Blackheads can appear anywhere on the body, and they are truly a pain to get rid of. While these tiny black spots are typically caused by hormonal changes in the body during adolescence, they can pop up on your skin for many different reasons and at many different points in time. Applying too much makeup, sunscreen, or skin lotion can trigger the formation of blackheads. Sadly, even great hygiene won’t save us from blackhead raids. Despite what many people think, blackheads don’t only turn up on dirty skin. Thankfully, a certain spice might be able to help ward off unwanted blackheads.
Cinnamon is a spice that is found on the innermost bark of some trees. Frequently used to add flavor to many dishes and desserts, cinnamon has been linked to countless health benefits and may even be beneficial for our skin. A study published by Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2007 found that “cinnamon stick extract exhibited significant antibacterial properties,” and it is known that blackheads are formed by pores blocked by bacteria. The study resulted in finding that the “cinnamaldehyde and proanthocyanidins contained in cinnamon are responsible for this broad-spectrum antibacterial action,” according to Progressive Health. So what does this mean for our skin? Cinnamon, being a bacteria fighter, can also kill “acne-causing bacteria like P. acnes and S. epidermis,” Progressive Health explains. If applied to the skin, cinnamon will eliminate bacteria and, therefore, inhibit our pores from clogging.
Environment is a factor that effects our skin. Living around excessive pollution, especially in crowded cities, may cause our skin to break out more frequently. Progressive Health tells us, “The antioxidant property of cinnamon also protects the skin from environmental toxins and other harmful substances” which further prevents acne and blackheads. Cinnamon can also be used as an exfoliator. When you apply it to your skin, remove the cinnamon in gentle circular motions. As any exfoliator does, cinnamon will shed unwanted skin and allow for healthy skin to be exposed. Progressive Health further explains that, “ground cinnamon or cinnamon powder can provide a microdermabrasion [cosmetic procedure that mends the skin on your face] effect […] by sloughing off the top layer of dirt formed by sebum [the oily discharge on our skin] bacteria, and dead skin cells.” Cinnamon is a natural solution to help fight blackheads.
Verdict: Fact! While there are plenty of skin-clearing myths, “Cinnamon bark and oil works for acne because of the following properties of the plant: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, microdermabrasion, and antioxidant,” Progressive Health points out. On a personal note – I have been applying a mixture of 1 ½ tablespoons of non-pasteurized organic honey, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg on my face for the past two months, and I have noticed impressive results. Leave it on for about 30 minutes (or until it starts melting) and repeat 2-3 times a week. If your acne is severe, Progressive Health suggests repeating this mask every day for 2-3 weeks. I follow with coconut oil as a moisturizer, and my skin has been noticeably clearer and healthier-looking. If you are going to try this face mask, be sure to test on a small patch of skin first to make sure you aren’t allergic.
What blackhead-removing techniques have you tried?
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