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An All-Natural Lip Plumper & Other Surprising Beauty Uses for Cinnamon

Your kitchen cupboard is probably already stocked with cinnamon, but you might not know that the spice has a ton of brilliant beauty applications

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Story Highlights
Cinnamon is antioxidant-rich and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
The herb is effective in a variety of beauty and health uses, including as a lip plumper and an acne reliever
Cinnamon can be utilized in a variety of ways: brewed, sucked on and applied on to skin or hair as an oil or powder

Cinnamon isn't just for cooking. The antioxidant-rich, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory spice is also a beauty powerhouse, with uses so vast, you might be better off moving it from your kitchen cupboard to your bathroom cabinet. Check out our seven favorite ways to use the stuff.

Hand sanitizer

A 2009 study found that when applied liberally to hands, cinnamon oil was as effective an antibacterial agent as some commercial sanitizers.

Acne reliever

Some natural-health practitioners believe that the antiseptic properties of cinnamon can help kill the bacteria that causes acne when applied topically as an oil or in a paste concocted from the powdered spice.

Breath freshener

This one might be obvious given the prevalence of cinnamon in products like toothpaste and mouthwash, but the spice is a terrific breath freshener. To use it for this application, suck on whole cinnamon stick or brew some tea with a little bundle of them.

Scalp cleanser

Since powdered cinnamon acts as an exfoliant and has been theorized to bring blood to the scalp, it can help clean and nourish the area. To use it, mix one part ground cinnamon with two and a half parts honey and four parts warmed olive oil. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Leave on for 15 minutes and then wash your hair as usual.

Body scrub

Try blending one half cup coconut oil (make sure its temperature exceeds 75°, the point at which it turns from solid to liquid) with two cups of sugar, a tablespoon cinnamon, two teaspoons of honey -- or get creative with your own combos.

Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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Add cinnamon to your diet to protect bones and control cravings.

Upping your intake of ground cinnamon can have surprisingly powerful health benefits, according to researchers. Looking for ways to sneak the spice into your diet? Try a heavy sprinkle atop your next latte, stir a spoonful into curry powder (the sweet-spicy flavor complements most spice blends) or develop an addiction to cinnamon teas.

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A blogger road-tests cinnamon to highlight her hair.

Beauty writer Brenda Barrett of Black Hair Media went a three-stage mission to discover whether cinnamon really lightened hair. “At first I was skeptical because I could barely see any difference at my first try,” she says. “But then something miraculous happened, I could see the color change for myself, after three or so applications.”

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YouTube star Michelle Phan reveals how to DIY cinnamon lip plumper.

The beauty guru recommends rubbing lips with a moistened cinnamon stick or a drop of cinnamon oil instead of investing in expensive lip plumpers. “I think this technique works really great, and I LOVE that it’s natural,” she says.

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August 7, 2014

kantucki, don't feel bad about yourself! You're beautiful just the way you are; your husband is just a loser!

December 19, 2013

I'm willing to try anything once, and since my husband left me I feel so incredibally ugly, and unwanted I wish my fairy Godmother would come and fix my teeth, breast implants instead of socks, and a larger upper lip.

December 5, 2013

Great tips, I use cinnamon in my morning cup of java instead of sugar. It aids with the bodies metabolism!

November 27, 2013

Very interesting and useful. I love articles like this, Thank you.