try taking these spices in capsule form. Always check with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

Spicing Up Face Masks

Sometimes it’s good to stop using chemical-laden face masks and turn to your kitchen instead. Mixing things up with common spices I typically cook with has made a difference in my skin. My favorite mask by far uses cayenne pepper. Don’t worry, I have sensitive skin and it doesn’t bother me at all.

The mask’s recipe calls for half of a ripened avocado, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper (reduce by as much as half for sensitive skin), and one teaspoon of raw cocoa powder.

Mix the cayenne pepper and cocoa powder together before blending in the avocado. Using this mask weekly gives my skin a brighter, cleaner feel. I’ve noticed fewer acne marks and more supple skin even on days where I’ve had little sleep.

I was surprised to discover cayenne pepper boosts circulation, making my usually pale skin seem more alive.

If you’re looking for other facial masks, I’ve also used paprika and turmeric in masks. Rianna Loving provides three amazing masks, including my cayenne pepper favorite.

Beautiful Hair from the Kitchen

I love the smell of cinnamon, and when I discovered it’s great for stimulating hair growth and circulation in the scalp. I had to try it! I’ll admit, it does tingle a little, but my scalp feels better than it has in years.

It’s best to use the oil version of cinnamon or you could mix a small amount of finely ground cinnamon in with your shampoo. Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist, said she couldn’t prove the claims of hair growth, but she did say the antioxidants in the spice were great for handling inflammation and reducing any UV damage.

Cayenne pepper is also a good scalp stimulator, but I don’t recommend it for anyone with a sensitive scalp. For me, it caused redness, but for my friend, it worked as well as cinnamon.

One quick warning – cinnamon is a natural hair lightener, so use it sparingly. To double the benefits, I always mix it with honey to moisturize and stimulate the scalp.

No More Dry, Dull Skin

Face and body scrubs are expensive. I did a little research and started making my own using spices I already had in my cabinets. I’ve fallen in love with one particular body scrub.

Ground cloves and ginger are full of nutrients and ginger is well known for its antibacterial properties. I mix three tablespoons of coffee, a tablespoon of ground ginger and a tablespoon of ground cloves.

If you want a little extra exfoliating power, add in a half cup of sea salt. If you’re using this for your face, skip the sea salt, especially if you have sensitive or acne prone skin.

I keep my mixture in a plastic storage bag, put a little in my hands, and mix with water when I’m showering. My skin looks and feels amazing when I’m done.

Combat Acne Naturally

Adult acne hit me hard in my twenties. I tried every over-the-counter treatment I could find. Basil, oregano and thyme are my new best friends.

I’ve used both as a toner and the results were better than any store bought toner so far. For the thyme, I mix a 1:3 ratio of dried thyme and witch hazel. Mix it well and let it set for a day before using.

For the basil and oregano, I boil three tablespoons of crushed basil in a cup of water. Let the water cool and then strain out the leaves. The basil infused water helps reduce inflammation and kills the bacteria in my pores.

I finish my acne routine with black pepper for blackheads and turmeric for general blemishes. I mix black pepper with plain yogurt and apply as a face mask twice weekly. Just 10 minutes later, I’m able to rinse away many of my blackheads.

Turmeric is my favorite. Curcumin, the antioxidant in the spice, and anti-inflammatory properties not only fight acne, but free radicals as well. It’s my anti-aging, anti-acne treatment. I add a pinch to my nightly moisturizer and it’s made a major difference in my skin.

Stocking Up Your Kitchen

The next time you go to the grocery store or a spice shop, stock up. Adding more spices to your meals helps you from the inside out. Using them on your hair and skin will greatly change your regular beauty routine.

I’ve replaced quite a few beauty products with DIY beauty treatments us

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