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Open Instagram and all you need to do is search for #turmericmilk. Ubtans, soaps, masks, buffing grains – you will find enough and more highlighting the humble spice. But let’s be honest, turmeric was never new to skincare, at least not in India. We’ve had it as part of our skincare forever, its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial benefits being spoken about by mothers and grandmother forever. It helps to reduce the appearance of scars, while making sure your skin is bright and radiant. 

“Turmeric has been used since many centuries in skincare due to its great healing and anti- bacterial properties. It also helps to fight bacteria that causes acne. It is also known to help prevent excessive dryness, and relieve redness that occurs due to irritation and inflammation,” says Dr Batul Patel, medical director, and dermatologist, The Bombay Skin Clinic. 


Now the west has discovered the ingredient in a big way too. “Curcumin is great for boosting the skin’s immunity as well as brightening and addressing pigmentation, so I think it’s very much something that may be a ‘trend’ in the west. But for Indians, it’s our mainstay,” adds  Dr Aneesh Sheth of Dr. Sheths; the brand recently launched their newest star product, the Haldi and Hyaluronic Overnight Sleeping Mask (Rs 850) that features turmeric oil. 

Haldi and Hyaluronic Overnight Sleeping Mask (Rs 850)
Haldi and Hyaluronic Overnight Sleeping Mask (Rs 850)

“The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which, as many know, has antiseptic, anti-allergic, antiaging, and healing properties. You can also ingest turmeric to boost your immune system,” explains Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist, and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics. But are there any side effects? “There will be a little dryness and yellow tinge on the skin which can easily be taken care of with aloe and toner. Use it in powder form or as an essential oil, or simply steep some turmeric in water and use it with other facial masks and peels,” advises Kapoor. 

Also, a word of caution: Even though turmeric has a lot of benefits, it is important to remember that the source of turmeric has to be organic, natural, and without any  chemical processing. Always do a patch test as there have been cases of contact dermatitis that can create difficult-to-treat hyper pigmentation marks.


How to use turmeric in your DIYs:

For oily skin: Take two teaspoons of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with two tablespoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of powdered turmeric and apply evenly on the face. 

For dry skin: Mix turmeric powder with two teaspoon of honey and almond or coconut milk.

For inflammation: Take turmeric powder and add two tablespoon of coffee powder, two tablespoons of honey and aloe vera.

For discolouration: Add 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin pulp to turmeric powder and apply. Use a mix of turmeric and tomato juice to improve those pesky dark circles.

For acne: A mix of turmeric and yogurt or turmeric with aloe to get rid of acne and minimise acne scars.

For exfoliation: Mix turmeric with little ground ‘urad daal’ and ‘besan flour’ and make a paste using rose water or milk. Apply and face and wash it when it is dry.

Get rid of facial hair: Make a coarse paste of besan, turmeric and milk and apply and face. When this mask is about 80% dry gently scrub it off by rubbing in circular motions. Do this thrice a week and you will notice that the hair become thinner and finer.

Repair cracked heels: Mix turmeric with coconut oil and leaving it on the cracked heels overnight.

Here are the best turmeric products to get your hands on:

Where to Buy

Purearth Turmeric Sand Exfoliant Face Masque, Rs 4,100

Kama Ayurveda Turmeric & Myrrh Skin Brightening Soap, Rs 595

DearPacker Home Remedy Mask – Turmeric + Yogurt, Rs 100

Farsali Haldi Eyes Brightening Turmeric Eye Cream, Rs 2,800 approx

The Inkey List Turmeric Cream Moisturiser, Rs 750 approx

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow, Rs 3,100

Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque, Rs 1,350

Forest Essentials SUN FLUID Tender Coconut Water with Turmeric & Basil Leaf SPF 50|PA + +, Rs 975

Mamaearth Ubtan Face Pack Mask With Saffron, Turmeric & Apricot Oil, Rs 499

Neemli Naturals Turmeric Root & Olive Squalane Elixir, Rs 1,950

Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.