Somehow I managed to stupidly avoid nutmeg in my coffee for an embarrassing amount of time. My allergies had me seriously fearing anything with the word "nut" in it. Having had many close calls with death from a rogue peanut in my basil fried rice or an unidentified cookie meant I had to have several stern talks with myself about my high-risk food habits. It wasn't until I dated a man who ALSO had a nut allergy that I realized this delicious spice, nutmeg, was completely safe... and had some tasty beauty benefits.
Nutmeg, despite its conflicting name, is a seed, and it comes from the same tree that makes mace. With mace being stronger in taste and scent it's formed for the outer layer of the nutmeg seed, while the ground nutmeg you might use while baking is being formed by the seed itself. Ancient Romans using nutmeg to fight a case of the yawns and incite brain activity ancient cultures. In Chinese medicine, this popular spice is often used to treat inflammation from joint pain and arthritis. Nutmeg, is so legit that you shouldn't just be dousing it on your pumpkin spice lattes or sweet potato pie this fall — you should be rubbing this seed all up on your face each morning.
The same reasons that make nutmeg super healthy for eating make this a model ingredient in skincare. Those anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce the sight of pimples. The stimulating properties will certainly wake up dead skin cells and help those no-so-fine lines around your mouth fade. Nutmeg is known to have curative properties that heal scars caused by everything from acne to sun spots. It's known in Ayurvedic medicine for its antiviral and antibacterial elements that decrease the likelihood of infections, clogged pores, and oil control.
Nutmeg is an acne-prone gal's best friend because it has natural astringent properties that are HEAVILY sought by anyone who suffers from hormonal or cystic acne. Nutmeg can also help out with dry skin, because it's extremely moisturizing and exfoliation.
You can buy whole nutmegs and grind them in a pepper mill to solidify the pureness or purchase organic nutmeg from literally any grocery store. The cost is minimal, but the health benefits are excessive!
1. Nutmeg Acne Exfoliating Cleanser
This is by far one of the best things I've ever done to my face. I use this exfoliating cleanser at least three times a week in the evening after completely taking off my make-up. This is THE cleanser for anyone that has pimples under their skin.
- 2 ounces of raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 2 drops of clove oil
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1-2 drops of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)
Mix the baking soda into the raw honey and add your clove oil to make the paste spreadable. I use lemon juice to break up my mixture even more and give any dark spots leftover from acne some extra help. Next add a teaspoon of nutmeg and massage into your skin for at least 2 minutes. Your face will feel warm and slightly tingly because the nutmeg is getting deep into your pores, treating the deeper layers of your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water and prepare to fend off anyone with a sweet tooth: Your face will smell delicious for the next few hours.
2. Nutmeg Spot Treatment
This is the ultimate natural spot treatment to make in your kitchen. So many sources have variations of this recipe — and that's because it really does work! Combine cinnamon and nutmeg and an equal part of raw honey. Then add several drops of lemon juice. Using this overnight works wonders, but I tend to apply this treatment when I have a few hours to kill at my house because sleeping in this scar treatment will definitely give you sticky pillows.
3. Nutmeg Toning Cleanser
Nutmeg restores moistures whilst stimulating dull skin and promoting a bright, toned complexion, which can reduce the signs of ages. This DIY face cleanser recipe in particular from Crunch Betty provides incredible results. I use coconut milk and nutmeg and rub onto a make-up free face for a few minutes. Organic whole milk is a great substitute if you are dairy-friendly, but coconut milk provides additional health benefits in addition to the lactic acid that promotes supple skin.