I'm no stranger to putting odd things on my body in the name of skin care, but I was super hesitant to start incorporating molasses into my beauty routine. The little experience I had with molasses was limited to mealtimes, and the idea of the sticky, thick substance clogging my pores almost sent me running from the stuff for good. The only thing that kept hope alive was the significant source of lactic acid present in molasses. As it turns out, there are few ways to get lactic acid naturally... one of them being curdled milk. Still, I wanted to test out the skin benefits of lactic acne, so while sticky goo doesn't exactly sound appetizing, it's definitely less stomach-turning than the alternative. The time I've spent researching and experimenting with molasses has me completely over the sticky factor, because my hair is shiny AF and my pores remain unclogged.
There are a few different forms of molasses: Blackstrap molasses is from raw sugarcane while unsulphured molasses comes from ripe sugarcane and depending on the brand, remains untreated for preservation. According to organic healthcare site Organic Facts, molasses balances electrolytes, which can help relieve acne and other skin issues by encouraging new cell growth. Molasses can also helps nourish hair strands and follicles. Rich in potassium, copper, calcium, and magnesium, molasses also contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that promote smooth, toned skin.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence about topical uses of molasses, but when I thought about how many pots and utensils I've ruined with molasses, I had to see it with my own eyes. Here are five ways I've incorporated molasses in my beauty routine.
1. Molasses & Turmeric Face Cleanser
I used one teaspoon of turmeric, half a cup of filtered water, and one ounce of molasses. I boiled the water and added the molasses directly to it to loosen the consistency. Once the mixture cooled, I added my turmeric. With extreme apprehension, I applied this on make-up free, damp skin and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water. My skin felt incredibly smooth, not dry at all, and definitely not sticky! It's become my go-to homemade remedy for breakouts.
2. Hair De-Frizzer
According to sources at Healthline, molasses can take the frizziness out of your tresses — which makes sense, considering its thick texture. Dilute the molasses with warm water and transfer to a spray bottle to spray into frizzy hair. Get the hair damp enough and leave on for about 15 minutes, then rinse well.
3. Menstrual Cramps
Many natural remedy sites praise molasses as a treatment for menstrual cramps. This is allegedly due to the nutrients, like iron, in molasses that are supposed to reduce cramping by minimizing the clotting of blood while relaxing the muscles. Make a molasses ginger tea and drink as needed during your monthly flow.
4. Nourishing Foot Scrub
Molasses is a great addition to your favorite foot scrub since it contains more antioxidants than regular sugar. To make a two ounces of scrub, I used about three ounces of raw, organic oatmeal; half an ounce of molasses; two ounces of coconut oil; and a pinch of cinnamon. Blend your ingredients together, adding water to loosen the consistency to your preference, and transfer to a sealable container. Use your foot scrub as needed to relieve dry, coarse feet.
5. Molasses Hair Mask
Naturally, I was concerned that this mixture might weigh down my precious curls, but it turned out that the best molasses treatment I gave myself was this molasses hair mask. I diluted two tablespoons of molasses in half a cup of hot water, stirring until the consistency was completely smooth. Then, I added two cups of homemade coconut milk and five drops of lavender essential oil. To apply my mask, I got my hair nice and wet, running it under warm-hot water for five solid minutes and then applied evenly throughout my hair. I left my mask on for about 10 minutes and rinsed well with warm water.
Fortunately, the molasses was completely immersed in the milk and water and didn't stick to my tight curls. I was actually stunned at how soft my hair was, I almost didn't condition. Almost.
After all my homemade treatments, it's safe to say molasses is my new sugar of choice!
Images: Kristin Collins Jackson (6)