Surprise! If you’re skin’s misbehaving or you’ve got a bad case of acne or hair fall, head to the kitchen instead of the medicine cabinet. Turns out, several Indian spices that add flavour to any meal can perform just as well in the beauty department. Here are 5 of the most commonly used spices from our vocabulary and why you need to add them to your skin diet…
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Turmeric for healthy, nourished skin
We’ve already spoken about the benefits of turmeric at length, but to give you a gist, curcumin, haldi’s principle ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight acne, brighten skin tone and reduce lines and wrinkles. It’s no wonder then that Hindu wedding festivities have an entire function dedicated to this magic herb.

How do you use it?
Mix honey and turmeric into a thick paste and leave it on your skin for about 20 minutes. It’ll help exfoliate skin and leave it with a natural glow.

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Cinnamon for that natural flush
Just as a stick of this unassuming herb can drastically change the flavour of any dish, it can have the exact same effect on our olfactory senses. Cinnamon, when used externally, creates a stimulus so strong that it draws blood to the surface of the skin, speeding up blood circulation and helps your skin breathe (critical to good skin) and consequently eliminates acne.

How do you use it?
If you’re making a lip scrub or lip balm at home, add some cinnamon to it. The spice will draw blood to your lips and give them a natural, rosy look.

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Pepper for blackhead-free skin
When pepper’s involved, it’s safe to say that things are going to get hot. Pepper, when mixed with other ingredients and applied on the skin can loosen up the pores and facilitate the removal of blackheads and acne. No wonder it’s such a hot remedy for clear skin. Literally, as well as popularity wise.

How do you use it?
Mix together a teaspoon of yogurt with a tablespoon of black pepper and rub the mixture onto your face. Rinse it off after a few minutes.

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Ginger for radiant skin
Little did we know that even ginger has some beauty benefits. Apparently, when applied, it can give your skin an instant pick-me-up and leave your skin with a fresh glow and a natural radiance.

How do you use it?
Cut a piece of fresh ginger and rub it all over your face allowing the juice to stay on your skin for about 15 minutes. While it might burn just a tad bit, depending on how sensitive your skin is, it’s one of the easiest ways to make your skin feel rejuvenated.

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Garlic for healthy hair
While garlic is already known for its digestive properties (and not so much for its contribution to your breath,) it can also work magic on lifeless hair. Your hair is a direct reflection of your lifestyle and diet and when you eat food that has insufficient cysteine, your hair is bound to show signs of thinning. Garlic is loaded with this amino acid and helps to re-energise your hair follicles to give you strong, healthy hair. In addition, it also has Vitamin C that promotes hair growth.

How do you use it?
Dip a few garlic pods in olive oil and leave them for seven to ten days. Then massage this oil into your scalp, leave it on for a few hours and rinse off.