Why is Turmeric Good for Your Skin?
Whether it's a lightning storm that makes the sky come alive, an orange-red sunset in a tropical paradise, or the duck-billed platypus, there are times when Mother Nature really goes above and beyond.
Sometimes these seeming miracles take the form of a powerful plant, like turmeric. Many medicines have been derived from plants that evolved right alongside animal life, so it's not surprising to find a whole host of health benefits in this super spice. The root may have evolved partly as a natural defense mechanism against disease and infection.
Turmeric is a bright yellow fragrant powder that comes from the root turmeric (Curcuma longa), which is a plant native to South Asia. For millennia, turmeric has enhanced the flavor of food, played a part in religious ceremonies, and has often been used for healing purposes.
While the positive effects of turmeric have long been recognized in certain cultures and communities (Indonesian, Indian, and others), it has more recently received additional validation from medically reviewed studies and research in western medicine that demonstrate it to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
In fact, Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic, and anti-malarial properties (in addition to a few other hyphenated-and-harder-to-pronounce properties).
You may have consumed turmeric in South Asian cuisine (it gives vibrant color and flavor to many curry dishes), herbal teas, or even in a golden milk latte. People will often mix it with other foods and spices that compliment the flavor, and may even enhance the efficacy.
For example, an enzyme called bromelain found in pineapple helps with the breakdown and absorption of curcumin. So...if you like piña curcumin and getting caught in the rain, at least your immune system will be boosted if you catch a cold out there.
With its many marvelous benefits, turmeric has a proven record as a medicinal multitasker. Turmeric has been used for gastrointestinal maladies, neurological problems, and even psychological issues like depression.
Maybe you're thinking, that's fabulous...but what can it do for my face? Well, that is an excellent question, so let's take a closer look at turmeric and all the benefits for the skin that it brings.
There are multitudes of medically reviewed studies that speak to the anti-inflammatory properties and related benefits that turmeric has, so move over, vitamin C. There's a new player in town.
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The benefits of turmeric for skin health
There's a reason why you'll find turmeric in virtually every Indonesian household and Jamu beauty and wellness recipe. As mentioned above, turmeric is known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, and many others that we'll share below, turmeric can help with a variety of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and dark under-eye circles and bags, or discoloration.
Though some people take turmeric supplements for the overall benefits to health, we'll be talking about the positive effect of turmeric on the skin when used as part of a topical treatment.
Turmeric presents a very low risk when it comes to potential side effects, though when you're trying out any new ingredient on your skin, it's always safest to do a patch test and see if there are any adverse reactions. If you're doing a DIY turmeric enzyme mask, for example, there's a chance you could include an excessive amount of turmeric powder, and it could leave your skin with a slight yellow cast. It's nothing that won't come off with a little exfoliation, but it's also another reason to ditch the DIY option and go with beauty experts who have already created an ideal concoction.
Below are just some of the skin conditions that turmeric powder can positively impact. Again, most topical treatments containing turmeric will have other nutrients and chemicals that add to or enhance the effects, so it's good to know what other ingredients are contained in any product you use.
Use turmeric root as a treatment for wounds
With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric is quite the wonder with wound healing. When you suffer an injury, the immediate response of your body is to send white blood cells and enzymes in a rush to keep infection at bay.
This reaction to heal the wound, however, causes inflammation. Though this natural process can help with skin repair, it often comes with redness, sensitivity, or pain.
Turmeric can deal with some of this discomfort and swelling by calming the skin. It does so with its anti-inflammatory and free-radical-fighting properties.
In other words, it's kind of telling your body to take it down a notch and relax. Turmeric's here to help your body do what it needs to do, but a little faster, and with more focus.
Turmeric also improves the skin’s ability to form healthy tissue, which is great for healing wounds, decreasing scarring, and a few additional benefits we'll get into below.
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The power of turmeric powder to brighten skin
One of the worst offenders for aging our skin is the sun. Yes, it enables life on planet earth and provides us with warmth and all that amazing stuff, but it can also wreak havoc on our skin if we aren't extra careful.
Some of us were too busy enjoying our youth to stop and spread sunscreen all over before skipping out the door. Unfortunately, the sun likes to have the last word.
Free radicals from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays work away at your skin’s tone and texture over time. You may have noticed dark sunspots, wrinkles, or an overall dullness due to years of sun exposure.
Luckily, turmeric's free-radical fighting ways help to minimize and repair some of that sun damage, which means there's a way to get your skin looking more even and bright. That's the thinking behind JUARA's Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask. It harnesses the active compounds in turmeric that inhibit oxidation so your skin can heal itself, become brighter, and give you a gorgeous glow-up.
This turmeric face mask also contains kaolin clay and candlenut oil, other traditional Jamu ingredients. The rich Omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids of the candlenut oil easily penetrate the skin to start the work of hydrating, softening, and soothing immediately. There's also evidence to suggest that this fatty content enables enhanced delivery of the curcumin in turmeric.
