Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Caley Scott, ND
What if there was an all-natural product you could just rely on consistently with low cost and a simple process? Turmeric might be exactly what you’ve been looking for!
Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, have long been used in traditional medicine and various cuisines, but only recently has it returned as a skincare miracle worker. More people are harnessing the power of turmeric with great results, creating DIY skincare products while using it as a tasty, healthy ingredient in cooking.
Today, we’re exploring seven proven turmeric benefits for your skin, giving you yet another reliable, all-natural tool in your daily routine. We’ll also outline how to use turmeric most effectively in your skincare routine, so you can get more mileage from its medicinal properties.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice made from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, a member of the ginger family. The root is dried, ground, and turned into a powder, which is known for its pungent aroma and bright orange color. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in many global cuisines, but its cosmetic and medicinal uses are notable as well.
Much of turmeric’s properties come from an active compound known as curcumin, which contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements. Because turmeric is so potent, you don’t need much to get the full range of benefits, from digestion and gut health to metabolic boosting and more.
If you’re unsure where to start with turmeric, take the first step by making some simple recipes. It’s easily incorporated into spice blends, marinades, dressings, and more. Remember to mix turmeric with black pepper to enhance the absorption of curcumin and get the most from each serving.
What are the health benefits of turmeric for skin?
Turmeric is typically recommended for its benefits inside the body — namely digestion, metabolism, and soothing effects for joints. But with such a powerful active component in the form of curcumin, it’s no surprise that turmeric is a great skincare ingredient that can benefit the look and feel of your complexion as well.
Let’s check out the seven top benefits of turmeric for your skin and see why this classic spice has made a splash in the world of natural skincare.
1. Youth-supporting effects
For many skincare enthusiasts, reducing signs of aging is a top priority. From fine lines and wrinkles to dark spots and more, skin health protocols often feel like a battle against time. Thankfully, turmeric powder has considerable skin benefits across the board, helping restore youthful skin without resorting to pricey products or treatments.
The antioxidant properties of turmeric not only reduce intestinal discomfort, but they can also reduce swelling and damage done to the skin by free radicals. Oxidation is a part of life, but when it comes to maintaining your natural glow, the effects of turmeric can help.
Everyone has unique priorities with regard to anti-aging skincare, but natural ingredients like turmeric can help develop a strong foundation of skin health.
2. Eases breakouts
Even if you think you’ve outgrown acne or don’t deal with breakouts often, pimples can happen no matter who you are. While hormones are definitely a factor, acne also happens because of buildup, bacteria, and other preventable elements. Because turmeric is such a powerful antimicrobial, it can be used as part of your cleansing routine to take care of acne at the root!
Maybe you’ve tried all the mainstream acne products already or you don’t like how the harsh chemicals react with your skin. Turmeric offers an all-natural way to deal with breakouts while reducing irritation and discomfort that comes with lab-made solutions.
Whether you opt for spot treatment, a turmeric face mask, or a the occasional exfoliation session, the lasting effects of turmeric for skin health will go a long way.
3. Soothes skin concerns
While serious skin conditions should be addressed by a dermatology expert, turmeric can play a part in reducing some discomfort with minimal side effects.
Supplement with turmeric via ingestion or use a turmeric-enriched skincare product, and the active ingredient turmeric might offer some relief when you need it most. Just as turmeric can help support the gut and reduce bloating, irritation on the skin can also be reduced with consistent turmeric use. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was used to soothe conditions like dermatitis and related issues, and some of those anecdotal accounts could hold some promise for modern users.
Again, this isn’t your first line of defense when confronting serious dermatological conditions. But if you’re looking for natural ways to take on certain skin conditions through some safe experimentation, turmeric is a worthy addition to your list.
4. Reduces the look of dark circles
Those dreaded dark circles always seem to come back at the worst possible time. Sometimes all it takes is just a few lost hours of sleep or a stressful day at the office to see the dark circles return. Instead of masking them with makeup or using pricey therapies, turmeric can offer a solution that minimizes the look of issues with pigmentation and alleviates these visible circles through natural means.
Turmeric is not only used as a spice and a medicine — it has also been used as a dye for centuries. The fine powder can therefore improve the pigment of your skin, brightening up the sensitive region around the eyes with some careful application.
