Instagram is trending with #turmericmilk. Ubtans, soaps, masks, buffing grains – you will find enough and more highlighting the humble spice. But, 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 for many centuries in skincare due to its great healing and anti-bacterial properties. It also helps to fight bacteria that cause 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. One can also use pure turmeric – Shesha Beauty, a homegrown label from Kerala has two kinds of haldi powders to try, the usual potent Kasturi Manjal and the white Kasturi Manjal. And both work beautifully on DIY face Packs.
“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 hyperpigmentation 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 yoghurt 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