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Our skin is the body’s biggest organ. However, it’s also the most sensitive to environmental pollutants. These include stress, pollution, poor diet as well as irregular sleep cycles. This then results in dull, lifeless, and aged skin. Luckily, certain ingredients exist that can help to maintain health as well as the appearance of your skin, and one such ingredient is the much-loved turmeric.

What is turmeric?

A popular spice that’s included in a number of Indian dishes. Turmeric has a distinct yellow color, and it provides a pungent, bitter taste to the various curries and salad dressings that it’s added to. With regard to its health benefits, the buzz around turmeric is rooted in the phytonutrient curcumin. The compound has been linked to a wide range of health benefits that include protecting against cancer and Alzheimer’s, as well as heart disease (1,2,3).

Additionally, curcumin is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This then allows it to provide great health benefits for the skin, as a number of skin problems are often rooted in inflammation. That said, read on to find the many skin benefits that turmeric helps to provide.

Turmeric Skincare Benefits

Anti-aging benefits

There are many factors that cause premature aging of the skin, and one of these factors is sun damage. In fact, the sun’s UV rays not only cause sunburn but also cause fine lines and wrinkles. Luckily, turmeric can help counter sun damage, which in turn helps to prevent premature aging.

In fact, an animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology discovered that turmeric helped alleviate sun damage in rats. Additionally, research from the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that a face cream that contained turmeric as an ingredient helped to alleviate the appearance of fine lines and hyper-pigmentation (1).

Psoriasis symptoms

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes skin cells to build upon each other. This then results in scales as well as itchy and dry skin patches. However, the National Psoriasis Foundation has suggested that turmeric can help alleviate psoriasis symptoms, as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties.

turmeric | Longevity LIVE

In fact, research published in the BioMed Research International found that the use of oral curcumin helped treat patients with the condition.

Wound healing

Turmeric can also help promote quicker wound healing. This is all thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties that curcumin contains.

When a wound begins to heal, the white blood cells are sent to the wounded area to help initiate the healing process. This action causes inflammation which is then felt as pain by the body. However, the application of turmeric to the wounded area can help to combat inflammation. It may also help alleviate any discomfort associated with the wound.  What’s more, the curcumin also serves to boost collagen production, which then serves to speed up healing and reduce the risk of scarring (2).

Acne treatment

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric also contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties. This then makes it more effective when it comes to acne treatments.

Research published in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletins found that the presence of curcumin helped to combat a bacterium that has been linked to acne. It appears that the antiseptic properties of turmeric help to prevent the spread of bacteria. Meanwhile, its anti-inflammatory properties help to alleviate the appearance of redness and acne scars.

Turmeric and skincare

The best way to implement turmeric into your skincare routine would be using a home-made face mask, once a week. It’s important to note that turmeric may leave a light yellow stain on your face. Thus, it would be advisable not to wear a mask a few hours before a night out.

That said, spoil your skin with this turmeric face mask, courtesy of Dr. Axe:

Turmeric Face Mask

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1–2 applications

Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic, raw, local honey
  • ½ teaspoon milk or yogurt
  • [optional] 1 drop lemon essential oil or fresh lemon juice for additional skin brightening
Method
  • Wash your face and hands first to remove impurities and any make-up.
  • In a small bowl or jar, mix the turmeric powder with the honey, apple cider vinegar, milk or yogurt, and optional lemon oil. Try to get a consistency that will stick to your face. Be careful not to make it too thin as it may drip.
  • Apply the mask carefully, avoiding your eyes.
  • Allow the mask to sit on your face for 15–20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
  • If you have any leftover turmeric mix, you can cover it and leave it in the fridge for your next application.
  • Apply twice a week for the best results.

References

Akbik D, Ghadiri M, Chrzanowski W, Rohanizadeh R, Curcumin as a wound healing agent, Life Sciences, Volume 116, Issue 1,(2014), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2014.08.016

BioMed Research International, vol. 2015, Article ID 283634, 7 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/283634.

Kusumawati I, Kurniawan K, Rullyansyah S, Prijo T, Widyowati R,  et al, Anti-aging properties of Curcuma heyneana Valeton & Zipj: A scientific approach to its use in Javanese tradition, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 225,(2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2018.06.038.

Liu C, Huang H, In Vitro Anti-Propionibacterium Activity by Curcumin Containing Vesicle System, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 2013, Volume 61, (2013), https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpb/61/4/61_c12-01043/_article/-char/en

Preetha A, Chitra S, Sonia J, Ajaikumar B. K, Bharat B. A, Curcumin and cancer: An “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution, Cancer Letters, Volume 267, Issue 1, (2008), Pages 133-164 , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.025.

Swanson, C, Denny, D, Robinson L, Raleigh P, Topical turmeric extract in a moisturizing cream formula reduces the appearance of facial spots and fine lines and wrinkles on human facial skin, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 62, Issue 3, AB19 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2009.11.118

Wongcharoen, Wanwarang et al. Effects of Curcuminoids on Frequency of Acute Myocardial Infarction After Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (2012) American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 110, Issue 1, 40 – 44. https://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(12)00846-6/fulltext

https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/natural-therapies

Zhang, Laura & Fiala, Milan & Cashman, John & Sayre, James & Espinosa-Jeffrey, Araceli & Mahanian, Michelle & Zaghi, Justin & Badmaev, Vladimir & Graves, Michael & Bernard, George & Rosenthal, Mark. (2006). Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-β uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD. 10. 1-7. 10.3233/JAD-2006-10101.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

2 Comments

  • John Logger says:

    This post about longevity is interesting, and the human’s longevity can be extended for very long time, almost indefinitely, as was discovered by Allen Omton and Serge Dobrow.
    John Logger

  • Lukhanye Somtunzi says:

    been sing the mask but simply mixed it with just water. i love the glow it gives as it really does stain the face a little.