DIY Beauty: 3 spices to heal your post acne marks

A number of readers have emailed me asking me the best DIY remedy to heal post acne marks. Well, there are a few such as milk and lemon or yogurt and lemon but based on my personal experience, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric worked fastest for me. However, I have been hesitant in sharing this with those who emailed me because such spices can be too strong for sensitive skin type. Hence, you’ve got to use them with caution. But those who have no problems with them have only good things to share about them.

Nutmeg is anti-inflammatory
Nutmeg has anti-inflammatory properties and was used since ancient times for a variety of skin diseases including ringworms and eczema. Add it with honey which has antiseptic benefits and the concoction is supposed to help erase acne marks over time. It is also supposed to help lighten skin tone. However, based on my experience, the results were not immediate and you need to be patient.

Cinnamon is a natural exfoliant
But it’s a different story with the cinnamon added. Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years as an antiseptic, astringent, antifungal and anti-viral aid, among its many other uses. Additionally, cinnamon is an exfoliant and can stimulate the pores, thus helping other ingredients to work on the skin as well. So a combination of nutmeg and cinnamon mixed with honey can really heal acne marks much faster.

Turmeric is a skin lightener
Popular in curry dishes, Turmeric has antioxidant properties and also help reduce the skin’s melanin production. So this is great for lightening skin blemishes, which is what you get during the healing process of your acne. I’m not too fond of turmeric personally because of the yellowish stains it leaves on towels, etc but I’ve mixed it with nutmeg before and it worked okay for me. I’ve read some users raving about a mixture of turmeric and sandalwood for post acne marks but I’ve yet to try that.

Mix with milk, yogurt or honey into a paste
I would not recommend all three spices to be used at one go because they are rather strong. Rather, mix one of them with milk, yogurt, honey or water into a paste or at the most, just two of them together, like nutmeg and cinnamon or nutmeg and turmeric. Leave the paste on your skin for up to 20 minutes and then wash off and moisturize (protect with sunscreen during the day). Another thing to add is that this should be used as a spot treatment and you might want to use it sparingly on alternate days. I’ve tried using them continuously without problems though but hey, I don’t know about your skin.


  1. Viv. A says:

    I’ve personally tried this recipe and it really works! I started using it as spot treatment as Sesame is recomend it, but the mix suited my skin really well that later I used it as a whole face and neck mask since I don’t have really sensitive skin issues. My favorite combo is honey/cinamon/lemon. I’ve also tried with nutmeg, but I liked cinamon better. I have not tried tumeric yet though. I know some people can find it a bit strong, but for me it was really good mix not only for marks, but also for active blemishes.
    By the way, Happy New Year!

  2. Jubilation says:

    Turmeric is the best:x

    Here in Vietnam, I use it all the time, both external and internal. I often mix some turmeric powder with honey or yogurt as a facial mask, and my skin complexion has improved. Turmeric helps healing the scar and lighten the skin tone. I love it a lot.

  3. pavani reddy says:

    u r a saver!!!i truly need this ty…

  4. sesame says:

    I hope it’ll work well for you!

  5. sesame says:

    I can’t use it often cos it stains easily and I got fed up with yellowish looking towels. LOL. But it’s good for oral consumption, yes!

  6. sesame says:

    I’m glad it’s working so well for you! I was quite surprised that you used it on your neck…that was something I’ve never tried.

    A very Happy New Year to you!

  7. EcoBeauty says:

    I haven’t even seen how nutmeg looks like or known how it tastes like. I just know that food-wise, cinnamon is a good substitute for it so I’ve only got cinnamon in the house. I’ve tried turmeric on my skin before and although it’s effective, it gave me a scary yellowish face, as if I’ve got liver problems, right after washing the mask off, haha. My skin is already yellowish to begin with so I guess that’s why it tints easily, too.

  8. Jean says:

    I have turmeric in the kitchen! I also have an annoying scar from an old acne attack on my cheek that won’t go away. Definitely going to try this out. Thanks! ?

