When it comes down to treatment options for acne, this powerful plant is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, especially since there are people who deem natural treatments such as turmeric inferior to cosmetic products.
However, plants, in their wholesome form, have been used throughout human history as a powerful medicine. So although medicine and cosmetics both have come a long way, there’s actually no reason to exclude natural ingredients from your skincare routine - so don’t shy away from experimenting with everything nature has to offer in addition to your regular skincare routine.
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant which belongs to the ginger family. Due to it being native to tropical South Asia, it’s most commonly used in Asian food, like curry for instance. Because of its potent yellow color, turmeric is also referred to as the “Indian saffron”. The root has been used as part of holistic medicine (particularly Ayurvedic medicine) for thousands of years.
All that is well and good, but does all this history of medicinal use actually hold any merit?
Well, after more than 3,000 peer-reviewed studies published in the last twenty-five years, people have slowly started to take the healing properties and health benefits or regular turmeric consumption more seriously than ever.
Science doesn’t lie - it turns out that turmeric is an antioxidant powerhouse, due to the number of curcuminoids it has (curcumin in particular).
As mentioned before, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties do wonders for the skin. They can work by combating redness, itchiness, hyperpigmentation, and pimples, as well as dark circles. Curcumin, the main ingredient found in turmeric, can treat the bacteria that causes acne. In addition, it also helps restore the natural glow and moisture in the skin.
Turmeric also has the power of protecting the skin from the sun and from oxidative damage because it fights the free radicals in the body. It can help fight aging and it can treat stretch marks. So not only is turmeric efficient in treating acne locally, it can be just as effective when added to our diet. But not only that - the stuff also helps with inflammation and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with other vital vitamins and minerals.
Add a pinch of turmeric to your regular face mask to witness the benefits of this miracle plant first hand. You could also try the following face mask:
Simply mix the ingredients and apply the paste on a cleansed face. Leave the mask on for 30 minutes and wash it off.
Another mask you could try for ultimate hydration and glowing skin is the following: mix half a tablespoon of raw honey with one tablespoon of turmeric and a few drops of coconut milk to make a paste. Apply it on the skin and let it sit for about 20 minutes to half an hour before washing it off.
Mix one tablespoon of coconut milk with one teaspoon of turmeric and carefully apply it with a small makeup brush on your dark circles, avoiding the eyes. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off.
Skin care companies have been aware of the multifaceted advantages of incorporating turmeric in their products for quite a long time. If you want to incorporate it in products that are not so easy to make at home, like face washes, just opt for turmeric-infused products next time you go skincare shopping.
Rosacea is a type of chronic skin inflammation that causes severe inflammation that is especially noticeable around the nose, chin, cheeks, eyelids and forehead area. The symptoms of this condition include easily seen blood vessels, acne, swelling, redness, a flushed face, and irritated skin.
There is no cure for rosacea yet, but some natural remedies, such as turmeric, are known to help treat the symptoms. Turmeric helps with rosacea because it contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also modulates the immune system, which is a very prominent problem for those suffering from rosacea. Since it affects mostly people with dry and sensitive skin, the moisturizing benefits of turmeric really help with treatment and further prevention. The anti-microbial properties help inhibit the growth of microbial strains.
You can enjoy the benefits of turmeric both by applying it directly as a spot treatment or a mask (as I’ve suggested above) or by incorporating small amounts of turmeric powder in your diet.
Now I’m going to talk about some of the benefits of using turmeric topically. It’s proven that turmeric helps control sebum levels and removes excess oil from your skin. In addition, it also removes dirt from the pores and fights bacteria, all the while unclogging them. It helps control microbial growth which prevents future breakouts. Turmeric soothes dry skin, leaving you with a refreshed and glowing complexion. It’s also known to help the healing process of wounds.
However, it’s generally not recommended to use turmeric masks more than 2-3 times a week since it can be counterproductive (and who has the time anyway?). Also, be wary of any irritation that may happen, and if that does occur, try reducing the number of masks you use in a week.
As long as you use natural turmeric powder without any coloring or additives, you shouldn’t have any negative side effects of the topical treatment. The upside of incorporating natural skin care products is that they rarely cause any adverse effects on the skin. Turmeric is safe to use as a spot treatment or face mask multiple times a week. Some people claim that daily usage has had wonderful results.
Turmeric lattes seem to be all the rage these days. But an even easier option that you can make at home is turmeric water. Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to one glass of water. You can opt for cold, room temperature or warm water, depending on your preference. Carefully stir it up before drinking. Add a pinch of black pepper to activate the curcumin and make the drink that much more effective.
Turmeric water reduces the inflammation in your body, and we all know by now that inflammation is one of the leading causes of acne. Because it’s high in antioxidants, this water can also help with the appearance of your skin, making it brighter and more youthful looking.
