Is turmeric good for skin?
Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma Longa, is a sunset-yellow spice that gives curry its bright golden color. It’s been used for centuries in both cooking and traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
By now, you’ve probably tried a Golden Milk Latte, heard about turmeric as a “superfood,” and perhaps seen it listed as an ingredient in a new face cream or toothpaste.
If you’ve been following this blog, you also know there’s turmeric for joints, gut health, liver health, and more. However, there may be turmeric benefits for skin you haven’t heard of yet.
Turmeric has long been used in South East Asia to treat skin conditions, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory potential.
A growing body of evidence shows that one of the active components of turmeric, curcumin, could be used to treat several dermatological issues effectively. The beauty industry took notice, and it’s a hot new component in many skin care products.
Turmeric benefits for skin range from cosmetic to medicinal; it may:
- Help reduce the appearance of acne
- Reduce acne scars
- Brighten dark circles
- Support wound healing
- Prevent breakouts
- Alleviate the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
- Help treat alopecia
- Fight photoaging
- Provide pruritus relief
Get the turmeric benefits for skin in your daily self-care routine with these easy DIY recipes, plus learn the science behind them.
We decided to go beyond answering the question “is turmeric good for skin?” because the many ways it could spruce up your self-care routine may surprise you.
Is Turmeric Good for Skin? The Why and the How
Research shows that turmeric is good for skin in both oral and topical applications, providing therapeutic benefits.
In clinical studies, it has consistently been found to improve outcomes for patients who either ingested turmeric or used it directly on the skin when compared to the placebo control groups, which did not have turmeric added to their treatment.
Further studies are required; cosmetic application of turmeric for skin is still in the early stages of discovery and testing.
Why is turmeric good for skin?
Curcuminoids or Curcuma, the active compounds in turmeric, may help reduce inflammation, a contributing factor in various skin conditions like acne, blemishes, rashes, and even psoriasis.
Furthermore, the antimicrobial and antibacterial potential of turmeric could make it a suitable topical treatment to reduce cysts, nodules, and infections.
Turmeric benefits for skin may also support the body’s natural defenses against oxidative stress that causes healthy tissue to age and decay.
You might be thinking, “how is turmeric good for skin that’s aging? It’s just an herb!” The answer is in the antioxidant content in curcumin; aging is a natural consequence of an imbalance in free radical production and the body’s ability to neutralize them with antioxidants.
How is turmeric good for skin?
Turmeric benefits for skin come twofold: consuming it in foods and supplements helps the body progressively clear out the causes that lead to skin conditions. Applying it directly on the skin, whether in DIY formulas or commercial ones, helps treat the issue directly.
With acne, for example, turmeric supports natural liver detox, which in turn helps clear out dull or blemished skin symptomatic of unhealthy liver function.
The liver is in charge of processing toxins, fat, and blood filtering; when it’s overtaxed, it could lead to rashes or acne, as the body looks for a way to rid itself from excess substances.
Meanwhile, the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric for skin help reduce zits that made it out to the top layer of the skin.
Finally, antimicrobial and antibacterial effects may provide a safe and clean environment for new skin cells, ultimately supporting complete recovery and skin clearance.
5 Easy Ways Turmeric Could Help Your Skin Shine
#1 It May Improve the Appearance of Acne
The latent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin could prevent inflammation related to skin problems like acne. Furthermore, some studies suggest that lotions with turmeric could reduce sebum secretion in patients suffering from acne up to 24.8% within four to ten weeks.
Using turmeric for skin could help reduce the size of zits, redness, scarring, and other associated marks.
Try it: In a DIY Face mask that you can do once a week, mixing one teaspoon of turmeric extract powder, a teaspoon of honey, and ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil. Leave for up to 15 minutes.
Beware this may stain your skin a little and you will likely need to rinse off with warm water a second time, one hour after the original application. Do it on a day you don’t have to go out.
