Image credits: Shutterstock Turmeric is more commonly known as the stuff that makes common curry powder yellow. Belonging to the ginger family, like the rest of its brethren, Turmeric is known as a medicinal plant. It is a sort of panacea in India where it is commonly grown. Aside from giving curry its yellow color, it is also the same ingredient that gives yellow mustard its distinct color and earthy flavor. The flavor comes from a compound in Turmeric called Curcumin a natural phenol that seems to be responsible for all of the turmeric’s super powers.
Here, we’re going to explore how turmeric or curcumin extends its benefits to protecting youthful skin.
Protects Against Sun Damage
Used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for ages, we’re betting nobody ever expected turmeric to be effective against sun damage. Recent research has found that turmeric and ginger extracts have protective effects against UVB rays (the rays that cause the skin to burn) and possibly even UVA rays (the rays that cause the skin to age). This is because both extracts encourage the skin to produce thioredoxin 1, a redox and antioxidant protein that protects the skin matrix from damage otherwise caused by sun damage.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
This is one of the most well-known benefits of turmeric. As mentioned above, turmeric contains curcumin a natural phenol that has anti-inflammatory properties amongst other things. Curcumin helps inhibits certain enzymes (cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenase, and nitric oxide synthase). These enzymes are important in the inflammatory pathways of the body BUT unmonitored upregulation of any of these enzymes can cause a steady state of inflammation in the body and may even cause cancer. The healers of old probably did not know about these factors, but they, at least, knew that a paste made of turmeric could be applied to eczema and rosacea patches to help soothe flare-ups.
Has Anti-bacterial Properties
Aside from having well documented anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric (like most members of the ginger family) also enjoys a reputation of having antibacterial properties. You see, the way bacteria and viruses affect our system is by first infecting single cells. They do this by attaching themselves onto the surface of these cells and wreaking havoc from there. While previously undocumented, researchers are now finding that curcumin and other compounds found in turmeric may prevent bacteria from binding to cells. These anti-bacterial properties may then, in theory, prevent P.acnes the bacteria that causes acne from causing more skin problems. This could end your acne woes as you know it.
Turmeric as an Exfoliant
Turmeric can either be available raw or dried and in powder. You can make a paste out of the powder by mixing it with raw honey and then gently massaging the mixture on your face. Let it dry and wash off after 15-20 minutes. The exfoliating mask should get rid of the dull skin caused by dead skin cells.
Another reason homemade turmeric masks and turmeric/curcumin infused beauty products are so popular is because it lightens uneven pigmentation. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and when taken regularly through supplements or applied to the face as a mask, it can improve the health of your skin. Through exfoliation and its antioxidant properties, it encourages skin renewal leading to lighter and even skin.
Regulates Oiliness in Skin
The way by which turmeric does this is still not known but those who have been using turmeric in their beauty routines for years have all noted that the use of turmeric on their face has led to a decreased oiliness of their skin over time. To bolster this benefit of turmeric, you might like to create the turmeric mask with lemon juice and zest instead of honey. Lemons have astringent properties and may help remove excess oil. It has also been known to lighten skin so it could also help turmeric in lightening dark spots.
Gives Your Skin a Healthy Glow
As mentioned above, turmeric is often used as a natural food coloring. Using turmeric on your skin could give you a temporary glow because of the slight orange/yellow coloring it imparts to your skin. To avoid looking like an Oompa Loompa, use the powder the night before so that you can shower it off in the morning.
Kathy Mitchell was born and raised in the USA. She has done MA in English literature. She
loves to publish her article on different health websites. In her spare time, she likes to do research
on health information. She is an inspirational writer who firmly believe in the power of self
motivation. Also, she is contributing to Consumer Health Digest since 2011. Connect with her on