Spices, herbs, resins and seeds may play an essential role in your favorite recipe but these natural wonders can also be secret ingredients in your skin care regimen. Many natural ingredients contain high levels of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and nutrients your skin and hair need to look healthy.
Read on to learn how herbs and spices can smoothen wrinkles, tighten pores, treat acne, soothe redness, and keep your skin glowing.
1. Chamomile: This flower is a natural anti-inflammatory, with the power to reduce redness, itchiness, and swelling, and it's a great alternative to cortisone. Put a small amount of fresh or dried chamomile leaves into an empty tea bag and let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water to release it’s anti-inflammatory enzymes. Once the tea has cooled down, use a cotton pad to dip into the tea and dab the affected areas on your face for instant relief.
2. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants — substances that fight free radicals, infections and skin damage. Cinnamon is known to have more antioxidant value than half a cup of blueberries. For an easy antioxidant boost, sprinkle half a teaspoon of cinnamon on your porridge in the morning. Skincare that includes cinnamon is also effective on the skin, if it isn’t raw and too sensitive. Check out our Madina Rose, Cinnamon and Sidr Honey Face Scrub and organic Madina Rose and Cinnamon Soap Bar.
3. Green Tea: Green tea has a high concentration of catechins, which have strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging effects on skin. When used topically as a skin toner green tea can also help thicken the epidermis, speed the healing of wounds, and inhibit an enzyme in your skin that causes uneven pigmentation, which means fewer sun spots. Place a bag of green tea in hot water for 2 to 3 minutes and using a cotton pad, wipe the face with the tea mixture.
4. Cayenne Pepper: Hot peppers like chili, paprika, cayenne, and jalapeño do more than put your taste buds on alert — they also defend your skin. Vitamins A and C in peppers help combat free radicals, preventing the breakdown of collagen to maintain the elasticity of our skin. Colourful peppers also contain capsaicin, which acts like a sunscreen to shield skin from damage caused by UV rays. You have to eat peppers and chills to enjoy their regenerative powers, though, as the capsaicin that works wonders for skin internally will burn if applied topically. Try adding these wonderful chilli spices into your curries, meat and fish dishes.
5. Sidr: Sidr is considered to be a holy plant in the 3 Abrahamic faiths as it brings a lot of benefits. The sidr trees grow in desert areas and their leaves are rich in saponins, making it great for the hair and skin. When mixed with warm water sidr powder and coconut or olive oil can help to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and eczema and does a great job at soothing the skin and calming the itching.
6. Neem: Neem powder and oil contains the necessary fatty acids that promote wound healing and make your skin healthy. Neem also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduces and treats acne. Neem has long been used to relieve skin dryness, itchiness and redness, making it great for people who suffer from eczema and psoriasis.
7. Moringa: Moringa leaf powder and moringa oil are known in India and Arabia as the “miracle plant” due to its immense health and beauty benefits. Both the powder and oil are used topically on the face to prevent wrinkles and free radical damage to the skin. The natural vitamin C content in moringa oil boosts collagen and helps to firm up your facial skin. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes to give you a brighter and healthier complexion, making you look younger.
8. Blackseeds: Blackseeds are highly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in nature and when applied on the skin can help prevent acne by fighting off the bacteria that cause skin infections. A diluted solution of pure blackseed oil (1 drop of blackseed oil to 10 drops of olive oil or almond oil) may be applied on the skin to reduce acne growth. Alternatively, steep whole blackseeds in hot water and with a cotton pad wipe your face with the tea mixture once it has cooled.
9. Turmeric: Turmeric is a herb that has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits because of its high concentration of the antioxidant curcumin. Research has shown that curcumin may also help fight melanoma when the affected skin is treated topically with turmeric. Add turmeric to soups, fish dishes and curries. It also makes a tasty tea when mixed with fresh ginger.
10. Red Clover: Medicinal herbalists have long used red clover to help soothe the red, scaly, and itchy patches of skin that plague eczema sufferers. Herbs like red clover help eliminate toxins in the bloodstream that appear to trigger inflammation. Red clover can be ingested as a tea or applied topically. If you're going to drink the tea, steep one to two teaspoons of dried flowers in hot water for half an hour, and sip two to three cups daily to reap the benefits.
11. Green Omani Hojari Frankincense: This high grade of frankincense will treat treat dry skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, scars, blemishes and stretch marks. It is a natural alternative to retinol and has been used for hundreds of years to tighten the pores and the skin and treat damaged skin cells. Hojari frankincense will work to rebuild collagen under the skin to keep your complexion looking healthy and supple. Dilute a few resins in a 1 litre glass jar of hot water for 24 hours, give the bottle a good shake and with a cotton pad wipe the face with the mixture.
12. Omani Myrrh: Applying diluted myrrh on your skin will greatly aid wound healing and fight microbes that can cause infections. Dilute a few myrrh resins in a 1 litre glass jar of hot water for 24 hours, give the bottle a good shake and with a cotton pad wipe the face with the mixture.
13. Mahlab: Cold pressed Mahaleb seed oil is extracted from Egyptian Mahleb (cherry) seeds. The Prunus Mahlab tree is cultivated for a spice obtained from the seeds inside the cherry stones that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids primarily α‐eleostearic acid followed by linoleic acid. The high oleic acid content makes this oil nutritionally valuable for for dry, aging skin since it penetrates easily and deeply into the skin’s surface, replenishing lost moisture that naturally comes with age. It also helps the moisture from evaporating. Mahlab seeds and seed oil has also been used for hundreds of years by Arabs to draw out excess heat from the body, so women who suffer from hot flushes will benefit greatly from using this oil or the ground seeds in a face mask. Check out our organic Coconut Milk and Mahlab Soap!
14. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a miracle plant and its gel is used to help soothe sunburn, as it has cooling properties, is anti-inflammatory, helps to deeply moisturise the skin, boosts the healing of wounds, fights skin ageing, reduces infections and acne and lightens blemishes on the face. Try our Aloe Vera and Neem Hand and Body Lotion that also works very well on the skin.
Aside from these wonderful ingredients, it is very important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water to keep your blood circulation healthy so it can transport waste and toxins out of the body. A low intake of clean water can cause your circulation to become sluggish and toxins will start to get trapped under the skin causing break outs and other skin conditions. If you cannot get hold of mineral water to drink, especially Zamzam mineral water, try our skincare products that include Zamzam water, the rich mineral content will repair damaged skin cells and restore the beauty and health of your skin.