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The Ultimate Guide to Spicing Up Your Skin Care Routine (20+ Herbs & Spices)

With Fall at our doorstep, we know the season takes us from sun and drinks on ice, to booties and pumpkin spice. Before you get too carried away by pumpkin spice, let’s explore how other spices can go beyond the pantry and onto our skin.

If spices aren’t on your skin care radar, it may be time to elevate your mind beyond curry chicken (yummm…) and give your favorite spice a skin care rebirth.

Intrigued? Use this guide to spice up your skin care routine next time you’re lurking for a new treatment.

Basil- next time you’re making a batch of pesto, hold on to a few basil leaves. Basil is great for preventing breakouts with its antibacterial properties so those with oily skin can benefit. If blemishes are causing you heartache, rub the leaf onto your face to exfoliate it and leave it glowing.

Burdock- great for treating skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It’s a mild antibacterial agent that can be eaten raw or cooked. If you’re not into that, you can also find burdock supplements.

Calendula- known as the go-to for skincare. Helps with all types of skin; whether you’re acne prone, have dry skin, or if you’re showing signs of aging, you can find a remedy with this herb. It tightens pores and has cell regeneration properties, making it perfect for healing acne scars and wounds. 

Cayenne pepper - Aside from the many awesome health benefits of cayenne pepper, like curing ulcers, keeping the arteries in your heart open, and speeding up your metabolism, it’s also a natural lip plumper. Add cayenne pepper to a small tub of Vaseline for a naturally plumper lip.

Chamomile- is one of the most well-known herbs for natural remedies. It can be used for dermatitis, eczema, allergies, and rashes, and to treat acne. And if you have a bearded man in your life, chamomile can calm the beard burn after those hot and heavy date nights.

Cinnamon- use its powerful antioxidants to get an effortlessly glowing complexion, balance out oiliness, and speed up blood circulation. Fun fact: cinnamon outranked garlic and oregano when comparing antioxidant activity. Who can say no to that?

Clove- not only is it an aphrodisiac #ooohlala but also has some great skin care benefits. Use it in its oil form, with a carrier oil, as an effective cleanser to treat acne and cure blemishes.

Cumin- is abundant in vitamin E. You know what that means! Cumin is the spice of choice for skin maintenance and prevention (premature aging and fungal infections) with its disinfectant properties. Natural antioxidants help keep skin looking young by preventing sagging skin, age spots, and wrinkles.

Dandelion flower- is a potent herbal remedy that’s already used in a lot of skin rejuvenating products. It’s used to treats age spots, sunburn, and large pores. Use it in teas to feel it’s overall benefits.

Fennel- whether you’re trying to get rid of acne, cellulite, or puffy eyes, fennel works wonders for most skincare needs. Even if you have extra sensitive skin, fennel helps reduce inflammation and protects from sun damage.

Fenugreek- exfoliate with this bad boy by using the seeds as a natural exfoliator, instead of those plastic beads found in many products. It’s soothing and cooling agents are great for conditioning the skin. Feel its effects internally, too. Soak fenugreek overnight and drink that water in the morning.

Bonus: it can be used as a drop to cleanse your eyes, too. 

Garlic- not just for strong nails, garlic can also be used to clear acne, blackheads, and blemishes. Use its free radicals to help detoxify your body of heavy metals and help with anti-aging with its powerful bacteria-killing antioxidants. You can also use it for healthy hair since garlic reinvigorates follicles to strengthen hair and treat balding.

Ginger- with 40 antioxidant properties, what can’t you do with this invigorating spice? Rub it right onto your face to ease inflammation, boost skin tone and fights blemishes. Ginger improves the elasticity of the skin and can be paired with honey and lemon juice to create a secret-weapon face mask. Mmmhm! Now, we’re cookin’.

Green tea- If you’ve taken a gander at our ingredient philosophy, you know we love green tea and use it without shame in our products. Place a couple of steeped (and cooled) green tea bags under your eyes to combat puffiness and drink it daily for some feel-good skin care results.

Fun fact: did you know that green tea extract also makes for a great sun protectant? Its abundance in EGCG is the key to its surprising effectiveness.