#2 Turmeric for Skin Lightening (i.e., Dark Circles)
Your matcha green latte may help you stay alert through the day, but turmeric for skin lightening could help you look how you want to feel. A study found that turmeric could reduce hyperpigmentation -what gives dark circles their color- while separate research noted that it might help lighten darkened armpits.
Try it: Find turmeric essential oil and add a few drops to an oil-based moisturizer or coconut oil and use as IT you do your regular lotion. Do a small test patch before.
#3 Could Help Reduce Psoriasis Symptoms
Is turmeric good for skin with psoriasis flare-ups? It could be. Studies covering oral and topical use of curcumin suggests that it might help alleviate skin lesions in mild to moderate Psoriasis Vulgaris cases.
However, it’s best to consult with your doctor before you attempt DIY remedies. If you’re ready to try a natural alternative, consider an overnight turmeric wrap.
Make a turmeric paste mixing a tablespoon of turmeric with enough water to make a mud-like paste, this is enough for a small section of skin - about a dollar coin size. Spread an even layer over the lesion to cover it thoroughly, then wrap in gauze and leave overnight. Rinse with warm water the next day.
#4 Might Clear Dull Skin
Drinking turmeric tea could help clear dulled skin from the inside out, helping you over time get a radiant look. Dull sin may be a consequence of poor hydration, exhausted liver or adrenal glands, and other skin-related conditions. Turmeric lotions for skin may work temporarily, but regular consumption could bring antioxidant levels up and help clear skin.
Try it: by adding at least one teaspoon of turmeric powder to salad dressings, smoothies, tea or water.
Because turmeric has a strong taste, you may find turmeric tea better when brewed with cinnamon, and cardamon. Alternatively, our Gold infusion is super tasty and rich in antioxidants that support not only healthy skin, but also better rest and relaxation.
#5 May Support Healthy Aging and Reduce UV Ray Damage
In small in vitro and animal studies, Curcuma-treated skin cells exhibited significant improvement effects on areas with UV-induced structure damage. Additionally, curcumin blocks elastase, an enzyme that inhibits elastin production, which gives skin firm and supple appearance.
Try it: Add a few drops of turmeric essential oil to your after-sun lotion, or mix with aloe vera to help heal burnt skin. Always try a small patch first to test your skin’s reaction.
#6 Could Support Wound Healing
A systematic review of multiple studies on wound healing noted that using turmeric for skin healing may be an effective way to “enhance tissue formation, collagen deposition, and wound contraction.”
Try it: either getting a turmeric unguent for wound healing at your local Indian market or preparing a DIY balm. For the ointment mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a teaspoon of coconut oil or ½ a teaspoon of water to get a thick paste, apply on the wound and leave overnight covered in gauze.
#7 May Relieve Rashes and Irritation
Research suggests that turmeric is good for skin showing redness, and could even help breast cancer patients reduce skin irritation related to ongoing treatments. Patients taking 6 g of turmeric orally every day during radiotherapy saw less radiation dermatitis.
Try it: Drinking turmeric tea or taking a supplement, make sure it has black pepper to increase turmeric absorption. You could also try mixing half a teaspoon of turmeric in half a teaspoon of water and applying on non-itchy skin.
Bonus: May Support Teeth Whitening
Turmeric is good for skin but it may also be good for gums and teeth; it supports oral health.
Try it: adding a teaspoon of turmeric to a teaspoon of solid coconut oil, brush your teeth with the paste for five minutes at the end of the day. Rinse with water. The toothbrush will stain but teeth should not. Test patch first in the back.
Is turmeric good for skin? Research suggests it is: there’s turmeric for skin lightening, to brighten up the skin (hint: eat and drink more of it) to whiten teeth, treat scars and heal wounds. Our DIY masks and treatments are just some ways to create your own turmeric skin care routine; however, we believe you support it better when you eat it.
Here are some recipes, let us know if you tried them! Practice safety, consult with your doctor and know we’re in this together.