When you think of the spice turmeric, a tasty curry dish might come to mind, but hold that thought! Turmeric is not only delicious: It's also great for your skin.
Turmeric is a spice used mainly in Asian cooking—specifically, Thai and Indian. This bright orange-yellow spice gives curry its distinctive flavor and color, and it's also present in yellow mustard. Just like many other amazing natural ingredients, it offers valuable skin benefits, too.
You'll find turmeric in any grocery store spice aisle. Just make sure to buy 100 percent turmeric with no additives.
Turmeric's Skin Benefits
The skin benefits of turmeric are numerous. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness and calm irritations and conditions such as rosacea. Plagued with dark circles? Give turmeric a try; it can help reduce their appearance.
Turmeric's antibacterial properties are reputed to disinfect and heal the skin, as well as combat acne. In fact, this acne-fighting ability is among the benefits for which turmeric is best known. It even combats the dark marks that often remain on the skin once acne clears. People with oily skin or acne scars who use turmeric on a regular basis can expect a noticeable improvement in the quality of their skin.
On top of all that, turmeric is an antioxidant that helps fend off the free-radical damage that causes premature skin aging.
It also can remedy an uneven skin tone.
Many people who use turmeric skin treatments on a regular basis find their skin looks so good that they stop using foundation altogether. Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream garners good reviews for clearing up acne and calming skin, and fans of Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask say their skin glows with once- or twice-a-week application.
Other Cosmetic Uses for Turmeric
In addition to its uses as a spice and as a beauty product, turmeric also functions as a dye. Hence, people use it as an all-natural self-tanner. Before you slather yourself in the spice, though, know that very few skin tones match turmeric perfectly. Especially if you have light skin, turmeric will probablytemporarily stain your skin yellow; other skin tones might get just a radiant glow. Don't let it scare you, though. If you're apprehensive about trying a treatment, apply it before bed so that, if your skin does change to a funky color, it doesn't happen right before you need to leave the house. In any case, you can scrub your turmeric tan off fairly easily with soap and water.
How to Make a Turmeric Face Mask
If you regularly make your own skin care treatments, try adding a bit of turmeric to your favorite face mask recipe, or use this one for a turmeric face mask:
Heat up a teaspoon of raw honey in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.
In a dish, combine the honey with a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of milk or Greek yogurt.
Wash your face, pull your hair back, and apply the mask to your face using your fingers or a spoon. If you don't want your fingers stained yellow, wear gloves when applying the mask.
Relax for 20 to 30 minutes as you let the mask dry and harden.
Rinse the mask off with warm water, moving your fingers in tiny circles to take advantage of turmeric's exfoliating ability.
This turmeric mask will help clear and smooth your skin, minimize the appearance of pores, and make your skin appear fuller and plumper. If the turmeric stains your face, simply wipe it off with a facial toner.
Glowing Skin From the Inside Out
For a more holistic, from-the-inside-out approach, you can get still more of the skin benefits from turmeric by drinking a concoction made with the spice. This recipe comes from Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known American integrative health specialist:
Boil two cups of water.
Add half a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
Stir, and then cover.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Filter through a tea strainer.
Sip and enjoy.
You can drink this cold or hot. Add a sweetener such as honey, or drop a piece of ginger root into your mug to punch up the taste.
Jen has been a licensed cosmetologist since 1997. As a seasoned beauty writer, Jen is able to take her knowledge, love of skin care and passion for writing and combine them to educate readers on how to best take care of their skin.
Her passion is sun protection and sun safety. "If you're serious about anti-aging, if you're serious about healthy skin, if you're serious about looking beautiful, the only way to achieve it is by protecting from the sun."
In 2013, Jen launched NotPasty.com with the mission of empowering women and teens to see the ridiculousness in the idea that we should all be one shade of brown to achieve some silly idea of beauty. Beauty is far more than skin color.