  9. Diane says:

    Most of the Javanese body scrubs include turmeric & cinnamon. Don’t know if they put nutmeg in as well. I wonder if this will work for skin lightening (such as underarm to even out colors since I’m doing IPL)

  10. sesame says:

    Might do…give it a try. I also noticed that the Thai stuff also includes turmeric and cinnamon. I think it’s pretty Asian.

  11. sesame says:

    Hope it’ll work for you. I know these spices do wonders for new scars but not so sure about old ones…may need to be patient for results.

  12. Mai says:

    The MVO vit C have helped lightened some of my old scars & blemishes. However i’m still on the lookout for alternative products to speed up the process. This is a timely post! Will definitely head down to NTUC & try this over the long weekend!! Wishing you all the best for 2012 Sesame!

  13. Jyoan says:

    Interesting! I have both cinnamon and turmeric in my kitchen because I use them very often for cooking. I also sprinkle cinnamon on my breakfast, no matter what it is because I’ve read that it’s good for the skin and should be taken everyday.

    I haven’t thought of applying them on the skin though! Next time I think I need an acne fix, I’ll try it. I wonder if this helps marks at other parts of the body too… …

  14. Swati says:

    I had tried turmeric mixed with water as a spot treatment for my acne cysts and it worked beautifully…the acne cysts disappeared in a course of 3-5 days!!! haven’t tried cinnamon and nutmeg but someone told me that cinnamon didn’t work for her…no idea why!!!

  15. sesame says:

    I guess different ingredients work or different skin types. I find cinnamon pretty strong and can be irritating for sensitive skin!

  16. sesame says:

    Wow, cinnamon on breakfast? Sounds like something to try cos I love cinnamon rolls!

  17. sesame says:

    Hope the ingredients will work well for your skin, Mai. Happy New Year and all the best to you in 2012!

  18. savennia says:

    I always put some turmeric in my homemade cleanser and I totally love it!

  19. sesame says:

    That’s a cool idea!

  20. Amanda says:

    I have some acne marks on my skin, and because I wasn’t keen on removing them, they have been on my face for quite some time. Might these spices also work for long-term marks?

  21. sesame says:

    I am not too sure…I saw improvement on my new acne marks but didn’t take notice on old ones…I had some readers told me it worked for them but I wonder if it’ll take longer.

  22. Bone, Joint & Muscle says:

    This is cheaper than derma stuff. I’ll try this one. I have acne for years so it’s good to try a good alternative. Thanks!

  23. sesame says:

    Hope it’ll work well for you.

  24. Pollya says:

    Sesame, you mention that this is better used as a spot treatment (especially for new users); this means that we only have to mix a small amount right? Is the proportion of “base ingredient” (e.g. milk/yoghurt/honey) to cinnamon/nutmeg 1:1? i.e. 1 teaspoon of base to 1 teaspoon of spice? and if I only want to make half teaspoon, I just reduce both accordingly? cos if I only have 1-2 spots to use on, I only need a really small amount right? Or how long can I keep the mixture after I make it? few days at least?
    Happy New Year, Sesame!! Long live vivawoman!! ? ? ?

  25. Meredith says:

    I absolutely love your site – you’re a DIY queen! I’ve always wondered what would help get rid of acne scars. I’ll give these a try, thanks!

  26. sesame says:

    Haha…no queen…am still a novice in the area. But I admit that DIY gets me all excited! Hope this will help you if you give it a try.

  27. khoobsurati says:

    Thanks for the information. I have never thought that just three simple spices from my kitchen would help in preventing the highly undesirable acne scars.

    After reading your valuable information. I am sharing my own knowledge to help all of you out there. Take a look at:

  28. LT says:

    Hi, thanks for the great post! interested to try tumeric and honey but what are the proportions like? thanks!

  29. sesame says:

    You can add 1/4 teaspoon of tumeric to one teaspoon of honey.

  30. Julie1993 says:

    I used tumeric mask all the time..mix it with yoghurt..2 times a week n voila my skin becomes brighter:)))

  31. Julie1993 says:

    Anw, is there a certain type of turmeric for face?

  32. Sesame says:

    Oh nice…tumeric is great for skin!

