Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is a major ingredient in Ayurveda and many other traditional medicine systems. Although it has numerous curative properties, it was first used as a dye. Its widespread use in Indian and many Southeast Asian cuisines has made it one of the most highly-prized spices in the world.
Besides its vast culinary uses, many studies have shown that turmeric also has fantastic skin health benefits and can be used medically to treat a variety of dermatologic diseases.1 Here’s how you can use turmeric for improving your skin.
1. Prevents Early Aging Skin
The main chemical component in turmeric is curcumin. These pigments enable the body to synthesize antioxidants, which protect the skin cells from free radical damage and helps in slowing down the signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Constant exposure to harsh sunlight, pollution, and harmful chemicals causes the skin to age prematurely making you look older than you really are. Many studies have shown that the active ingredients in turmeric can help the skin prevent and recover from UV radiation from the sun.2
- Add 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder with a teaspoon of honey.
- Additionally, you can also add a few drops of lemon juice.
- Mix the ingredients into a fine paste and apply a light coat on the affected skin.
- Wash it with lukewarm water after 15-20 minutes.
2. Heals Scars And Wounds
Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing scars that are left behind from wounds. Turmeric paste applied on the skin surface enters the skin through the pores and prevents inflammation. Topical administration of turmeric can directly deliver it to the affected tissue making it useful in treating skin-related disorders.3 Turmeric also contains antiseptic properties, which prevent a wound or a skin infection from worsening. Scars from acne and pimples can be naturally treated using turmeric paste.
- Take a couple of teaspoons of turmeric powder and add a few drops of water.
- Mix it until it becomes a fine paste.
- Dab it gently on the wound or scar and allow it to dry.
- Wash it with cool water after 30 minutes.
3. Reduces Acne
Due to its anti-bacterial properties, turmeric is highly effective in fighting and preventing acne, pimples, and skin redness. It is a powerful ingredient that can cure numerous skin problems and can be easily incorporated into many home-made natural face packs. It eliminates the acne-causing bacteria and also removes the excess oil from the skin.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of sandalwood powder with a ½ teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of milk to prepare a paste.
- Apply it evenly to the cheeks, forehead and other areas that are prone to acne.
- Allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes and wash it off with cool water.
- Repeat this at least four times a week for best results.
4. Relieves Burns
Turmeric’s soothing properties are extremely effective in treating minor burns. The antiseptic properties of turmeric ensure that the burn heals quickly while providing a cooling effect on the burn wound. The best part is that treating a burn wound by topically applying turmeric paste also prevents the formation of scars. But, turmeric paste must be applied regularly until the scar is completely healed.
- Prepare a paste using turmeric powder or rub the turmeric root on a grinding stone to extract the paste.
- Apply the paste gently on the burn and allow it to dry.
- Wash it with cool water and ensure that you dab any excess moisture using a cotton swab.
5. Exfoliates Skin
Turmeric can be blended with other natural ingredients to make a natural exfoliant that helps in removing dead skin cells. Its healing properties coats the skin with a protective layer after the exfoliation and prevents the skin from free radical damage.
- Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder to a tablespoon of oatmeal.
- Mix a few drops of milk or rose water and prepare a paste.
- Apply this paste to your face and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water and gently pat the skin dry to reveal a radiant and soft new layer of skin.
6. Decreases Stretch Marks
Minor skin imperfections such as stretch marks can also be effectively treated by topically applying turmeric paste. Just as it can heal scars on the skin, even stretch marks slowly fade away following regular application of turmeric. But, if the stretch marks are very prominent, consulting a dermatologist is advised.
- Mix 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder with a few strands of saffron and a few drops of lime juice.
- Apply this paste to the skin and allow it to dry.
- After 30 minutes, wash it off with cool water. Repeat this every day until the stretch marks become lighter.
7. Treats Dry And Cracked Skin
Dry and cracked skin can cause discomfort and can affect the skin permanently if left untreated. Though commercially available moisturizers can soothe dry skin in sensitive areas, some parts such as the heel take a long time to heal. Cracked heels can be effectively cured using turmeric paste making your skin relieved and soft.
- Add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to 3-4 teaspoons of turmeric powder.
- Mix it well until it becomes a thick paste.
- Apply this paste on the cracked heels or even on dry skin.
- Wash it off using water after 15 minutes.
8. Promotes Radiant Skin
Turmeric is very effective in restoring the natural glow of your skin and in treating uneven skin tone, blackheads, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. But, many people are reluctant to externally apply turmeric paste on their face as they feel it make the skin turn yellowish.4 The correct method to apply turmeric is to make the paste watery and not thick. Apply a diluted version of the paste evenly on your face or skin on your arms and legs as opposed to a thick paste that is generally used for other skin conditions.
- Mix a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- Blend the mixture until it becomes a fine paste.
- Apply it evenly on the skin and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off.
- Repeat this 3-4 times a week until your skin tone improves.
|↑1||Vaughn, Alexandra R., Amy Branum, and Raja K. Sivamani. “Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on skin health: A systematic review of the clinical evidence.” Phytotherapy Research 30, no. 8 (2016): 1243-1264.|
|↑2||Kaur, Chanchal Deep, and Swarnlata Saraf. “Topical vesicular formulations of Curcuma longa extract on recuperating the ultraviolet radiation–damaged skin.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 10, no. 4 (2011): 260-265.|
|↑3||Nguyen, Tuyet A., and Adam J. Friedman. “Curcumin: a novel treatment for skin-related disorders.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 12, no. 10 (2013): 1131-1137.|
|↑4||Arct, J., Anna Ratz-Łyko, M. Mieloch, and M. Witulska. “Evaluation of skin colouring properties of curcuma longa extract.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 76, no. 4 (2014): 374.|