whole cinnamon stick with star anise pods held in cupped hands

Does it really work?

Every day there are new ideas, recipes and how to’s online for skin care and beauty. How many have you tried? Honestly, I usually stick to candle and food ideas and work on my own skin care regimen. Researching herbs, creams, and salves is fun for me and since I have very sensitive skin most ideas get tossed unless they are scent free and coconut oil free (when it comes to my face). Yet a part of me always wonders… will this really work? So I tried a few that I found online.

There is a lot of talk about turmeric and aging and problematic skin so I decided to try a simple recipe with only three ingredients. How could I go wrong? Waiting until my husband left for the afternoon, (because there is simply no need to put myself in an hysterical situation with witnesses) I whipped up a tiny batch of the following: 1/4 tsp organic turmeric powder, 1 tbsp raw honey, and 1 tbsp organic plain greek yogurt. I then proceeded to smear this on my face and sat around letting it dry for no more than 10 minutes, just in case the turmeric started to dye my skin yellow. I used my fingers to put the mixture on my face because I dind’t have any fancy brushes or makeup tools. Note: turmeric does stain clothing and towels so be very careful to wash your hands fully after applying the mixture to your skin.

Did I mention the smell is kind of funky? It is. The sweet smell of the honey is overpowered by the yogurt as it warms and dries. It has a soured milk smell that wasn’t very pleasant to me. But I stuck with it for the 10 minutes and then rinsed my face with warm water and then washed it with my normal cleanser to get any lingering residue off my face. First impressions were great. My skin had a nice glow, and the lines by the corners of my eyes seemed a little less severe to me. There was no redness or rash appearing so I thought – hey, great!

Until the next morning. All over my chin and cheeks, my temples and in between my eyebrows, there appeared many, many small whiteheads. Guessing it’s the honey or the yogurt that caused the breakouts, and not the turmeric spice, I am going to say that for my facial skin this recipe is a definte no go. It took a few days for the breakouts to stop appearing, and begin to go away. Yet I am not a patient girl.

Deciding to clear up the blemishes from the yogurt/honey debacle faster, I tried one last mixture on my face. There is a lot of information out there about star anise being used for wrinkles and aging skin. So I did a little research on my own and decided that the benefits of star anise and cinnamon were worth trying. Star anise has antioxidants and other compounds that help it promote healthy skin, minimize the appearance of fine wrinkles, and helps aid with old acne scars and blemishes. It also has antibacterial properties. Cinnamon has antiseptic properties and can help with acne, blemishes, and unclogging pores. (I also put a dash of cinnamon in my morning cup of joe every day because of it’s ability to help lower blood sugar levels and is anti-inflammatory.)

Taking the following steps I made a rather large batch of facial serum, so feel free to reduce the volume. I have the excess stored in my refridgerator to keep it fresh.

I boiled 5 star anise pods (with seeds) and three sticks of cinnamon in 1 liter of water for 5 minutes. I then allowed the liquid to cool and poured it into a storage container, sealed it and refridgerated it. The next day I took a small portion and filled a 4 oz dark amber vial with dropper to keep in my bathroom. You can also put the serum in a small spray bottle and mist your face if you prefer. After showering and before putting on any face lotion, I dab the serum on my face using a cotton pad, being careful around my eyes. The smell is wonderful and spicy, and dissipates quickly from your skin.

The next morning almost all of my blemishes were on their way to being gone. The redness had disappeared completely, making them less noticeable. The fine wrinkles by my eyes were still there. But my skin had no adverse reaction to this serum, most likely due to it being water based. I have used it for 4 days, once a day at night, and I am not seeing any rash or redness. My blemishes are healing, and I can see the lines by my eyes slowly becoming a little less noticable. Maybe it’s my imagination so I’ll keep you posted on that. Time will tell if the serum also helps with acne scars, but this is one I’ll make again and maybe give it a permanent spot in my bathroom.

What homemade skincare products have you tried at home? Did they work or did they cause you problems? Feel free to share your story in the comment section, or link to your own blog page. I’m sure so many of us would love not having to try them all!

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