You may have come across turmeric facial creams, body lotions, or even face masks and thought it was just another beauty fad. But turmeric for skin benefits go further and has actually been used successfully to treat and heal skin conditions for hundreds of years. In Indian Ayurveda, It is one of the most commonly used skincare ingredients when people are suffering from diseases such as acne, irritation or eczema. In the article below, we have outlined some of the benefits of using turmeric for skin problems relating to a number of conditions, ranging from inflammation to aging skin. Keep reading to find out exactly how turmeric could help you with your skin issues!
The Detailed Benefits of Turmeric for Your Skin
Turmeric For Skin Inflammation
Because turmeric is so rich in anti-inflammatory actives, it can be used to cure skin conditions characterized by inflammation. These include eczema and rosacea for example. But even simple redness of the face can be fought using turmeric. The best way to use turmeric for skin benefits as an anti-inflammatory is to apply it directly on the skin. You could make a paste yourself with some turmeric and water or yogurt, or you could buy a turmeric salve, mask or cream from one of the many brands now using turmeric as their main active ingredients.
Turmeric For Skin Infections
Turmeric is particularly effective on all sorts of skin infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. As a result, turmeric is able to fight bacterial skin infections such as folliculitis or furuncles. These infections are very common and most people are likely to suffer from one of them at least once in their lifetime. They are especially common in children, in diabetic people and in those with autoimmune diseases. While turmeric has not yet been shown to be a cure to these common skin conditions, research on its anti-bacterial properties is promising. It is unlikely that physicians will solely recommend turmeric to fight those diseases in years to come, but research is likely to develop around possible uses of turmeric in helping alleviate symptoms of those skin conditions.
Turmeric is a very unique and powerful herb in that it not only has anti-bacterial properties, but also anti-fungal ones. It can help to fight fungal skin infections like athlete’s foot or so-called “yeast infections”. Fungi and bacteria are usually considered to be very different and given very different treatment. Often, treating a fungal infection with an antibiotic can be dangerous and will only cause the fungal infection to grow stronger. But with turmeric, both fungal and bacterial infections can be fought at the same time, and without any risks of counteracting one another. This may be useful for people who suffer from bacterial acne alongside fungal acne, as it means that turmeric is a viable treatment for them that can work on both counts. More serious yeast infections may require a doctor’s attention however and you would be advised to consult a physician before turning to turmeric to fight these skin conditions. Nevertheless, research on the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of turmeric is increasingly showing that it can be a viable ingredient to help fight a wide array of diseases and conditions.
Turmeric For Treating Acne
There are a couple of reasons that make turmeric a powerful fighter against acne. One of them is that turmeric actually has powerful anti-bacterial properties that rival some of the harshest non-natural anti-acne face-washes and gels which you can find. Acne is due in large part to the proliferation of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes which thrives in blocked pores and causes the appearance of sometimes painful pimples. While dermatological acne treatment typically involves the use of an oral or topical antibiotic to fight the bacteria, this may not be necessary if you also use turmeric. Firstly, antibiotics can be dangerous for the body, make you more prone to other infections, and cause you to develop antibiotic resistance. Turmeric can be a more natural and gentle way to get rid of acne-causing bacteria on your face and body without the use of artificial chemicals and antibiotics.
Secondly, turmeric is famed for its anti-inflammatory properties which can also be applied to acne. Acne is a skin condition characterized by inflammation. Take away the inflammatory response of the body, and pimples would not develop on the face. Many recent studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, works wonders to provide relief for inflammation of the skin and body.
More clinical research remains to be done on the results which can be obtained with using turmeric to treat acne, but its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties offer promising hints that it may be the next big miracle acne treatment.
So how should you take turmeric to fight acne?
You can either ingest turmeric directly, for example in the form of a pill supplement, of adding it in your dishes, or of drinking a delicious turmeric latte. While the taste of turmeric may be difficult to get used to for some, it is already a favorite for many. Think of the popular Indian curry mix, turmeric is one of its main ingredients and what gives it its yellow tinge. Incorporating more turmeric into your diet may be as simple as keeping a jar of curry spice on hand and adding it liberally to your vegetable and meat stews. You could also use turmeric topically, by applying it to your face as a face mask, or on acne lesions as a spot treatment.
The Anti-Aging Properties of Turmeric
Not only is turmeric great for pathological skin conditions, it can also help to limit the signs of natural aging in your skin. As your skin ages, it will become wrinkled and even develop some brown spots. This is due in large part to UV exposure, which greatly damages skin cells. The sun’s rays cause skin cells to die at a faster rate and cause mutations which change the appearance of the skin. This is why people who have had the most sun exposure in their lives are often the most wrinkled and look the most ‘aged’. Turmeric can be a great ingredient to fight this natural process because it helps preserve skin elasticity which is the first thing to be damaged when your skin is exposed to the sun. Not only that, turmeric also has lightening properties, meaning that it could help lighten up brown spots and make your skin tone more even, in turn making you look much younger. These positive effects of turmeric on aging skin have even been proven. The American Academy of Dermatology recently found that turmeric could be used as part of a moisturizing regime to smooth out fine lines and to improve the appearance of brown spots. So if skin aging is something which you are worried about, you should definitely look into adding turmeric to your routine, whether as an oral supplement or in topical form.
Turmeric Can Help Reduce Your Stretch Marks
With all the above explained it can also be added that with all the benefits of turmeric it is also very helpful to minimize stretch marks caused by access skin. Many professionals today will recommend a simple paste from a few drops of olive oil with a table spoon of turmeric can provide credible results to reduce stretch marks and rejuvenate the skin tissue.
Turmeric For Treating Skin Cancer
One of the areas in which curcumin, the active ingredients of turmeric, has been studied the most is cancer treatment and prevention. Research on the link between turmeric and cancer started after scientists wondered about the fact that people eating turmeric-rich diets seemed much less likely to suffer of cancer. In countries such as India where turmeric is used daily in cooking, cancer rates are much lower than in the United States, despite access to medical treatment being much lower for a large part of the population. Experiments in laboratories have shown that curcumin can kill cancer cells and prevent skin cells from becoming cancerous. Although there haven’t been enough clinical trials to suggest that turmeric is a viable option to treat skin cancer in humans, the research is promising.
Moreover, turmeric may be a great option for those fighting cancer through radiation treatment and chemo therapy, as it can also help with the side-effects of those harsh treatments. It is not rare for the skin or lungs of patients to suffer inflammation after several rounds of intense cancer treatment, and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric means it is able to provide relief for these patients.
While ingesting turmeric by itself is not a powerful enough solution to fighting cancer, applying turmeric directly on the skin may actually be effective for those with skin cancer. This is because when applied on the skin, turmeric can come into direct contact with the cancerous skin cells and fight them. Researchers have used turmeric as part of a cream that was prescribed to skin cancer patients and have observed powerful results from it. The patients reported a decrease in the smell of their lesions, in the pain that they were feeling, and in some cases the cancer was greatly helped by that turmeric-based ointment. This is great news for skin cancer sufferers, who have to deal with what is to this date the most difficult cancer to cure, and the one with the highest death rate. While turmeric by itself may not be able to cure them, the fact that a topical solution to this cancer was found should be a hope for many.