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Giving a boost to our glow factor is surprisingly easier than you might think. There are times when an expensive facial mask is the best option to pull, tighten, brighten and erase pores, but we don’t always have to turn to our medicine cabinet, or beauty-packed-drawers to achieve glowing skin. As we kick off a new year, we can find what our skin needs inside our kitchen cabinets, via the spices we use to cook with! They’re skin-glowing enhancers and easy to incorporate into our daily meals. It’s vital to establish and maintain healthy skincare and beauty rituals to keep skin in its best form and to prevent premature aging, but this preventative care starts from within, first. What’s ingested into our bodies on a regular basis makes a lasting impression on overall skin health for years to come.

Natural spices used to season food are practical and easy to include in daily lifestyle eating habits. We love them because they contain high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that naturally calm, heal, and contribute to glowing skin we all crave. A healthy, balanced meal plan rich in anti-inflammatory foods (i.e.: spices!) is crucial for maintaining healthy, beautiful skin, says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., a New York based Registered Dietitian. To get you started and inspired, I’ve shared my favorite three spices to cook with that I use on a daily basis for skin health (bonus: there’s other health benefits too aside from gorgeous looking skin when using healthy spices regularly). I have a heavy hand when it comes to seasoning — for me, less is not more and in this case —and, it’s a good thing. Always choose organic and store your spices in a dark cabinet away from sunlight and heat to keep fresh and potent – you’re only a meal away from a more radiant self!

Cinnamon (and spice and everything nice):

  • Antioxidant with a higher antioxidant count than a serving of blueberries (half-a-cup)
  • Slows down the aging process (!)
  • Packed with minerals and vitamins, such as: iron, zinc, and vitamin K
  • Contains antioxidants: polyphenols, phenolic acid and flavonoids – similar to antioxidants found in “superfoods” like dark chocolate, berries, and red wine (all the feels for these three)
  • Antioxidants assist in fighting stress in the body – high amounts of stress ultimately lead to premature aging – cinnamon fights this (#highfive)
  • Anti-bacterial, it’s excellent for masking and healing breakouts (mix a tiny bit with honey and mask, or use to spot-treat a breakout. Apply and rinse off after 15 minutes)
  • Sprinkle on oatmeal, cereal, fruit, or in tea and coffee daily to reap the benefits
  • Not all cinnamon is created equal. Cinnamomum verum is the only version of the spice that provides health benefits. Often seen and sold in stores as, “Ceylon cinnamon,” this is the good stuff

Chili powder, Cayenne + Paprika (keep it spicy):

  • Vitamin A – encourages skin cell production
  • Vitamin C – antioxidant! Brightens, firms, and evens skin tone
  • Fights against free radicals
  • Prevents collagen production from breaking down (yes to firmer, younger looking skin!)
  • Rich in capsaicin, which amazingly acts as an SPF shielding skin from harmful UV rays
  • Add cayenne to lemon water, sprinkle cayenne, chili powder and paprika over avocado toast, grain bowls, sautéed veggies, guacamole – anything you like that could benefit from a flavor kick – increase spice, increase glow

Turmeric (the golden powder that heals everything it touches):

  • Used in India for thousands of years, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent containing curcumin – a bioactive component that brings out skin’s natural luster
  • Excellent for healing and treating breakouts
  • Reduces acne scars
  • Makes a wonderful facial mask, or spot treatment when mixed with honey (keep in mind, turmeric will slightly stain skin, but it’s only temporary - best to apply after dinner for 15 minutes and by morning, color has faded)
  • Sweet and savory in taste, wonderfully delicious added to lemon water, oats, grain bowls, soups, pastas, or with rice n’ veggies
Filed Under: Discover, Food is medicine, Recipes, Spices

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