Kaolin clay is a more mild variety of clay that's ideal for managing dry skin and useful for gentle exfoliation as well. This turmeric face mask is quite clarifying and delivers healing hydration without the drying and hardening of some other clay masks that seem to suck the moisture from your skin.
It can be applied as a mask for 15 minutes, or left on the skin as an overnight treatment. You can use it 1-3 times a week, but you'll only need to try it once to appreciate how refreshed you look and feel. Of course, after that first time, you'll want to incorporate it into your regular beauty ritual.
Also, just a friendly reminder to take a page from the skin-protection playbook, and lather on a little sunscreen or find a spot in the shade. Your future skin will thank you. A crucial step in radiant skin care management.
Travel back in time with turmeric
If you're hoping for seriously supple skin, turmeric can take you back to a more youthful look. While we may want to age gracefully, most of us wouldn't mind reducing some of those fine lines on our faces or looking a little more radiant.
Since turmeric contains antioxidants, it helps prevent free radicals from doing excessive skin damage, like leaving us with wrinkles and rough patches. However, it's not only turmeric's oxidation annihilation that helps your skin stay soft and supple.
Turmeric has been shown to block the enzyme elastase, which attacks your skin’s production of elastin. Elastin is a protein that makes up part of the extracellular matrix - the entity that gives structural support to surrounding skin cells. Elastin is (not surprisingly) critical to our skin's elasticity, or the quality that enables skin to bounce back.
Turmeric can also inhibit the increase of MMP-2, an enzyme that breaks down collagen. Because of both of these properties, turmeric is likely to prevent a loss of elasticity and collagen in the skin. That's a good thing because as we age, our bodies produce less of both.
Remember when the sheet marks on your face wouldn't stay there for the better part of the morning? Those were the days when your body still produced collagen and elastic like it really meant it.
Well, think of JUARA's Clove Flower and Turmeric Anti Aging Serum as your tiny time machine that takes skin back to those good old days. The Clove Flower and Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum combines the collagen and elastin-enhancing abilities of turmeric with the skin-brightening benefits of clove flower.
Clove flower, a plant native to Indonesia, is frequently used to even out skin tone since it inhibits melanin synthesis in the skin. It does away with the patchy, dry, and dull, and leaves you with a glow that will have you brightening every room you grace with your presence. It may seem like we're overstating it, but whether you have acne, psoriasis, dry skin, or just skin that's a little lifeless and dull, this treatment is helpful and healthy for every skin type.
Given that green tea and algae are also in the mix of this rejuvenating complex, it's a super antioxidant powerhouse of a product. Because chronic inflammation can lead to early signs of aging, the presence of turmeric paste or powder in a beauty treatment is not insignificant. This serum has been called "Botox in a bottle" because of its ability to firm the face and give us that supple skin we all search for.
Dealing with acne or psoriasis? Turmeric for the win again.
There's a significant amount of medically reviewed research out there that points to the use of topical turmeric (and the curcumin it contains) as a natural and healthy way to combat acne and acne scars.
Acne is a common condition characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, and other pustules on the skin. Most of us have had our 15 minutes (or 15 years) of shame dealing with these unwanted blemishes, and may even have some scarring.
If your skin's oil production seems a little out of whack, and you're having frequent breakouts, skin cream or paste containing curcumin can potentially be used to regulate sebum production. Sebum is the substance produced by your body's sebaceous glands, which has a texture like wax and oil combined. Turmeric can help your skin achieve a healthy balance that sets you up for a clearer complexion.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin and joint disease that causes skin cells to build up and create scaly patches. These affected areas are prone to crack and bleed.
Curcumin can inhibit immune pathways that are partly responsible for psoriasis. This powerful yellow paste that fights inflammation can be combined with a moisturizing agent like candlenut or coconut oil to address some of the causes while also healing the skin that's affected.
You can easily find an article or video showing you how to mix together your own turmeric mask with milk and honey, but as you'll note, some of those DIY recipes come with warnings about dyeing your skin or making sure you have high-quality ingredients. While that's entirely feasible, you can also count on a beauty brand that's all about an age-old tradition, and infusing beauty rituals with the joy of self-care and wellness. JUARA takes the guesswork away so you can relax, heal your skin, and have a moment to yourself.
You won't have to search too long to find an article, medically reviewed research, or an entire book about turmeric. Much has been written about this special spice. You can use turmeric in a paste or hair mask to keep hair strong and shiny, mix it in a yellow curry to make it look and taste even better, or beautify your face and get rid of those under-eye bags with it.
We have already raved about the many healthy and natural ways turmeric - and curcumin specifically - aid in the health and appearance of our skin. When it comes to the tone and texture of your skin, turmeric should be at the top of your list.
It's time to turn the page on dull and dry skin and open up the next chapter on a luminous new you. Or, to borrow a phrase from the Spice Girls, "People of the world, spice up your life." (Turmeric is related to ginger, after all).
If you're interested in learning a little more about turmeric's health benefits, watch this video by Dr. Josh Axe, a board-certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist, who has also written extensively on natural health.
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