Our global fondness of turmeric has been steadily turning into a full-blown obsession since we took our first sip of a golden milk latte way back in 2016. Yes, this wonderful spice has even made espresso free lattes popular.
But in all seriousness turmeric is no longer only connected to delicious Indian cuisine, instead it has made its way into every aspect of our daily routine, from calming upset stomachs, health supplements, clearing up acne and even whitening our teeth. With turmeric being one of the most studied herbs throughout science its benefits are astonishing.
So, why don’t we dive right in and get the low down on this vibrant spice.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric powder is harvested from the root of a ginger found in Southeast Asia called Curcuma zedoaria. The chemical compound found in the root called curcumin is the molecule that gives the powder its distinctive bright yellow colour and is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is also antibacterial, reduces pigmentation, treats stretch marks and not to mention, a very tasty addition to a dish. And that’s only the beginning of what this spice can provide.
Turmeric’s health and beauty benefits have been used for hundreds of years in the Eastern cultures from cooking, to making homemade face masks. Curcumin is so powerful that there is truly nothing this spice can’t fix. It is in recent years that the Western cultures have discovered the hidden wonders of this beauty potion and today you are able to find turmeric in various skincare products such as, serums, cleansers, toners, face masks and many more.
So now that I have your attention, let’s continue our journey to find out what this ancient spice has up its sleeve when it comes to skin benefits.
What Are the Skin Benefits of Turmeric?
An easier question to answer would be, how long is a piece of string. The benefits almost feel endless, so I have collected the top ones to share with you below:
- Turmeric is Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This means it can treat conditions of the skin, such as eczema and rosacea by reducing redness and soothing the skin from any active flare ups. By taking turmeric supplements you will aid any digestion problems and gut discomfort caused by inflamination too, meaning this spice will make you look and feel beautiful from the inside out.
- Turmeric Can Lighten Pigmentation
Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin is a powerful antioxidant which is able to reverse the signs of sun damage such as dark spots and pigmentation by warding off environmental aggressors and free radicals. Unfortunately UV damage cannot be completely corrected, but turmeric is able to lighten how pigmented the dark spots are by making them appear less visible on the face, this is done by the curcumin stopping any more UV rays reaching the broken, damaged skin cells that are over producing melanin making the dark spots to appear darker. An easy way to remember it is to picture turmeric as umbrella covering and protecting the pigmentation from the sun and reducing the exposure which in turn will lead to the pigment becoming lighter.
- Turmeric is Able to Reduce Dark Under Eye Circles
In a similar way as previously mentioned, turmeric is able to help with under eye dark circles by lightening the pigmentation. With its anti-inflammatory properties it can also stimulate the circulation in the eye area, which can in fact become very slow at times. It reduces signs of any puffiness and darkness whilst remaining gentle on the sensitive eye area.
- Turmeric Can Soothe Dry Skin
Turmeric has the ability to deeply hydrate the skin, revitalising the complexion and bringing back a healthy glow. It does this by natural speeding up the shedding process of dead skin cells to be removed from the skin, revealing beautiful vibrant skin. Its magic doesn’t stop there and the new skin has the protection from toxins, free radicals and stops any further UV damage.
- Turmeric Can Clear Up Blemishes
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory which is a huge help to blemish prone skin types. The antiseptic properties prevent the bacteria from spreading, perfect for keeping any unwanted spots at bay whilst the anti-inflammatory benefits will tackle the pimples that are already active on the skin. Size and redness are reduced and the healing process can begin.
- Turmeric Can Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Turmeric antioxidant properties have the ability to penetrate into the skin and treat stretch marks. This is done by improving the functionality of the skin’s membrane cells, which is the layer of the skin that shows any signs of scarring. By topically applying an oil-based body care product containing high levels of curcumin to the area you will notice that the visibility of the stretch marks will become reduced and the skin will look smoother.
- Turmeric Can Speed Up Healing
If you find you have any areas of skin which is vunerable from broken skin, such as a cut or even a scar applying turmeric will rapidly increase the healing time. As a result of its antibacterial properties exposed cuts will be protected from bacteria which will lead to infection here as scars will be helped and healed in a significant amount of time.
These skin benefits are the reasons you will find this clever herb in many turmeric-laced skincare products. You can also provide your body with some extra super spice magic by adding health supplements to your daily routine. Much like all supplements however it is advisable to seek the help of a medical professional before taking them.
How To Use Turmeric In Your Skincare Routine
There isn’t a skincare product available that hasn’t had this golden spice added to it’s formulas at least once, from cleansing to face masks. But before you raid your spice rack you must understand there is a difference to the turmeric used in cooking and the other added into skincare.
The level of curcumin found in everyday turmeric is very low, 2-9% and will have very little impact on your skin. If anything, staining is extremely possible so its best to leave any DIY face masks to the Pinterest board. Cosmetic curcumin is in fact colourless and it is this compound that is included in the beauty products.
Turmeric has the ability to treat many skin conditions which in turn means it is safe to use on all skin types. To find the perfect product for you, you first need to use consider which step of your regime you enjoy the most. Then you will be introducing your skin to this glow inducing super food and also not disturbing the routine you are accustomed to. Here are the top three products that are worth introducing this multi-tasking ingredient to your skincare.
- Cleansers- Great for sensitive skins if you are a little worried about turmeric causing a reaction. Cleansers spend the least time on the skin and are swiftly washed off with warm water meaning your skin experiences the turmeric, but not for long enough to cause any irritation.
- Serums- If you are more oily and blemish prone you may find that serums, especially ones for evening use, will have an noticeable impact on your skin’s overall appearance and texture. Active spots are calmed and the size is reduced, whilst any waiting to break to the surface are stopped in their tracks by the antibacterial properties of the super herb.
- Face Masks- For the ultimate pamper factor, face masks containing turmeric gives you all the skin changing benefits of any other product, but delivered in one luxurious sweep. With the formula of a mask usually meticulously blended to give you a complexion that is vibrant and smooth.
Of course, there are more products available to try containing turmeric, but it is the ones mentioned above that will really give your skin the healthy glow you are searching for.
What Are the Side Effects of Turmeric?
With this natural spice there are very few side effects, just so long as you remember there is a difference between the turmeric found in cooking and in skincare to prevent any unwanted staining.
You will also find that consuming too much of the spice can lead to some gut problems so be wary of how much you decide to eat or add to your cooking.
Turmeric and more specifically its active compound curcumin have been scientifically proven to contain a number of health benefits, from preventing heart disease, reducing the risk of alzhemers to even treating cancer. It makes you feel foolish to have been clueless to the power of this wellbeing golden powder before now.
With this new found collection of skin glowing knowledge I expect you all to be treating your skin and body to this superfood, it is unusual to find an ingredient that works wonders from the inside and out, and to make things even better, turmeric lattes are delicious too.
Have you introduced turmeric to your skincare routine? Why not join us on Instagram and let us know your thoughts so far!