Cinnamon is a common spice known for its culinary use. But did you know that its leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, and roots can be used for medicinal purposes and skin benefits?
Cinnamon has antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties (1). It is often added in DIY remedies to improve skin quality. In this article, we break down how cinnamon can be beneficial to the skin, how to use it, and its side effects. Scroll down to know everything about cinnamon for your skin!
In This Article
Benefits Of Cinnamon For The Skin
Cinnamon extracts can help minimize common skin conditions and have numerous benefits. They include:
- Has Antimicrobial Properties: Cinnamon oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties against some bacteria and fungi, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans(2 ). Staphylococcus aureus causes skin infections, such as abscesses (boils), furuncles, and cellulitis (3). Candida albicans cause skin infections, erythema, skin thickening, and hyperkeratosis (4).
- Promotes Wound Healing: Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, an antimicrobial compound active against aeruginosa strains commonly found in skin wounds and infections. An animal study found that cinnamaldehyde inhibited the growth of P. aeruginosa in skin wounds and accelerated healing (5 ).
- Soothes Pain: Cinnamon bark essential oil extracted from Cinnamomum zeylanicum is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to soothe aching joints. It works as an anti-inflammatory agent. However, further research is required to determine its clinical efficacy (6).
- Reduces Acne: Topical cinnamon gel can soothe mild to moderate facial acne (7 ). It decreases the number of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions and reduces other associated symptoms like redness and excess sebum production. Cinnamon contains eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and coumarin, which can reduce acne blemishes. A study showed that using a herbal soap containing cinnamon oil reduced acne scars and pigmentation (8).
- Prevents UV Damage: Cinnamon also contains vitamin C that protects the skin from UV damage and premature aging (8).
- Brightens The Skin: Cinnamaldehyde is a tyrosinase inhibitor (reduces melanin production) and can be used as a skin-whitening agent in cosmetics (9). Cinnamon also contains p-coumaric acid, a compound used as a skin-lightening ingredient in cosmetics (10). Both the agents may help reduce hyperpigmentation.
- Treats Infections: The Central Council For Research In Ayurvedic Sciences states that a mixture of cinnamon powder and honey can treat cuts, skin infections, and wounds (11), (12).
- Minimizes Wrinkles: Cinnamaldehyde may increase collagen production and effectively reduce signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines (13).
- Prevents Oxidative Damage: Cinnamon contains beta-carotene, vitamin B, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, coumarin, vitamin A, potassium, polyphenols, cinnamic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, iron, and other nutrients (11). Vitamin A prevents skin damage caused by UV exposure and may even be useful in minimizing psoriasis, ichthyosis (scaly skin), and acne (14). Coumarin helps reduce inflammation, and polyphenols prevent oxidative damage (15), (16).
- Works As Larvicidal: Cinnamon essential oil extracted from Cinnamomum cassiais larvicidal and can repel mosquitoes (11). You can use it as a topical mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
- Boosts Collagen Production: Ceylon cinnamon extracts can stimulate collagen synthesis and prevent skin sagging and wrinkles (13).
Now that you know the advantages of using cinnamon for your skin, let’s learn how to use it to reap its benefits.
How To Use Cinnamon For Your Skin
You can use cinnamon oil, powder, and other extracts in homemade face masks and DIY remedies or use skin care products with cinnamon extract. Here are a few possible ways to use cinnamon for the skin:
- Mix a drop of cinnamon essential oil with petroleum jelly, olive oil, or coconut oil and use it to moisturize dry lips. You can apply petroleum jelly and a pinch of ground cinnamon to plump your lips.
- Mix a pinch of cinnamon powder with salt, olive oil, almond oil, and honey and use it as a scrub to manage dry skin.
- Make a paste with a teaspoon of cinnamon and three tablespoons of honey and use it as a spot treatment to manage acne. It may also reduce redness and moisturize the skin.
- Mix a pinch of cinnamon, aloe vera gel, a pinch of turmeric, licorice powder, and apply it as a face mask to boost skin elasticity, firmness, and hydration.
Note: Do not apply cinnamon essential oil directly to your skin, as it may cause irritation and a burning sensation. Instead, dilute it with other carrier oils like olive, coconut, jojoba, argan, and castor oils.
While you can apply cinnamon to your skin, there are some adverse effects you need to be aware of before using it.
Side Effects Of Using Cinnamon
Applying cinnamon to your skin is clearly beneficial. However, it may irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions like:
- Burning sensation
Ingesting excess cinnamon can cause:
- Tingling sensations
Make sure you perform a patch test before using cinnamon for the skin.
Cinnamon has many benefits for your skin. It may protect your skin from inflammation, increase collagen production, manage acne, and much more. However, it may also irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions. So, before using, do a patch test and in case if you experience any side effects, stop using it and consult a doctor.
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- Cinnamon Overview of Health Benefits
- Cinnamon: a Multifaceted Medicinal Plant
- About Staphylococcus Aureus
- Interaction of Candida Species With the Skin
- Topical Application of Cinnamaldehyde Promotes Faster Healing of Skin Wounds Infected With Pseudomonas Aeruginosa
- Anti Inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon (cinnamomum Zeylanicum) Bark Essential Oil in a Human Skin Disease Model
- Efficacy of Topical Cinnamon Gel for the Treatment of Facial Acne Vulgaris: a Preliminary Study
- Influence of the Addition of the Essential Oil of Cinnamon (cinnamomum Burmanii) in Soap Against Skin Care
- Chemical Composition and Tyrosinase Inhibitory Activity of Cinnamomum Cassia Essential Oil
- P-Coumaric Acid as an Active Ingredient in Cosmetics: a Review Focusing on Its Anti Melanogenic Effects
- Cinnamon: a Clinical Approach as 2 Multifarious Natural Remedy With 3 Absolute Immunity
- Important Uses of Dalchini
- Cinnamon Extract Promotes Type I Collagen Biosynthesis Via Activation of Igf-I Signaling in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
- Role of Micronutrients in Skin Health and Function
- Coumarin: Chemical and Pharmacological Profile
- Discovering the Link Between Nutrition and Skin Aging