Horsetail- with antioxidant properties and free radicals easing inflammation, horsetail provides a healthier skin tone as it regenerates. It’s rich in a mineral called silica and can even strengthen connective tissue. If you’re feeling like you might be aging faster than you feel, get some horsetail in your life.

Lavender- it’s one of the most popular natural herbs for skin care, mainly because of its gentle but effective treatment of acne. Along with its anti-inflammatory and acne fighting properties, lavender soothes skin, prevents wrinkles, and promotes healing and new skin cell growth. Guess that smell is just an awesome bonus, eh?

Nutmeg- wake up your dead skin cells and treat scars and sun spots with this seed (fun fact for those with a peanut allergy: Nutmeg is not a nut!) It carries serious amounts of antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial elements to reduce excess oil production and the clogged pores it brings, as well as minimize infections. Add some to your tea for a daily dose of the good stuff. Bottoms up!

Oregano- used in its oil form, not the spice, oregano can treat conditions like minor rashes, cold sores, and acne. It contains rosmarinic acid, which clears out free radicals that age us and contribute to disease. This particular oil is a powerhouse combination of anti-everything! Anti-bacterial, -inflammatory, -viral, -fungal, and -microbial. So if you have nail fungus, infection, or irritation, Oregano oil might just be your go-to. 

Paprika- for a glow that won’t quit, put some paprika on that mug. Vitamin C and other antioxidants in paprika help keep your skin looking plump as it fights to absorb free facials known for breaking down collagen. Mix it with honey for an easy face mask that leaves you moisturized and revived.

Peppermint- its oral uses are pretty well known, but peppermint oil can be just as effective when used topically. As far as versatility, it’s right up there with lavender. Use it to combat poison ivy or rashes, repel bugs, and even eczema and psoriasis when combined with lavender. For oily skin and enlarged pores, it cools and soothes with astringent qualities to refresh and revitalize skin.

Red clover- an herbal remedy that can help ease eczema, red clover can treat inflammation, cough, and respiratory problems- sounds like your lungs’ BFF, if you ask us. For you gracefully aging babes, it’s also known to have effects on menopause. Topical application of red clover also quickens the ability to heal burns and wounds.

Rosemary- a natural astringent, it’s great to use for oily skin. Rosemary is high in antioxidants and successfully delays signs of aging. You can also use it on your scalp to moisture and to reverse premature graying. It stimulates blood circulation and controls oil to prevent acne and bacterial build up… sounds good to us

Sesame seeds- our relationship with sesame seeds go back, waaay back... Sesame seed oil keeps your skin glowing, free of scrapes and pimples, and full of life by keeping it supple. With its ability to promote skin cell renewal helps detoxify your skin and helps prevent wrinkles.

Saffron - if you can find it, it’s a pricey one. But many swear by it. It’s healing and exfoliating properties make this spice quite the find. If you do manage to get your hands on it, use it sparingly. Make a face mask of this stuff to brighten your complexion, clear up acne, tone skin, and hydrate desert-dry skin. One face mask option is saffron with milk, which can do wonders for your skin complexion,or mixing it with another oil, like almond oil to massage your skin with.

Turmeric- known as the golden root, turmeric is one of those all-around superfoods that take care of you both inside and out. Fight inflammation, oily skin, blemishes, wounds, and get a natural glow from the inside out with a turmeric tea. Boil, stir, simmer, and strain for this fountain-of-youth-in-a-cup, or make a mask so you can rejuvenate and chill. 

Thyme- thyme should be your best friend in the kitchen (seriously, it makes everything smell and taste amazing!) but its oil should have a spot in your skincare routine because it’s great for just about anything with its calming properties. It addresses common skin issues as it makes for an effective cleanser for oily skin, a hormone balancer, and can be used as a natural toner.

Witch hazel- with high levels of polyphenols, it’s your anti-aging buddy. Along with anti-aging, you get anti-inflammation properties to help you get rid of tired, puffy eyes (bye, bye, post-party face!) and refresh your face altogether by lifting dirt and excess oil. Witch hazel is also great for preventing acne and treating eczema.

Honestly, is there anything you can’t tackle with the right herbs and spices? Try your favorite one and share the good, the bad, and the ugly with us on Instagram @livenobs.

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