Is Turmeric Good For The Skin? - The Dermatology Review

Is Turmeric Good For The Skin?



What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is derived from the root of Curcuma zedoaria which is a type of ginger that is native to Southeast Asia. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits through the active ingredient, curcumin. You have probably heard of turmeric for its benefits when eaten or taken as a dietary supplement to help reduce inflammation in the body however, more recently brands have begun to use it in skincare and body care products.


the good: Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that may be beneficial to helping reduce inflammation in the skin.

the not so good: Turmeric can temporarily dye the skin a yellow shade, so it is best to use turmeric in products that have been formulated rather than using a DIY product.

Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.

Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.

Keep an eye on: Keep an eye out for more research.

What Are The Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory benefits which have recently been studied to determine if it may help reduce inflammation in the skin. This research seems to suggest that it may help reduce inflammation in the skin depending on the type of turmeric used, the bioavailability (how easily it is absorbed and used by the skin) and the concentration. If its anti-inflammatory benefits are significant to the skin, it may help to support the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis. 

Wound Healing 
These same studies seem to suggest that turmeric may help in supporting wound healing. This may help to support the healing of open blemishes and irritation. 

Anti Aging and Pigmentation
Aging is a very complex process that has many contributing factors including UV damage, genetics, diets, alcohol consumption and smoking. However, one of the other contributing factors that has been identified recently is inflammation. In a study that looked at the benefits of turmeric, it was suggested that turmeric may be beneficial to reducing the appearance of some signs of aging through its anti-inflammatory properties. 

There has also been some research into the benefits of turmeric in improving the appearance of pigmentation. Many blogs and websites have highlighted this benefit, however, in a study that looked into a number of naturally-occurring ingredients for their benefits to aging and pigmentation, turmeric was one of the few that didn’t show significant efficacy. 

Some of the other benefits that are being explored are skin cancer, skin disorders and infections. All of these potential applications of turmeric are well outside the scope of turmeric in skin care but are interesting to note. 

Is Tumeric Safe?

Turmeric is an ingredient that is generally well studied when it comes to oral consumption but little research has been conducted on the benefits of using turmeric topically on the skin. It is important to note that without this research it is hard to determine how useful the inclusion of turmeric may be to the skin, particularly when we don’t know what concentration of turmeric would need to be included in products for them to be beneficial and improve the skin.

Vollono L, Falconi M, Gaziano R, et al. Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2169. Published 2019 Sep 10.


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