In addition to helping fight multiple illnesses, digestive issues and boosting your immune system, golden milk is a real blessing for the skin. It also helps get rid of toxins and free radicals in the body. Not to mention it’s probably the most delicious way to incorporate more turmeric in your diet.
Here is a simple and quick recipe you can use for a turmeric mask or a wash: mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with half a cup of milk ( you could also use a plant-based version) and apply it on the affected area using a clean washcloth. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes and wash it off.
If you want to drink the concoction, follow this recipe: bring a small piece of turmeric to a boil along with 250 ml of milk (if you are on a plant-based diet, you can use coconut milk). Remove the turmeric, strain the liquid and let it cool off for a couple of minutes before drinking.
Turmeric tea is an excellent option to start from if you’re thinking about incorporating more turmeric into your diet. It can be found in most grocery stores, just make sure that you check the ingredients list so you can avoid ones with added chemicals or coloring. It will also help with digestion, and a healthy gut is crucial for being acne-free. Enjoy a cup or two a day and see all the benefits unfold.
It’s no secret that our ancestors have been using this gift from nature in medicine, beauty concoctions and food for thousands of years.
And they’ve been right - its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits make for a cheap and safe ingredient in both herbal and regular medicine. Today, utilizing its health benefits is easier than ever. Turmeric is found in food such as ice cream, dairy products, desserts, cereals, sauces, and even popcorn. Not to mention, turmeric is the main ingredient of curry powder and is what gives the spice its yellow color.
It’s common in many natural supplements and medicine, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, conjunctivitis, and even skin cancer. When it comes to milder conditions, it can help aid digestion and abdominal pain. Here are a few specific benefits that turmeric is famous for.
Poor dietary choices, inactive lifestyle and excess alcohol can lead to a decline of liver function or even a damaged liver, which is detrimental to the body. If the liver’s job is impaired by excess toxins in the body, turmeric is there to help eliminate the toxins and free radicals. It contains phytochemicals which are crucial for this process of protecting and cleansing the liver inside out.
Digestion is a complicated process that involves the function of multiple organs. So, if you take into account the complexity of it, it’s no wonder that many of us suffer from poor digestion on a regular basis. The lack of a nutrient-dense diet that consists of many fruits and vegetables can impair digestion. That’s where turmeric comes in. Because it’s composed of so many vitamins, minerals, fibers, and anti-inflammatory compounds, it can significantly add to the daily amount of nutrients that you consume. And it’s incredibly easy to add a teaspoon of turmeric to your favorite dish.
Studies show that consumption of turmeric can have a positive effect on people suffering from diabetes because it improves insulin resistance. Improper insulin response is a major cause of hormonal breakouts, so this benefit can directly have an impact on acne.
Some types of cancer react positively to curcumin supplements because they affect the growth of cancer cells and the general development of the condition. Studies suggest that turmeric can reduce the growth of cancer cells. It can also be used to prevent cancer occurring in the first place, especially the types of cancer that affect the digestive system like colorectal cancer.
Almost 44 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. Although it’s still a poorly researched topic, a few studies have shown that the natural phytochemicals such as curcumin can help with the treatment of Alzheimer’s because they have an anti-inflammatory effect which helps fight infection.
Heart disease is the number one killer in the world. Curcumin, the ingredient found in turmeric, is proven to improve the function of the endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels). Its benefits for heart health are similar to those of exercise and the drug Atorvastatin.
There are no studies showing a link between turmeric application and consumption with acne, but you should be aware of some of the side effects that can occur as a consequence of using turmeric, both topically and orally. Everything can be damaging when used in excess, so be wary of how many times a week you add it in your skincare routine. While some people benefit from using turmeric face masks every day of the week, others with more sensitive skin could potentially find them harmful when used so often.
The most common side effects of turmeric include allergic reactions, digestive issues, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Extreme overuse can cause an abnormal heart rhythm.
The recommended daily dose of turmeric is from 500 to 1,000 milligrams of curcuminoids a day. Although safe in theory, make sure to be cautious of turmeric consumption if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, suffering from gallbladder disease or kidney stones, if you have diabetes, you’re suffering from iron deficiency or you have a bleeding disorder. Make sure to combine turmeric with a pinch of black pepper for better nutrient absorption.
Just like any other skin care products, using turmeric on your skin can be risky. For starters, make sure that you’re using pure, organic turmeric powder without any additives or coloring. Don’t use turmeric on your face if you’re allergic to it since it can result in red and irritated skin. Pay special attention to the recommended dosage and slowly incorporate it into your skincare routine so that your body has time to adjust. If you're worried about how it will affect your skin, try doing a patch test before using it on your entire face.
Turmeric can temporarily stain the skin and leave a noticeable residue. Make sure to wash the masks off properly because people might mistake you for a person suffering from jaundice (advice inspired by a true story).