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Everything You Need to Know About Using Turmeric for Your Skin


You’ve probably thrown it into smoothies, lattes, and other delicious recipes, but did you know that turmeric is a beauty multi-tasker that does everything from brightening up your complexion to chasing away blemishes? Aside from being a gorgeous addition to anyone’s spice cabinet, the bright yellow-orange spice has become super buzzy for lots of reasons. Not that it ever went out of style—in fact, for hundreds of years, people around the world have counted on turmeric for everything from its healing powers to its cosmetic uses.

Ready to reap the benefits of turmeric in your own skincare routine? Continue reading below for how you can incorporate turmeric into your beauty routine.

What are the benefits of turmeric?

Turmeric’s glowing reputation is thanks to curcumin, a chemical compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. While Indian food and healing treatments have incorporated turmeric for centuries, it’s beginning to make a splash in mainstream health and the natural beauty movement. And science is demonstrating that it’s more than a trend—it’s here to stay.

The research is promising: As a natural antioxidant, curcumin has the capacity to decrease UV damage. It’s also antibacterial, meaning it can help clear up acne when you apply it topically. Some scientists even say it can reduce the breakdown of collagen and keep your skin glowing and youthful if you eat it. Beyond that, some dermatologists say turmeric can prevent redness and irritation, hair loss, and cardiovascular disease, all of which tend to be driven by inflammation.

Keep reading for the specific benefits of turmeric, as well as for powerful skincare products that take full advantage of them.

1. It'll give you an all-natural glow-up.

GLOW RECIPE Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream

It’s probably no coincidence that turmeric reminds us of a radiant sunset, considering that it’s an instant glow-booster. Its antioxidant properties have the power to brighten skin, including stubborn under-eye circles and dark spots.

You can create your own DIY turmeric mask with just a few kitchen staples like yogurt, honey, and turmeric. PSA: If you’ve ever cooked with it, you know turmeric can temporarily stain your skin, as well as clothing and pillows—so handle it with care. But thanks to the latest turmeric-infused skincare products, you can reap this healthy spice’s benefits whenever you want.

If you’re new to turmeric, an easy way to incorporate it into your skincare routine is with a daily moisturizer like GLOW RECIPE Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream. This sunny yellow formula is made with turmeric, banana, and chia seed to reset and replenish your skin—and thanks to turmeric, it’s great for acne-prone and sensitive skin types. Bonus: The unique, smoothie-like texture feels fresh and cool on your skin.

2.  It's an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.

RAEKA Turmeric Orange Peel Off Mask

If you struggle with skin conditions that cause redness or puffiness, turmeric could be your holy grail ingredient. Oxidative stress, which occurs when you have too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants in your body, can lead to chronic inflammation and early signs of aging. If that sounds stressful, you can breathe easy—turmeric is known and loved for its free radical-fighting, anti-inflammatory properties. As previously mentioned, curcumin found in turmeric can help decrease swelling and inflammation, which also makes turmeric a great acne-fighter (more on that below). 

For a glowy boost of turmeric and to soothe stressed out skin whenever you need it, try a mask like RAEKA's Turmeric Orange Peel Off Mask. It’s a brightening, anti-aging peel-off mask that perks up tired skin with a healthy dose of turmeric and orange. Vitamin C helps to slough off dead skin cells and remove excess dirt and oil to reveal brighter, tighter skin. Plus, the peel-off formula is so satisfying. 

3. It could even help with acne and scarring.

APTO SKINCARE Healing Turmeric Mask

Another happy side effect of turmeric is that its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties pack a punch when it comes to fighting acne-causing bacteria and taking the gunk out of clogged pores (which can lead to breakouts). In addition to calming your skin, turmeric’s skin-brightening effects can help fade hormonal acne scars.

For an extra-soothing treat, try a face mask like APTO SKINCARE Healing Mask with Turmeric, which uses turmeric’s disinfecting properties to slow cell damage and reduce inflammation. It also contains azelaic acid, which helps prevent future breakouts and slough away dead skin cells without irritating sensitive skin.

MY SKINNY MASK Turmeric and Vitamin C Clay Mask

Even when acne heals, dark spots can linger. If you’re looking to brighten up all over and fade stubborn dark spots, add this MY SKINNY MASK Turmeric and Vitamin C Clay Mask to your routine. It uses turmeric and vitamin C-rich kakadu plum (two powerful skin brightening ingredients) to help fade dark spots and even out your skin tone. Plus, it’s gentle and safe for all skin types. 

4. It’s got anti-aging benefits

PRIVATE DOCTOR Define Minus Serum

Research also supports turmeric’s anti-aging potential. Remember how we mentioned the antioxidant properties of turmeric's curcumin? Well, that protection from free-radical damage is where the anti-aging benefits come in. When cells are shielded from environmental stress, the accelerated causes of aging (sun damage, pollution, etc.) are slowed and new cell growth is encouraged.

If your focus is minimizing those fine lines and wrinkles, PRIVATE DOCTOR Define Minus Serum helps to plump and firm up skin both immediately and over time. Antioxidant-rich turmeric protects skin while soothing and hydrating (to restore your youthful glow), while sodium deoxycholate helps smooth and refine your skin’s texture.

5. Your scalp loves turmeric, too.

So you already know that turmeric’s a star ingredient when it comes to your skin, but did you know it also promotes scalp health? Curcumin can effectively treat hair loss that arises from conditions like dandruff and bacterial infections. In fact, for centuries, Indian women have turned to turmeric and other Ayurvedic herbs to keep their hair long, strong, and shiny.

The skin on your scalp is also susceptible to inflammatory responses from dehydration and lack of nourishment—often resulting in dandruff or hair loss. Thanks to its antiseptic properties, turmeric can help soothe and calm an irritated scalp. Look for hair masks and conditioners containing turmeric or if you have dark hair (because powder turmeric can stain), try to DIY your own! Mix four tablespoons of coconut oil with a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric for an easy at-home mask. Lighter hair types might want to sit this one out, as turmeric is notorious for staining.

Have you used turmeric in your beauty treatments or received any of the products we mentioned above? If so, tell us what they did for your glow by reviewing them on your Glam Bag page.

Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Nirmala Nataraj
Ipster, theater buff, red lipstick wearer 4 life
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Article Last Updated March 22, 2021 12:00 AM