DIY Beauty: ground pepper for rough skin areas

Okay, I’m not done with using spices for beauty. So sometime ago, I read that pepper can boost circulation when used on the skin and in fact be used for cellulite control as it has fat-burning properties and can fight the fatty deposits with its “warming” action. I was rather curious – wouldn’t it be ‘spicy’ for the skin? Anyway, since I have a bottle of coarse pepper in my kitchen that was near expiry, I decided to put it to the test by making a sort of body scrub.

Great exfoliating agents
I know black pepper is used in some commercial products like the Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Bodyscrub Bar. The thing about coarse black pepper is that the the granules make them great exfoliating agents to cleanse, remove dead skin cells, and at the same time, stimulate lymphatic flow and blood circulation. However, I also read that pepper helps to cure Vitiligo, which is a skin disease that causes some areas of skin to lose its normal pigment and turn white. According to researchers in London, piperine contained in pepper can stimulate repigmentation of the skin (source) and so I’m thinking it is definitely not a good idea to use black pepper on the face at all. Anyway, thank goodness the granules are too coarse for our facial skin!

Simple recipe using 3 ingredients
I decided to make a simple scrub using yogurt, salt and coarse black pepper. Now since it’s a scrub, I didn’t make exact measurements but it was quite a bit of salt and pepper altogether and the end result was a good exfoliating scrub for rough areas like my elbows, the knees and my feet. And no, I didn’t feel any warm, tingling sensation either. I guess the yogurt might have ‘cool’ it off?

Make a moisturizing scrub using oil
Anyway, if you want a more moisturizing scrub, you can replace the yogurt with olive oil or almond oil but I can’t promise that you won’t feel any heat because when I tried rubbing just a handful of the coarse pepper on my skin, I did feel a slight warm sensation.


  1. Karisse says:

    is it something like cellulite control? can we use it on fatty areas like thighs?

  2. sesame says:

    Yes, you can use on the thighs…it’s supposed to help fight cellulite.

  3. Chris says:

    It never occurred to me to use black pepper as a scrub. Neat idea, but I would be concerned with it darkening areas of my body. I have used salt as an exfoliator in the past, with good results. ?

  4. sesame says:

    That’s why it’s better to use this for rough skin and I doubt the skin will turn darker if you’re using it infrequently.

  5. claire says:

    ah. something in the kitchen transformed into something for the bathroom! I’ve heard of its uses in fighting cellulite. But I’m darn lazy to get in the my bathroom. It’ll be so troublesome to wash away the black pepper bits on the floor. There was once I tried using botanical herbs in my honey mask once and it made such a big mess in the sink. Maybe I should invest in the essential oil.

  6. sesame says:

    Yes, this can be slightly messy but it isn’t as bad as some other recipes I’ve tried. Hmm…definitely better than using ground coffee!

  7. Carrie says:

    Using black pepper as a body scrub and to fight cellulite?!?! This is just fantastic!! Though I wonder if there are also other things to replace yogurt and/or oil? Coz it’s going to be freezing if you use yogurt in winter, and with oil, it is just not easy to clean the grease afterwards… I have been thinking about honey or egg, but these two are probably not too economical either… hm…!!!

  8. sesame says:

    Yes, honey would be fine! Egg should be possible but I’m not too sure about the smell but if you don’t mind it, it’s not a problem.

  9. Carrie says:

    LOL that’s true!! Eggs do smell!! I also wonder if oatmeal paste (powder + water) would be a good substitute too? It’s not too messy to clean and rather economical too ?

  10. sesame says:

    Oatmeal paste for scrub you mean? It’s not bad but a bit soft so good for skin. I like using oat flour – less messy.

  11. Rosie says:

    thanks for this post, it’s an amazing DIY beauty tips.. i would love to try it.. by the way, how often do you use this remedy for rough skin areas?

  12. Sesame says:

    About twice a week should be good.

  13. filly says:

    I do love my black pepper scrub on my face!!
    I do it once or twice a month…last time I added green tea powder as well!
    I don’t use corse black pepper though, I use a thiner version but not too thin. Even for the body I find the thiner way better.
    My skin didn’t turn darker at all.
    On the body I add coffee as well, I wash with luke warm water a sooth with pere aloe vera gel.
    I love the warming feeling and detox skin! ?

  14. Sesame says:

    Oooh…you added green tea powder! Sounds like a nice balance there! Glad it works great for you. ?

  15. Veena says:

    is black pepper will help me for removing white heads on my face, which are suddenly occur during monsoon and leaving black spots all over on my face .. please help me to wash it out.
    I got small acnes (white heads) on my face.

  16. Sesame says:

    No…you have to exfoliate using a peel.

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