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Listen to the ASCP Esty Talk podcast at 37 INGREDIENTS FROM CANDLES TO LATTES, PUMPKIN SPICE has spent the last decade establishing itself as the spicy greeting for fall. In celebration of the season, let's look at the spices that make up this popular mix, and how they benefit the skin. CINNAMON Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a variety of species of evergreen trees from the genus cinnamomum. Though there are similar properties, cinnamon is generally separated into two main categories, cassia and Ceylon, which are differentiated by the way they are harvested, the way they smell and taste, and the chemical compounds found in each. Cassia cinnamon is the most common, and probably what you have in your spice rack. Ceylon is generally thought to be of a higher quality, and therefore more expensive and harder to find. Both varieties hold antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant skin benefits, which makes cinnamon a spicy option for addressing acne, and they also boost collagen synthesis, which helps with acne scarring and antiaging. 1 A preliminary study, published in Biomedical Research and Therapy, examines a topical (true) cinnamon gel and its effect on acne. Eight weeks after treatment, the participants were examined and researchers found a 47 percent decrease in total lesion count, a 48 percent decrease in noninflamed lesions, and a 42 percent decrease in inflamed lesions. 2 Direct application of cinnamon oil on the skin can cause irritation, so proper dilution is key. NUTMEG Nutmeg comes from the seeds of a tropical evergreen tree, the myristica fragrans. It contains many phytonutrients including terpenes and phenylpropanoids. Chemical components include sabinene (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory), limonene (strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory), 4-terpineol (antibacterial, antifungal), and linalool (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant). An article in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin suggests components from nutmeg also have skin-brightening properties, specifically concerning sun-damaged skin. 3 Nutmeg also stimulates healthy hair growth for long, strong, shiny locks. GINGER Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant whose root is widely used in natural, homeopathic medicine to comfort tummy aches and skin lesions. It is loaded with antioxidants and is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory. One chemical component, gingerol, is a natural melanin and tyrosinase inhibitor, which makes Pumpkin has many skin benefits, including antioxidant and exfoliation properties, but pumpkin spice does not include pumpkin. It does include cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and sometimes allspice—which all promote a bright, fresh, healthy complexion. Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice by Ella Cressman

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