Turmeric for Skin Rejuvenation and Sun Protection
Turmeric for skin care products aren't anything new. There is good evidence that turmeric has been used by Chinese medicine for treating skin conditions for about 2,200 years and by Ayurvedic medicine for treating skin conditions for about 5,000 years. And turmeric is used in some of the most popular skin care products on the market today. This skin-protective herb is found in:
- Doctor's Dermatologic Formula Advanced Firming Cream
- Jurlique Day Care Clarifying Lotion for Oily Skin
- Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Face Serum
- Dr. Andrew Weil's Conditioning Lip Balm with Turmeric
Turmeric also appears in many European bronzers and sunblocks, in which is identified by its EC cosmetic ingredient number, E100.
I can tell you that turmeric is great for skin care. I can also tell you that many of the products on the American market that contain turmeric are really terrible for your skin despite including this valuable ingredient.
Dr. Weil's lip balm, for instance, combines turmeric with lime oil. The lime oil can cause the formation of a lentigo, or age spot, on your lip if you get sunburned.
Plantidote contains turmeric and half a dozen other antioxidants, plus a combination of essential oils that can make your skin break out.
The Clarifying Lotion for Oily Skin is really a good mixture for dry skin, and you can get spots on your skin if you use the lotion during day and go out in the sun without sunscreen.
And the Advanced Firming Cream does not actually "neutralize 82% of free radicals" in living skin, although it can neutralize most free radicals in a laboratory test tube of skin cells.
These products cost up to US $130 per ounce. A single application may cost you as much as US $20. Turmeric is a great tool for skin care, but if you want to make the most of turmeric skin benefits, you may have to use in it products you make yourself. But these products won't make your skin break out and they will save you a great deal of money.
Turmeric Skin Lightening
If you have naturally dark skin, you may want to emphasize golden skin tones over brown skin tones. If you have naturally light skin, you may want to get rid of freckles and age spots. Turmeric masks can help with both skin issues.
How To Make a Turmeric Face Mask
Every face mask is mostly carrier. You can use a pure plant oil, such as (sweet, not bitter) almond oil, coconut oil or avocado oil, or you can mash up avocado to make the base for your face mask.
If you are going to use turmeric, I suggest you use oil, rather than avocado or cucumber or some other vegetable for your base.
That's because it helps to make the mask ahead of time to allow the essential oils of the turmeric to permeate the mix. You can't keep avocado overnight without unpleasant changes in color. The changes in color are due to oxidation, and oxidation destroys antioxidants.
Don't put any food-based mask on your face that you wouldn't be willing to eat.
Turmeric Recipe for Skin
The proportions are not especially important when you are making a facial mask, but I'd typically recommend about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of oil and 1 tablespoon (15 g) of finely ground turmeric. The mixture will smell like curry powder, and it will turn orange overnight. Cleanse your face, pat skin dry, and apply a thin layer of the mask mixture over your face with clean fingertips. Allow the mask to stay on your face at least 15 minutes, and then repeat your cleansing routine, taking care to pat your skin dry with a different, clean towel.
Turmeric for Acne
It's especially important to use clean towels if you are using turmeric for acne. You don't want to re-infect your skin with acne bacteria you just washed off. A good antibacterial treatment for acne, especially if you have the kind of pimples that have yellow centers, is 1 tablespoon of turmeric in 3 tablespoons of honey. The turmeric is antioxidant and helps repair sun damaged skin. The honey fights staph and strep infections that can aggravate acne.
Turmeric for Problem Skin
It's also possible to mix 1 tablespoon of finely ground turmeric into 3 tablespoons of heavy cream to make a mask for dry skin, or 1 tablespoon of finely ground turmeric into 3 tablespoons of coconut oil if you have oily skin. The coconut oil dissolves excess oils on your skin and both the excess skin oil and coconut oil rinse right off. Use cream if you have wrinkles, and coconut oil if you do not.
Some herbal authorities will recommend a smaller amount of turmeric, as little as 1/4 teaspoon (about 1 gram). I believe the higher amounts of turmeric provide more antioxidant power for your pores, and allowing the mixture to stand in a covered container in the refrigerator overnight captures more of the turmeric essential oils. If you notice an orange tint on your skin after using turmeric, the problem is mostly likely to be tiny flakes of turmeric stuck in enlarged pores. You don't have to dig them out. Just cleanse again a few hours later and they will come out on their own.
Kasturi Turmeric for Unwanted Hair
There is also an especially antioxidant form of turmeric called Kasturi, which many women in the Middle East and South Asia use to remove unwanted hair. You can apply the same way as regular turmeric, although you can't use Kasturi turmeric in cooking. The first thing you will notice about Kasturi turmeric is that it tingles.
You may receive additional instructions for use with your package of Kasturi turmeric. Follow them. If there are any questions about manufacturer recommendations for the use of Kasturi turmeric for skin treatment, please feel free to share them in the comments box.