For instance, you can mix up a yogurt and turmeric blend with lemon and apply it to the under-eye area, letting it sit there for several minutes before peeling it away. This can offer a skin-lightening effect and create more resilient skin around the eyes, which tend to show signs of tiredness first.
5. Support proper wound healing
Cuts, scrapes, and other blemishes happen, whether on the face or anywhere else on the body. While you can typically wait for the body’s healing efforts to kick in over days and weeks, turmeric can offer a boost to these processes and speed things up for improved restoration.
After all, the antioxidant effects of curcumin are considerable, and the soothing properties can reduce swelling around cuts and bruised areas. If you’re regularly getting bumps and scrapes, you can use turmeric to keep the area clean, controlled, and back on track to a healthy state.
How does this fit into your skincare routine? Think of turmeric as the healing side of your regimen, balancing out harsh treatments and wear and tear. The best skincare protocols strike this balance perfectly, and turmeric has a place for healing, rejuvenation, and overall wellness.
6. Exfoliate dead skin cells
You might know the basics of exfoliation, and maybe you have a go-to mask or scrub to clear away skin cells and dirt after a few days. Unfortunately, many of us miss out on the benefits of gentle exfoliation, relying on harsh chemicals that harm the skin over time.
With turmeric, you can return to the old-school methods of exfoliation using only natural ingredients that actually heal the skin while cleansing. Simple DIY blends like turmeric and yogurt, sugar, coffee, or honey and oatmeal can all do the job, while minimziing irritation and redness that usually comes with an exfoliation session.
We’re not saying you need to toss your favorite exfoliator product or skip the spa, but you can use turmeric as an occasional alternative and keep your routine balanced for the best results.
7. Promote an even-looking skin tone
Everyone wants an even skin tone, a more even complexion, and glowing skin that makes us look youthful and present. Turmeric is one of the best all-around natural ingredients for skin tone, thanks to its mix of antioxidants and direct pigmentation improvements.
Of course, everyone has a unique skin tone, with varying levels of pigmentation and melanin. Turmeric masks tend to work better for people with darker skin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to use turmeric some other way. You can always mix other ingredients into your DIY solutions, whether that’s apple cider vinegar, honey, oatmeal, sugar, other even tea.
Only you truly know the details of your skin tone and how you react to certain ingredients. If you’re considering using turmeric, always start with a patch test and take note of your results.
What are the best ways to use turmeric for skin?
Now that you know what turmeric can do for your skin, it’s time to talk about practical applications. We’ve mentioned a few already, but how else can you make the most of turmeric for healthy, clean, and radiant skin? Let’s cover some simple ways to get the results you want.
Make DIY skincare products with turmeric
DIY skincare products are increasingly popular for a few obvious reasons. First of all, they’re cheaper than store-bought creams and masks. Secondly, they work! And with a powerful ingredient like turmeric to make a wide range of potential products at home, it’s the perfect place to start.
Why not kick things off with a face mask starring turmeric, clay, and lemon? This simple mix will go on smooth and harden quickly — that’s how you know it’s working. As you gently brush away the hardened material, you’ll unveil a brighter, healthier version of your skin with barely any irritation. Plus, it costs less than a dollar for a single session!
From there, you can make a range of different sprays, creams, or spot-treatment solutions to get more from turmeric, water and essential oils. Keep one on deck for acne, one for dark circles, and one for general cleansing or exfoliation. You can stock an entire cabinet of turmeric-inspired DIY goods for cheap, so put together your collection today.
Use supplements with turmeric
If you aren’t ready to take the leap and use turmeric directly on the skin, start with a supplement like Sunmed’s Trim product lineup to ease into the practice. Trim products contain a metabolic-boosting blend of turmeric, apple cider vinegar, and two non-psychoactive cannabinoids.*
It’s our top-selling product for weight management, but many users report better skin thanks to the presence of turmeric and the skin benefits that come with blood sugar regulation. After all, healthy metabolism and weight always lead to better looks, and glowing skin is just one positive side effect to consider.*
The bottom line
Turmeric has always been a staple of traditional medicine and exciting cuisine, and its benefits for skin is just a bonus! Because it’s so versatile and easy to add to your routine, there’s virtually no risk to trying it out.
We aren’t the first to say that “less is more” in the world of health, so go back to basics with an all-natural skin protector and enhancer. Glowing, resilient skin awaits.