  33. Sesame says:

    Hmm…I use the spice version available for cooking. I know some buyers suggest that their version is pure, etc but hmm…I don’t know if it’s a lot of difference.

  34. Sujasha (: says:

    I tried turmeric with gram flour plus almond oil and milk..made a paste..applied it…the flour doesnt allow staining and ive used it just once but awesome results ! Acne is clearing and so are the marks left behind (Y) <3

  35. Sujasha (: says:

    If u dont want it 2 stain..use gram flour/normal flour in d mask…with milk and honey/almond oil… <3

  36. Sesame says:

    Oh that’s awesome!

  37. ashish panwar says:

    mam,my age is 21 years and am realy fade up from thes acne and scars.i have tried many cosmetics products but none of them proves to be good for me.At last my uncle suggest me to apply the mixture of chinamon with turmeric in milk.So i just wanted to ask you does this mixture realy gonna work and if not then tell me some other ayurvedic treatment as well……

  38. Sesame says:

    It can help but you also need to know what’s causing your acne. If it’s something internal, the mixture will just calm the acne but not make it disappear.

  39. engl says:

    I’ve heard of using turmeric and honey as a spot treatment for acne. I’ve been ingesting it mixed with war milk recently…but it hasn’t been long enough for me to notice a difference yet. My family is originally from India so I have tons of turmeric at home. Its traditional to mix turmeric with gram flour and water or milk to make a face mask……I’m not up for that but will try turmeric and hone on certain spots. Hope I notice a difference:-)

  40. Sesame says:

    Yes, hope it’ll work well for you as a spot treatment.

  41. jade says:

    i’m trying out this nutmeg/cinnamon/lemon/honey mask because i’ve read it in some blog two weeks ago. it burns!!! but it’s like a good burn. i’ve been using it for about two weeks now, 3 times/week. i still don’t see any results… how long should i wait??? hahaha… i’m getting a little impatient. i’ve been suffering from adult acne for over a year now. i’m already 26 and still have acne and scars!!! i’m really stressed.. huhuhu ?

  42. Sesame says:

    This is good for acne marks for not for acne. Depending on individuals, some takes up to a month or so to see results.

  43. 앤지 says:

    Wow this is awesome! Acne scars as in those red spots am I getting this right? I hope it works! I have some old scars and new one of course T#k8SjZc9DxkT

  44. Sesame says:

    It probably will help lightened up but do have some patience as it can take about 2 – 4 weeks to see a difference.

  45. Ummu N says:

    I. Love. You. For. This. Post. <3

    I have the spices above (ok, which Asian woman doesn't??) and a tub of raw honey. And most importantly, acne scars to lighten.

    Here we go.

  46. Sesame says:

    Hope it’ll work well for you. ?

  47. guada says:

    hi .. have you tried taking it as a supplement??

  48. Meh says:

    Try using warm water to remove turmeric mask, it didn’t leave any yellow stains for me ?

  49. Nakita says:

    Ladies!! You should also try almond and turmeric paste. It is a miracle acne treatment. I leave it on my face for around 2-3 hours and sometimes sleep with it on my face overnight. When i wash my face, voila… All my new acne are tried, flattened and some just vanish

    Ps: i have a lot of acne. The reason it hormonal. Home made face packs help in getting rid of existing acne but do not stop new ones from appearing.

  50. Nakita says:


  51. adje says:

    Hi pretty girl! I am using nutmeg+honey+ milk just recently and the result was amazing. I’ve tried the turmeric but it leaves the yellow color still i am looking for a combination with a less staining.

  52. Kerry Lewis says:

    Interesting article!

    I bet those spices smell wonderful on your face too.

    Kerry Lewis last post is: Best Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash for Blackheads and Acne of 2017

  53. Richard Wolfstein says:

    Absolutely correct about turmeric; it was demonstrated in a study to reduce oily skin by 24.76%. That’s a huge increase, for such a common everyday spice. Translate that to acne and you’ll get a great reduction in clogged pores and pimples.
    Richard Wolfstein last post is: Why Licorice Root Is Excellent For Oily Skin And Acne, If You Use It Correctly

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