The range of skincare products available today is incredible. Every type of lotion and potion is on offer – all promising staggering results.
But what if we told you that one of the most powerful skincare products available can be found in your kitchen cupboard? Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a delicious spice, effective medicine and as a tonic for all manner of skin problems. And thanks to its plentiful antioxidants, it could leave your skin looking beautiful too.
Developing fine lines and wrinkles is an inevitable part of growing older. Yet, it is possible to hold back the clock for a little while with the help of turmeric.
“As an antioxidant, it helps fight off free radicals, which add signs to skin ageing.” explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Studies have also shown that ingestion of turmeric helps protect against the ageing effects of sun-damage UV radiation and the formation of wrinkles and dark spots.”
One such study, conducted in 2010 and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that use of a turmeric-based moisturizer drastically reduced signs of aging, with dark spots and skin pigmentation being reduced by nearly 15 percent in just eight weeks.
Thanks to its antiseptic qualities, turmeric can provide welcome relief in the case of mild burns. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin also work wonders on grazed knees or painful cuts. For mild burns and abrasions, just mix pure turmeric powder with coconut water to make a thick paste and apply to the affected area. The turmeric’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties will help ease the discomfort.
Millions of people across the US are plagued by chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and scleroderma. While there are many different underlying causes of these conditions, inflammation is often at their heart.
That makes anti-inflammatory curcumin the perfect choice to calm the symptoms of these troubling skin problems. Capable of attacking a number of pro-inflammatory molecules, treatments containing curcumin have been found to block the main cause of inflammation: the protein complex called NF-kB.
As well as easing inflammation, curcumin can also help skin conditions by improving collagen, promoting blood flow and increasing connective tissue formation
Scientisits are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of curcumin as a treatment for skin cancer. Unlike many conventional and invasive treatments of cancer, curcumin has the ability to selectively kill tumor cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
As well as potentially treating cancer, turmeric may also help prevent it. In one 2005 study, researchers found that curcumin was successful in the treatment of melanoma, helping halt the spread of cancer cells to surrounding cells. Although scientific studies are still in their infancy, it seems that turmeric could be another weapon in the fight against cancer.
Using turmeric topically can leave your skin looking and feeling great. Although you can buy over-the-counter turmeric creams, making your own gives you full control over the ingredients. Here are some recipes to get you started:
This remedy is a staple in ancient Indian medicine. All you have to do is mix 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, gram flour and jojoba oil, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Stir in enough milk (dairy-free is fine) to make a paste and massage onto the skin. Leave to dry before rinsing with water.
Many homemade moisturising creams call for yogurt, but this dairy-free version is just as effective. For supple and smooth skin, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with the same amount of raw honey and coconut oil. Use a makeup brush to apply to skin. Leave for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.
Having a hard time shifting your acne? Well this remedy may well help. Simply mix together 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon each of chickpea powder and lemon juice. Add enough water to make a paste and apply to any problem areas. Leave until dry, then wash off the mixture and pat your skin dry.