Beauty Benefits of Peppers
Peppers come in all sizes, shapes and colors and we love them all. This time of year many of them are ripe and you can find a wide variety at farmers markets. Peppers even come in different flavors from sweet to hot. But you’ve been wondering, haven’t you; what are the beauty benefits of peppers?
Nutrients found in Peppers:
Peppers are high in:
Vitamin A, a nutrient that is important in cellular turnover in the skin.
Vitamin C which is important for production of collagen. In fact, one bell pepper provides more than your daily minimum requirement for vitamin C.
Antioxidants such as flavonoids that help repair cellular damage in the skin.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine which is important in neurological health. Deficiencies in vitamin B6 are linked to dermatitis and some types of cancer.
Any of these properties not only make peppers a good food to eat for healthy skin but you can also use peppers mashed on the face for a food facial, a good farm to skin treat! To see more about how to use food in a facial see Farmers Market Peach Facial. I wouldn’t use a hot pepper for a facial though.
Hot peppers contain capsaicin, and related compounds called capsacinoids. This is the family of chemicals that cause the heat in a hot pepper. Capsaicin and the related capsacinoids are analgesic, meaning they have pain relieving qualities even though they are also an irritant. The capsacinoids appear to affect the nerves that signal pain. It has been used to relieve the pain of arthritis, psoriasis, diabetic neuropathy, shingles and more. You can find topical ointments that contain capsaicin, or you can make your own compress or poultice from hot peppers. However, do not use on broken skin, near the eyes or near mucus membranes.
To make a pepper poultice or compress for a sore back or joints follow these instructions:
Grind one hot pepper (jalapeno or other) in a food processor. Add a teaspoon or so of oil (olive or other) to get a good consistency.
Wet a rag or cloth bandage in the hot pepper mixture and lay on skin or wrap around if it is a joint area. Leave on as long as necessary. You can also wrap this in plastic wrap to keep in place and keep off of furniture.
A compress is very similar but instead of applying the mashed pepper to the skin you are using more of a tea or extract soaked in the pepper extract. The most common way of doing this with hot pepper is to make a vinegar of cayenne.
Add 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper to 8 oz of cider vinegar. For this you can use dried, powdered cayenne or a fresh hot pepper that has been mashed.
Boil, then simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Soak a rag or bandage in this vinegar and apply to skin. Again, you can cover this with plastic wrap to keep it from seeping out.
Remove if it becomes too hot or uncomfortable to the skin.
For more on the science of how hot peppers help with pain read this from Science Daily.