If there is one thing in my beauty routine I'll never skip, it's using a toner in between cleansing and moisturizing. Admittedly, I haven't strayed far from my stand-by recipe until I realized the toning properties and skin benefits of fennel seed. Fennel seed has made such a name for itself spicing up veggies with a healthy dose of nutrients that it's starting to make its way into our beauty products. This isn't surprising; most of what nature gives us for healthy treats can easily be incorporated into our skin care.
Fennel is a member of the parsley family, but doesn't see quite as much action in cuisines due to its slightly licorice-y flavor which can be overpowering if you get too heavy-handed. However, fennel has been used in many cultures as a natural digestive aid. Those powerful antioxidants are just one of the reasons that studies are revealing this may be another natural ingredient linked to a decreased risk of developing cancer cells. According to sources at StyleCraze, fennel symbolizes strength and longevity, which is a pretty accurate description. When it comes to skincare, fennel seed has a wealth of vitamins and nutrients to keep skin young, clean, and strong.
It wasn't just the toning properties that had me so eager to start playing in fennel seeds: the anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties are pretty enticing when you have a case of the permanent morning puffiness. Of course, I'd be lying if I said that the fact that fresh fennel and fennel seeds are easily obtainable and reasonable priced wasn't a huge bonus. Fennel is easily grown domestically, so you can put your green thumb to work if you fall in love with this anise-flavored spice.
Being antiseptic in nature, fennel seed is great for oily and acne prone skin types because it can remove the dirt and bacteria often causing oil buildup and breakouts. It contains vitamins A, C, and E, which is an awesome combination for dark spots and wrinkles. According to sources at Livestrong, fennel protects against free radicals and is equipped with nutrients to prevent cell damage. Applying fennel seeds topically will give your skin a direct source of iron, copper, potassium, and zinc so you can fight your aging and complexion needs one seed at a time.
Check out these two super easy recipes to make your fennel dreams come true!
All you need to make a fennel toner is hot water and fennel seeds. I used an overflowing 1/4 cup of boiled hot water and two tablespoons of hot water. I let my seeds steep in a bowl for about 10 minutes before straining the seeds out into another bowl. After, discard the seeds and pour your "fennel tea" into a container that you can seal up tightly in between uses. Add an optional teaspoon of lemon juice for brightening properties and apply with a cotton pad after cleansing.
Fennel & Oatmeal Exfoliating Mask
This mask is going to be an anti-aging dream come true, leaving your skin super soft after gently exfoliating with fennel and oatmeal. I used one tablespoon of fennel seeds, two tablespoons of oatmeal, and 1/4 cup of boiled water. Since I like a thicker mask, I used a blender after my seeds and oats softened up. This is also a great way to be able to keep the mask on without bits of food falling onto yourself and everything around you. Keep your mask on for 3-5 minutes and rinse well with lukewarm water.
Image: Dana/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson