Acne is one on the most common chronic skin conditions affecting millions of people across the globe.
It is characterized by inflammation, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and often when the inflammation reaches deep, down the skin it develops into cysts or nodules.
It has also rightly been said that the solution to all your health problems lies in your kitchen. So is the solution to the problem of acne.
One such solution that is readily available in the kitchen of every household is cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a spice that is derived from the inner bark of trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum.
Cassia is different from ‘true cinnamon’ and is mostly extracted from related species. The most commonly used cinnamon is Ceylon Cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon.
Due to the presence of cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol, and cinnamyl acetate, cinnamon serves various health benefits as these volatile oils exhibit antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Cinnamon for Acne
Cinnamon is mostly used topically for skin problems.
Usually, cinnamon oil and cinnamon bark are used in the treatment of acne.
It helps in acne through the exhibition of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cinnamaldehyde and proanthocyanidins contained in cinnamon exhibit antibacterial properties which makes it effective against P. acne and S.epidermis, bacteria that are responsible for acne which therefore unclogs the pores and reduces inflammation.
It was also discovered that cinnamon contains a compound known as trans-cinnamaldehyde which inhibits the production of nitric oxide.
This enzyme is an important component of inflammation process and its reduction will simultaneously help in reduction of the acne swelling.
When used in form of a powder, the granules of cinnamon can function as an agent of exfoliation and help in the removal of dirt and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
Also, its antioxidant properties serve as a protection against external toxins and pollution.
There are various ways in which cinnamon can be used on the skin. Some of them are enumerated below
Cinnamon nutmeg body wash
This requires mixing powdered nutmeg and cinnamon in an equal quantity which should be filtered and added to a warm bath.
You must soak in this bath until the water cools down. This shall have a refreshing and rejuvenating effect on you.
You can do the same with your face by using a cotton dab to apply it on and leave it for 10 minutes before washing it off
For this scrub, you need to mix 2 cups of ground coffee, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder, half cup sea salt, 2 to 3 drops of cinnamon oil and 2 to 3 tablespoon of essential oil.
Make this into a thick, uniform paste and massage it onto your face for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off.
Cinnamon honey nutmeg face mask
This facemask requires you to mix one tablespoon powdered cinnamon, 2 tablespoon nutmeg and one-fourth cup of honey.
This should be made into a smooth paste and applied on to your face. This face mask can be used two times a day.
While honey has antimicrobial properties, nutmeg is anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon unclogs the pores and removes the excess oil.
Other Benefits of using cinnamon
- It is effective in the reduction of your bad cholesterol or LDL
- It is helpful in the natural production of insulin in your body and can, therefore, be helpful for diabetic patients
- It exhibits anti-fungal properties
- It is effective in reducing the production of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells
- Together with honey, it can reduce arthritis pain
- It has an anti-clotting effect on blood
- It serves as a natural food preservative
- It is effective in reducing headaches and migraine
- It fights E.coli bacteria
Possible Issues and precautions
Some possible side effects include:
- It can cause allergic reactions resulting in irritation and sores
- Cassia cinnamon might be toxic if taken in high doses especially for people who have liver-related problems. Coumarin might cause liver problems.
- People with diabetes should be cautious of its use as it induces the production of insulin
- People who have hormone induced cancer like breast cancer should not take cinnamon.
- Avoid use during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. There is a lack of scientific research available as to the harm that cinnamon might cause during such periods.
- Be aware of any signs of hypoglycemia as cinnamon has the ability to induce insulin naturally
- Since it might affect blood sugar, it is advisable not to consume cinnamon immediately before or after a surgery
- People with liver problems must avoid its use
- It is important to do a patch test before using it as masks or scrubs, in order to test it for allergies
- If you are buying it from the market, be sure to check for any adulteration in the product
Possible Drug interaction
- It tends to react with anti-diabetes drug like insulin, glimepiride, etc
- It reacts with hepatotoxic drugs which include acetaminophen, amiodarone, etc
What customers say about using cinnamon for acne
We did an online survey of consumers who were using cinnamon either by itself or in combination with other kinds of acne treating products. Here is a summary of what they liked or disliked about the treatment:
What they liked about it
Time effective: A lot of consumers feel that cinnamon is really time effective and can show results in 3 to 4 use. For some of them, it reduces 50% of inflammation in just one night.
Scar healing: It was effective not only in reducing the acne breakouts but also in the vanishing of acne scars. Consumers experienced a lightening of their skin and reduction of blemishes
Glowing skin: Most consumers were happy with the effect cinnamon had on their skin. It improved the texture of their skin making it soft, smooth and glowing.
What they did not like about it
Stings: On initial application, a few consumers experienced a stingy and prickly sensation. It might have been a result of not using cinnamon in the proper and correct quantity.
However, the stingy sensation in no way means that it was ineffective in preventing acne
Redness: Some consumers experienced redness and burning sensation on application.
It has however been suggested that using egg white along with cinnamon will reduce this burning sensation.
Cinnamon is one of the most readily available spices in any kitchen. It does not require you to go out to get cinnamon.
Apart from its various health benefits, it is also seen to be most effective with skin problems.
It is also a time-saving method and serves as one solution for healthier looking skin as a whole and not just for acne prevention.
This treatment is highly recommended by consumers and is therefore worth a try.