India is a land of a million diverse cultures and traditions but one common thread which binds all households in our country is the honored place given to the healing and medicinal herb -Turmeric.
For hundreds of years, people around the world have linked turmeric to healing properties and cosmetic benefits. Turmeric is regarded highly in Ayurveda as well as western medicine for its antibacterial properties. Turmeric gets its health benefits primarily because of curcumin, a bioactive component. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is a spice used in Indian food and in healing. It is very beneficial for rasa and rakta dhatus - the blood and plasma of the circulatory system.
Turmeric — and especially its most active compound, curcumin — have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as the potential to improve heart health and prevent against Alzheimer's and cancer. Turmeric powder increases the production of enzymes that help detoxify the body. It also works as an internal cleanse and promotes healthy liver functioning. It is an immunity booster, protecting the body from cold during winters. It also naturally raises your body temperature making you feel warm and cozy. Turmeric is good for oily skin because it helps regulate the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Turmeric has positive research backing its ability to reduce inflammation and speed healing, which is beneficial for both medical and cosmetic purposes. Use it in powder form or as an essential oil.
Healing Benefits of Turmeric for Healthy Skin
Turmeric comes to the rescue every time there’s a cosmetic emergency and here’s how it benefits your skin:
1. Brightens the Skin
Turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. These characteristics may provide glow and luster to the skin. Turmeric may also revive your skin by bringing out its natural glow. No wonder it is used during Indian wedding ceremonies on the bride and groom!
You may want to try a turmeric face mask at home to see if the spice has any positive effects on your skin. You can mix small amounts of yogurt, honey, and turmeric together and apply to your face. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes and then wash off with water.
2. Heals Scars
The curcumin found in turmeric can help wounds heal by decreasing inflammation and oxidation. It also lowers the response of your body to cutaneous wounds. This results in your wounds healing more quickly.
Studies have found that turmeric can positively affect tissue and collagen as well. That’s why in Indian culture, turmeric is immediately pressed on to any injury to heal and repair the skin.
3. Cures Acne
You may want to try a turmeric face mask to help reduce acne and any resulting scars. The anti-inflammatory qualities can target your pores and calm the skin. Turmeric is also known to reduce scarring. It is used for acne because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties that fight pimples and breakouts. It removes redness from acne and other types of scarring, reduces inflammation, and evens out skin discolorations. This combination of uses may help your face clear up from acne breakouts.
4. Fades Dark Circles
The primary reasons behind dark circles are hereditary, lack of sleep, pigmentation, over-exposure to the sun, or even rubbing or scratching the eyes. I know waking up with tired-looking, pesky under-eye bags can be a big put-off. Luckily, you have turmeric. Turmeric, being a lightning and anti-inflammatory agent, helps in reducing the appearance of dark circles. It also stimulates blood circulation, which in turn helps in reducing puffiness.
Turmeric imparts glow, and lemon juice has bleaching properties. When used together, these ingredients help in lightening pigmentation and skin discoloration. The citric acid in lemon also deep cleanses the pores with excess sebum, bacteria, and dirt. With regular use of this mask, you will observe your skin becoming more even, clean and glowy.
5. Combats Sun Damage
UV rays are your skin’s worst enemy — they cause sunburns, skin cancer, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. But turmeric may help you turn back the clock, in a manner of speaking. Antioxidants prevent free radicals like pollution and UV rays from affecting your skin’s elasticity — the quality that keeps your skin feeling soft and supple.
6. Reverses Ageing
Turmeric blocks the enzyme elastase, which attacks your skin’s ability to produce elastin — a substance which gives your skin structure. If elastase is left unchecked, your body can’t produce the proteins it needs to keep your skin flexible, leading to wrinkles. Thus, turmeric reduces and prevents signs of ageing.
7. Removes Facial Hair
Curcuma oil, from the same family as turmeric, was applied on the underarm of 60 women for 10 weeks. The study found that the oil reduced or slowed hair growth on the tested area. The time it takes likely depends on the texture of your hair, as thinner hair will react more quickly than coarse hair. Expect turmeric oil to work less dramatically than waxing or shaving.
If you want to try it for yourself anyway, you can mix turmeric with chickpea flour, which is also used so that your face does not get stained. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. If used regularly, you might see results in about a month.
8. Soothes Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which inflammation causes skin cells to build upon each other, creating scaly patches that are prone to cracking and bleeding.
Curcumin, the primary active compound found in turmeric, contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that can combat cell production and reduce these uncomfortable skin patches.
9. Moisturizes Dry Skin
Dryness makes your skin look dehydrated and dull. This dryness could be even worse during the winter months. Apart from using rich body lotion throughout the day, it is also very important to give your skin extra care.
Did you know turmeric can alleviate symptoms of dryness? This magic ingredient nourishes the skin, deeply hydrates, and speeds up the process of removing dead cells from the skin. Treat yourself with a turmeric-infused mask to soften and hydrate your skin.
10. Reduces Stretch Marks
Stretch marks on your stomach, arms, or legs can be very difficult to treat, but turmeric will help lighten them. The antioxidants in Turmeric penetrate into skin and improve the function of the membrane cells. This process helps in lightening the appearance of stretch marks.
When applied to the skin, turmeric can temporarily stain the skin or leave a yellow residue. This is normal. But if you’re allergic, direct skin contact can cause irritation, redness, and swelling. Test turmeric on your forearm, applying a dime-sized amount and waiting 24 to 48 hours to see if you react before using on your face. Do not use turmeric on your skin if you’re allergic to the spice in food. One of the best ways to get the benefits of Turmeric for skin is to include it in your diet in the form of Turmeric milk or Turmeric tea. Also, consider adding Turmeric powder to your curries and other food preparations to aid digestion. Good gut health contributes to clear glowing skin.
Too lazy for a homemade mask? Don’t worry; we have numerous skincare products that have turmeric as the main ingredient.