The Benefits Turmeric Has on Your Skin You Need to Know About

 

Jody BrimacombeUniversity of St. Andrews | Spoon University

I remember the first time I heard about turmeric. I was making a carrot-lentil soup, and when I went to add turmeric, my hands turned yellow and I had to rush off to class looking like I was a descendant of Laa-Laa (that’s the yellow Teletubby, FYI). It took me a long time to work up the courage to use turmeric again, but I’m glad that I did, because it turns out that there are some serious turmeric benefits for skin. This trendy yellow spice is more than a pretty face. It also has some acne fighting powers that just might convince you to switch from your usual Proactiv routine.

What Is Turmeric?

Chances are good that you’ve come across this plant before. Whether you’ve seen turmeric in a health food store, or spotted it in latte form at a vegan café, this yellow spice is popping up everywhere. Although it doesn’t look like it, turmeric is actually related to ginger. The plant grows in India, Asia, and South America, and the distinctive yellow color that never comes off your hands is from the curcumin (that’s a chemical) naturally found in turmeric.

What’s the Hype?

Turmeric has a ridiculous number of health benefits, but it’s most beloved for its skin healing properties. Scientific studies as recent as 2017 preach the anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties of turmeric, due to the curcumin inside the plant. Other studies have found that turmeric can help reduce skin damage, including damage due to sun exposure, pollution, smoking, aging, and (my personal fave) acne.

You can even use turmeric as a prophylactic measure, which is a fancy way of saying that you can use turmeric to ward off any future acne outbreaks. No more spending a fortune on Proactiv.

How Do I Use Turmeric?

Recent evidence suggests that turmeric or curcumin supplements can either be ingested orally or applied topically (like in a medical cream). Personally, I’m a big fan of the taste of turmeric, so I like to add it to chickpeasginger lattes, or even eggs. If none of those take your fancy, then check out these 17 recipes that use turmeric.

Is Turmeric Dangerous?

Just like anything else, too much turmeric is a bad idea. Firstly, nobody wants permanently yellow hands unless you’re Big Bird, but too much turmeric can also lead to serious gastrointestinal problems.

Make sure to stick to the recommended two grams/day(that’s a bit more than half a teaspoon) of powdered turmeric, which has been proven to show skin-damage reversal in four to seven days. Just make sure that you’re not allergic to turmeric beforehand, because breaking out in itchy red spots is about as fun as mistaking a jalapeño pepper for a cucumber.

After writing this article, I’m curious to see the turmeric benefits for skin with my own eyes. Although you won’t catch me slathering turmeric on my face (tragically, a yellow nose wouldn’t suit me), I’m definitely up for adding half a teaspoon to my morning latte. After all, what’s seven days of golden milk in exchange for flawless skin? Pass me the turmeric, please.

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