I know turmeric is mostly advertised as an incredible natural, health supplement – obviously for internal use. However, the popular spice can help you from the outside too. “Haldi” – by its Indian name, the orange-yellow powder made from the roots of Curcuma longa is rich in compounds known as curcuminoids, out of which curcumin is the most important one. Powdered turmeric contains about 3% curcumin, on average.
Curcumin was, and continues to be the subject of many studies and as a result we already know it is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant, while other compounds found in turmeric also have moderate anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. For this reason, some use a simple paste made out of turmeric powder and water to help with healing of minor skin lesions like cuts, burns and scrapes.
Obviously it makes a lot of sense to use turmeric for other skin problems.
Turmeric as an Anti-Acne Treatment
Since this wonder-powder can reduce inflammation, fight free radicals and is also moderately anti-bacterial in theory it sounds like an incredible natural, anti-acne treatment. And it is.
Turmeric used in skincare products is an old habit of Indian women – finally us Westerners became aware of this. Don’t get me wrong, like any other remedy, it cannot work for absolutely everyone, but acne.org users were happy enough with the results of smudging their faces orange-yellow so it has a very good star-rating.
Since acne.org only has a rating for turmeric powder – not the turmeric masks people used (which have various other ingredients), it’s possible that for at least some of the negative ratings turmeric wasn’t entirely at fault.
Ingredients for Turmeric Anti-Acne Masks
Most people liked to keep it simple and mixed turmeric powder with household ingredients that pretty much everyone has at hand and are often used in face masks. As a result you can make turmeric-based masks by mixing turmeric with (and these are just the most popular recipes):
– Milk and honey (1 teaspoon for each ingredient)
– 1 whole egg
– Greek yogurt
– Bentonite clay and water
– Greek yogurt, honey and lemon juice
– Yogurt, sea salt and cinnamon
If you want to give your turmeric mask an upgrade, I strongly suggest you add 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil. It’s an incredibly powerful antiseptic and antibacterial so it can help acne heal faster and prevent future breakouts.
Turmeric is also used as a spot treatment so it’s perfect for those that don’t have acne but get the occasional pimple like me – just a simple paste made out of turmeric powder and water left on overnight, with excellent results.
Bonus tip: Turmeric powder doesn’t contain too much curcumin. If you want to take it as a supplement, find a quality curcumin extract, it’s a lot more concentrated than turmeric powder. Research shows curcumin is better absorbed by the body if you take it with a fat-rich meal (it’s fat soluble). Another way to increase absorption is to take it with piperine (the substance found in black pepper) – you can simply ingest 2-3 whole peppercorns when taking your curcumin supplement. But wait!
There’s another amazing yet less obvious use for turmeric.
Turmeric for Teeth Whitening
Why would you use something that can stain your clothes to whiten your teeth? It doesn’t make sense, but activated charcoal is an already popular teeth whitening remedy and it stains just like turmeric – okay, okay…maybe a bit less.
While I really don’t know the HOW – please leave a message in the comments section if you know how turmeric whitens teeth – I do know it works. Not in the way that an OTC teeth bleaching kit would work – turmeric, just like activated charcoal mostly restores teeth to their natural whiteness, removing stains, but certainly without the nasty side-effects that include increased sensitivity and weakened enamel.
How to do it: It’s really a piece of cake. Add a few drops of water on a teaspoon of turmeric powder so it turns into a thick paste. Take some on your toothbrush (you can use an old one since turmeric will permanently stain it) and gently brush your teeth for 2-5 minutes.
Turmeric’s golden yellow color is not easy to remove so feel free to brush with your regular toothpaste to get rid of it.
The results are subtle, and you’ll have to use this method regularly (at least 3 times/ week) to see a notable difference. Former Miss USA – Susie Castillo – swears by her natural toothpaste recipe, in which the star ingredient is ….you guessed it… turmeric!
Did you manage to reduce or eliminate acne using turmeric? How about restoring the natural beauty of your pearly whites? Let us know in the comments section!