Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian food, but also an amazing plant with plenty of health benefits. It works great when taken internally through food or supplements, but it also does wonders for the skin when applied externally. This yellow coloured spice known as Curcuma longa has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and in this article we’ll discuss more about the turmeric benefits for skin.
It has been used for centuries in the Indian culture, and lately it gained a lot of popularity in the Western world as well. Some of its known effects are:
It lightens the skin
Whether you had a long night and partied hard or you have chronic under-eye shadows, the turmeric essential oil can brighten the skin in just 3 weeks. These glowing benefits are the result of the antioxidants found in the substance as well as the anti-inflammatory compounds that can heal the skin and bring out its natural glow. How to do this? Well, simply add a few drops of turmeric essential oil to a regular cream or moisturizer, and use it as normally.
It slows unwanted hair growth
A study held for 10 weeks on 60 women discovered that the women who applied curcuma oil on their underarms, slowed down the growth of hair. Sure, it doesn’t compare to waxing or shaving, but it can complement those methods and help you shave less often. Thinner hair will react more quickly than coarse hair. In case your skin gets colored in yellow after using turmeric, you can use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to remove it.
It soothes psoriasis
Psoriasis is a serious autoimmune disease in which the skin cells build up and create unpleasant scaly patches that can also crack or bleed. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, it can combat cell production and reduce the unwanted skin patches. For the best results take curcumin both internally through the spice added in foods, teas or a supplement, and also apply it on the skin. Studies have shown that psoriasis gets improved after 9 to 12 weeks of treatment.
It fades acne scars
Acne is an annoying and unpleasant condition that usually happens during puberty, but not only. Turmeric can be very beneficial thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Acne is most of the times caused by the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. This is usually treated with antibiotics, but the effect starts to wear off as the bacteria becomes resistant to the medicine.
Turmeric in combination with other ingredients used for face masks such as honey, yogurt, aloe or apple cider vinegar has been proven highly beneficial. You can also use turmeric essential oil, but make sure to dilute it before applying it on the face. Also do not ingest the essential oil, as it is for external use only.
A simple and effective face mask for clear skin would be made with 1 tablespoon of raw honey mixed with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice, then mix everything together and apply it to the skin. Let it there for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
It reduces sun damage and wrinkles
Another of the turmeric benefits for skin is the slowing down of the damage made by the sun to the skin. UV rays can cause sunburns, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and even skin cancer. But you can prevent all of that thanks to the antioxidant compounds found in turmeric.
Turmeric also blocks the enzyme called elastase which reduces the ability of your skin to produce elastin. This substance is very useful and it gives skin its structure, and if it’s not there your skin becomes less flexible and is prone to wrinkles.
Mix 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 10 drops of turmeric essential oil and 1 teaspoon of argan oil. Apply the mix to your face in the evening and wash it the next morning.
It heals wounds
When you get injured, your body sends white blood cells and healing enzymes in order to stop the infection. But this process also causes heat, redness and pain. Turmeric reduces these unpleasant side effects, while also reducing inflammation and preventing an infection.
But it also increases the production of collagen, making the wound heal faster and with less scars. Combine turmeric powder with water or coconut oil, and apply the resulting paste on the wound, then cover it up with a bandage for up to 24 hours.
It treats scabies
Scabies is caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei which gets under the skin and can cause irritations and itchiness. A study held in India found out that the combination of turmeric and neem is very effective in treating scabies, removing the need of prescription cream. Even if you don’t have these parasites on your skin, you can take turmeric supplements or add this incredible spice to food on a regular basis in order to prevent them.
It works for other skin conditions too
Thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it has, it also works great for stretch marks, dry skin, vitiligo, scleroderma and even skin cancer. Before applying it on the skin for long periods of time, make sure to take a test first and check for any allergic reactions. Also do not exceed the daily recommended dosage when taking oral supplements.
Turmeric Benefits for Skin
As you can see, this amazing plant can do wonders for you when applied correctly. It can lighten the skin in case of under-eye shadows, it can slow down the growth of unwanted hair, it can reduce psoriasis, acne and acne scars, it can reduce the damage caused by UV rays, it can speed up the healing process of wounds, treat scabies and a few other skin conditions. Give it a try and you won’t be sorry.
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