I am frequently complimented on the condition of my skin despite 50+ years of environmental exposure, including exposure in laboratory environments and the strong Texas sun for a number of years. What no one knows, is that it’s thanks to turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries in multiple cultures to reduce inflammation and for other therapeutic uses, its roots are dried and ground into a bright-orange powder, and essential oil is distilled for use in cosmetics.
The health benefits of turmeric
Turmeric ranges from bright yellow to orange-ish in color, depending upon locale and growing conditions. Homeopathic and natural hair care websites even promote turmeric as an alternate form of hair dye to lighten and brighten your hair. This natural colorant is a frequent ingredient in the textile, paint and other colorant industries as well.
One of the most exciting developments from turmeric research is the treatment of colon cancer with curcumin (diferuloylmethane), which is the active ingredient in turmeric. It actually impeded cancer growth and proliferation by inhibiting signaling proteins and blocking tumor cell promotion.
So what properties make turmeric valuable for the skin in the first place?
- Turmeric is anti-bacterial, anti-septic and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It has strong antioxidant activity due to the presence of curcumin.
- Pastes of turmeric help control sebum production in oily skin, which may help acne.
- Similar to lavender, turmeric helps with burn and wound healing by assisting new cell development.
- In higher concentrations, turmeric assists with the removal of dead skin cells through exfoliation.
How to get the benefits of turmeric
We use turmeric as a natural source of color in our soaps, including Lemon Balm, Coco Mango, Asian Pear and Lily and Tangy Tangerine. A little dab will do, though, because too much results in a grainy texture. If you want exfoliation, it is a nice spice to add in quantity, but as a color additive, remember that “less is more,” and too much could stain the skin. Either way, its addition is a sweet enhancement to the anti-inflammatory and protective properties in our soap.
These are just a few benefits, but combining turmeric with other nourishing, enzyme-packed ingredients such as raw milk or yogurt expands its repertoire as both a skin mask and a night cream.
Research turmeric for yourself. It is a fascinating journey and worth your time for better health. Experiment with turmeric by using one of the following recipes for real, nature-based skin care.
Mix 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric with plain, unflavored Greek yogurt. Apply to the face in a gentle, upward motion. Leave in place for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse off with cool water. Instead of yogurt, you can also use aloe vera gel, cucumber juice or olive and sweet almond oil. Turmeric essential oil will give a smoother feel when mixed in these products, and only a tiny amount is needed.
Mix 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon with 2 ounces of our Goat Milk Facial Cream. Mix well and massage.
Itching & inflammation
Eczema, psoriasis and poison ivy rash and irritation will benefit from a mixture of turmeric with high-fat organic milk or yogurt. Warm the milk gently (do not boil), adding several teaspoons of turmeric to allow for a nice infusion over 20 to 30 minutes. Apply topically to irritated skin and let dry. You will be amazed.