Health experts have been singing the praises of turmeric in recent years, claiming that taking a supplement of cucurmin (the active compound of turmeric) can offer a variety of benefits for both body and brain.
But did you know the fragrant spice is also good for your complexion? In fact, some of the hottest new skincare launches are harnessing the power of the golden ingredient.
Here, experts explain everything you need to know about turmeric skincare…
What is turmeric?
"Most people know turmeric as a spice, but it’s much more than that," says Jaz Fenton, CEO and founder of Yellow Beauty. "Harvested from the flowering turmeric plant, the rhizomes [a type of underground stem] are peeled, boiled, dried, and then [sometimes] ground into a powder."
Gina Ghura, executive director of innovation, Avon Worldwide, explains that the bright yellow spice has been used in "cooking, fabric dyeing, cosmetics and traditional medicine throughout Asia for centuries", and more recently, has been embraced by the West.
"A natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric is an adaptogen: a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and bring the skin back into a state of homeostasis, or balance," Ghura says.
What are the benefits of turmeric in skincare?
Fenton describes turmeric as a triple threat: "It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and a powerful antioxidant. The curcumin present in turmeric helps reduce dark spots and acne scars, giving you a more even skin tone."
Antioxidants are important in skincare because they "prevent free radicals generated by pollution or UV rays from affecting your skin’s firmness and elasticity", Ghura explains. "Turmeric is also shown to prevent degradation of important skin components – such as collagen and elastin – helping keep your skin firm and smooth."
Which skin types can benefit the most from turmeric?
Experts agree that all skin types can benefit from the effects of turmeric.
"Those with dry or irritated skin will especially enjoy its calming and soothing benefits, as will those looking to smooth and even out their complexion," says Ghura.
Avon’s latest range, Adapt, is aimed at menopausal women and uses turmeric as one of its key ingredients.
"When women enter this phase, there is a reduction in the hormone oestrogen, which means that skin can feel drier and less supple," she continues. "The range is designed to help women manage fluctuations in their skin during the perimenopause and menopause."
What’s the best way to use turmeric as part of your skincare routine?
For an affordable DIY option, you can whip up your own turmeric face mask at home by mixing a tablespoon of the spice with other skin-loving ingredients, like honey, yogurt and apple cider vinegar.
"If you’re making your own at home, remember to combine the powder with some milk or yogurt – this acts as a barrier and won’t leave your skin yellow after rinsing," Fenton says. "If you’re looking for a convenient vegan option, the Yellow Beauty Glow Dust face mask is stain-free, and only needs water to activate."
She adds that the highly-pigmented powder can easily stain fabrics too, so you should be careful: "We always recommend rinsing well and using a dark towel to pat dry—just in case!"
Gina Ghura recommends the Avon Adapt Hydra Rescue Serum, which "works to support dry skin, with the support of antioxidant ingredient turmeric, to help calm and soothe the skin".