When I first spotted a close friend with yellow dabs of turmeric over her acne patches, I was honestly truly stumped at the sight of it. Using a spice as an acne treatment? Little did I know about the wonders of turmeric’s prowess in beauty.
With a striking shade and a distinctly earthy fragrance, turmeric is a quintessential spice in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in its native origin of India. Also known as ‘haldi’, its use spans from adding colour to dye and cosmetics, to being a pivotal element in religious and marriage ceremonies. Its reputation as folk medicine precedes the true medicinal qualities of turmeric later discovered that the world is slowly gaining an avid appreciation for!
Modern in vitro studies reveal that turmeric is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, and anticancer agent. These fancy descriptions are the beauty keywords that consumers usually are on the lookout for when browsing cosmetic counters. Instead of blowing your budget on synthetic products that may contain adverse chemicals in their formulas, turmeric proves itself terrific for natural beauty.
- Clearing Acne
Due to anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties found in turmeric’s main active ingredient, curcumin, turmeric is effective as a natural remedy for clearing breakouts and pesky lone zits in a flash. It is able to soothe the inflammation of the skin while reducing the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands. For a homemade turmeric mask, or paste to apply on the affected areas, use turmeric mixed with a bit of milk and raw organic honey. After 15 minutes, rinse if off with warm water. It’s also recommended for those with oily skin due to the sebum-regulating abilities of turmeric.
- Anti-Ageing and Wrinkle Prevention
Turmeric has significant antioxidant abilities, which are often associated as good combatants of oxidative stress caused by free-radicals, which cause wrinkles, inflammation, and makes your skin more prone to infections too. As an antioxidant, turmeric extracts can neutralise free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes, and inhibit lipid peroxidation. It’s time to regain youthful skin!
- Lighten Scars and Stretch Marks
Here’s where the curcumin comes in again – it is able to reduce excess production of melanin, which is the culprit that gives skin a darker colour, dark spots, uneven skin patches and acne scars. Unlike lemon, which is also often touted to be a good natural remedy for lightening dark spots, turmeric does not dehydrate the skin. For brighter, rejuvenated skin, slather on some turmeric today!
- Say Goodbye to Hair Loss
It is believed that turmeric’s inherent anti-inflammatory properties is able to resolve issues that cause hair loss, such as seborrheic dermatitis - a common but chronic form of eczema/dermatitis that affects the scalp and face. Turmeric’s antioxidant power can also deflect the harmful effects of UV radiation caused by sun exposure, which may also trigger seborrheic dermatitis.
- Facial Hair Removal
Get rid of unwanted facial hair growth by making an exfoliating paste with turmeric powder, gram flour and milk/yoghurt. Turmeric is believed to soften and dissolve hair wherever applied, while shrinking hair follicles and inhibiting hair growth too. Many, especially those suffering from hirsutism (abnormal hair growth) have raved about its effectiveness. The paste will also leave you with fresh, radiant skin as well.
Note: Turmeric can stain so be cautious when applying it on your face, especially if you have fair skin.