Black Pepper Is Good For Your Hair & Skin, Too

I can detect the taste of black pepper in any dish, for whatever reason, my taste buds are just not into black pepper and if anyone tries to sneak it in my favorite pasta dish: I will know. Still, I haven't totally forsaken this common spice. Unlike my salt habit, which I enjoy eating as much as I enjoy putting it in my exfoliating scrubs, I pretty strictly use black pepper for hair and skincare and other beauty hacks to keep acne, scalp treatments, and fighting the cruel signs of aging.

Black pepper has been commonly used to fight coughs and to treat minor digestive problems, but here's a secret about this spicy plant: It can detoxify your skin back to its natural state with all of its nutrients and vitamins. Black pepper is made from the unripe fruit of the Piper nigrum plant and the oil is made from a method of steam distillation. Both fresh black pepper and black pepper essential oil are amazing for our bodies, inside and out, but the advantage of the essential oil is that you can rest assured you won't have a sneezing fit while you take advantage of its many beauty benefits.

According to sources at Style Craze, black pepper is a rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C and K. The content of vitamin C helps make pepper extremely high in antioxidants, antibacterial, and antibiotic properties, so, obviously, this is not your average spice. Fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and pigmentation issues can be easily solved when combining black pepper with the right ingredients topically. Seriously, once you experience the stimulating effects of applying black pepper directly on your skin, you're gonna be hooked for good.

If keeping a youthful complexion isn't your top priority right now, then perhaps clearing up old acne scars and blemishes will have you reaching for that black pepper mill. Its lofty anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties are excellent at cleaning and healing the skin. According to sources at Makeup and Beauty, black pepper can lighten complexion and dark spots as well.

Since, I'm all about tackling dark spots immediately after zapping zits, I couldn't wait to make a gentle exfoliate that's cheap as hell and effective. Before you try these easy DIY recipes, make sure you test how your skin reacts to black pepper. Black pepper is an irritant and you should definitely not use it without the help of your favorite carrier oils.

Black Pepper Exfoliate

To be honest, I was wary to try this exfoliate because of a recent cayenne pepper experiment that went horribly wrong. Fortunately, my roommate is easily bribed to test my new concoctions. After we confirmed that the right amount of black pepper was used and no irritation occurred on her face, I tried the combination of organic, plain yogurt and freshly ground black pepper seeds — and loved the results. This recipe from Makeup and Beauty just involves a half teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of yogurt to make the perfect exfoliant.

Lemon Pepper Scalp Treatment

Since black pepper is so great for our face, you know your scalp would be green with envy if you didn't put some stimulating properties on it as well. According to many sources, including Black Girl Long Hair, black pepper can be used to stimulate hair growth. It's also a common way to relieve dandruff and achieve shiny, strong locks. Before you 'poo (or no 'poo), make a solution of lemon seeds and black pepper and dilute it with a light carrier oil like jojoba or apricot seed oil. I strongly suggest using a carrier oil to avoid any irritation on your scalp, but this remedy from Style Craze claims you can go all in with just your lemon and pepper!

Image: David_pics , Martin/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson