I have not come across anyone who did not have acne in teenage. Acne is one of the commonest skin conditions, caused by inflammation and clogging of oil glands. When these glands produce excess oil, it does not get secreted but combines with dirt and dead skin cells to clog and inflame hair follicles. This manifests on the skin’s surface as blackheads and pimples. Acne is not a serious condition but could cause permanent scarring. Since teenagers are more prone to acne due to hormonal changes, it could also affect their self esteem.
Depending on the severity, acne is classified as closed or open comedone, papules, pustules or cysts. Family history, poor hygiene, certain medications and excess use of oily cosmetics are also causes of acne outbreaks. There are numerous topical creams which can be used to treat acne. This combined with good skin care can prevent frequent outbreaks. For more severe forms, doctors could prescribe oral drugs or surgical procedures.
Cinnamon for Acne
Cinnamon the spice known to most cooks is available as rolled quills, powder or liquid extract. There are many cinnamon varieties although the most commonly used is Ceylon cinnamon or Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cassia (Chinese) Cinnamon or Cinnamomum aromaticum. Apart from its use for cooking, cinnamon also offers various health benefits mainly due to the presence of volatile oils cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol and cinnamyl acetate. These offer anti-clotting, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and other benefits. Cinnamon can be used as a powder mixed with other ingredients on the skin. It can also be taken as supplements.
The expenditure on topical and prescription medications for acne is extremely high. You need not think that spending on expensive medications is the way to treat acne. There are many everyday products available in your home which can be equally effective treatment in your fight against acne. Some of these common household products which could help treat acne are toothpaste, salt, lime, honey, vinegar, turmeric, cinnamon, oatmeal and various fruits and vegetables. These can be used to make pastes or facial masks. Applying cinnamon and honey overnight is said to be an effective treatment for acne. Most of these products will take at least 2 weeks to show results.
Acne is caused by bacteria which attack the hair follicles and clog pores. Cinnamon could be an effective and economical home remedy for acne.
- Cinnamon and Honey: Mix 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 3 teaspoons honey. Combine this well until the cinnamon gets completely dissolved. Apply this paste to areas of your face where acne usually occurs and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Rinse this off with warm water. The anti-inflammatory benefits of honey along with its antibacterial properties could reduce acne. For better effects, you can add 1 teaspoon nutmeg to the same mixture. Cinnamon offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. Honey is a powerful antioxidant that can fight microbial infections like acne. It can also clear the impurities which cause clogging of pores. Honey restores skin texture. Nutmeg can dry out pimples, reduce redness and inflammation. This combination of cinnamon, honey and nutmeg is safer to use and as effective in treating acne as OTC medications that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
- Cinnamon and Milk: This is a soothing mixture which could ease inflammation caused by acne. For this, mix equal amounts ground cinnamon and milk, apply on acne and rinse after 15 minutes.
- Cinnamon with Lemon Juice: Mix 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and lemon juice and apply to pimples, washing off after 15 minutes.
Cinnamon and honey could also benefit other skin infections like ringworm and eczema. The major constituents in cinnamon like cinnamaldehyde have anti-inflammatory properties. This could inhibit production of nitric oxide responsible for inflammatory conditions in the body. Cinnamon could also prevent production of COX-2 – the pro-inflammatory agent. Laboratory tests have also found that cinnamon could fight human pathogens. This proves its benefits as an antibacterial agent and its ability to fight inflammatory conditions caused by acne.
Cinnamon is able to kill acne causing bacteria and dry out the skin. It improves blood and oxygen circulation, therefore helping by unclogging and opening pores. Consuming acne daily is also said to kill bacteria within the body, increase fiber intake and improve health of the skin.
The suitable dosage of cinnamon depends on the age, health and medical condition of the user.
Using cinnamon in food amounts will usually not cause any side effects. Excess cinnamon taken for medicinal purposes could cause irritation of the mucous membrane, urinary tract, intestine or stomach. Some people could suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness etc. some people could develop an allergic reaction to cinnamon when it is used topically. This could cause skin rashes, hives etc. Ingestion of cinnamon-flavored gum, mints or toothpaste could cause tongue inflammation, mouth sores, swelling of the lips etc.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who require surgery and diabetic patients must avoid cinnamon supplements. Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin which acts similar to blood thinners like warfarin. It could also worsen liver disease when taken in excess.
Always consult your doctor if you decide to take cinnamon supplements internally to treat acne or any other medical condition. If you experience allergic reaction to cinnamon paste used topically, stop it at once and consult a doctor.