We all know turmeric is great in Indian food, and while the vibrant yellow spice has also been used for its healing properties for centuries, it’s having a major moment in the beauty industry right now. “The active ingredient found in turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent,” says Priceline Pharmacy Nutritionist Melanie McGrice. Whether you’re using it raw or powdered, for DIY or in products (we love Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque and Clarins Daily Energizer Cream), turmeric’s high potency of antioxidants can help your skin, hair and health in more ways than one.
Known as haldi in India, turmeric comes in a paste or powder and is praised for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Jurlique uses it in its Jurlique Wrinkle Softening Cream to fight the signs of ageing and protect skin against damage caused by harmful environment influences.
Known as a remedy for hair loss, the use of turmeric helps rejuvenate the scalp while getting rid of itchiness and dandruff. Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo and Thickening Intensive Conditioner both utilise the power ingredient in their formulas to bring life to dull, thinning or dry hair.
Praised by Jesinta Campbell and Candice Swanepoel for being amazing in face masks, turmeric regulates the production of sebum that causes oiliness. For a great DIY mask, combine one and a half tablespoons of pure sandalwood paste, a pinch of turmeric and three tablespoons of orange juice to bind. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water once it’s dried. The sandalwood acts as an astringent and the vitamin C in orange juice does wonders for brightening the skin. “It’s so healing and gives you a gorgeous glow,” said Candice in an interview with Famous. Just be careful not to leave it on too long as the intensely pigmented powder can leave traces of yellow on the skin.
One of the most stubborn concerns for women is noticeable stretch marks. Chickpea flour (or besan) mixed with turmeric and raw milk or yoghurt is said to even skin tone and help lighten stretch marks. Use as a scrub before every shower to see a noticeable improvement.
Turmeric paste can be used to heal small cuts, keeping bacterial infections at bay. Its antiseptic properties are great for burns too, especially when mixed with aloe vera gel, so next time your curling wand or kettle are on the attack, reach for the spice rack.
Turmeric helps prevent and cure acne, either as a face mask or a spot treatment. Natio Young Tinted Spot Cream contains the pimple-fighting ingredient, or you can make your own with turmeric and sandalwood paste mixed with rosewater.
Mixed with coconut or castor oil, turmeric works to heal rough skin and calluses. Apply a mixture of three tablespoons of turmeric with a few drops of coconut or castor oil to your heels for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off.
Stephanie covered BEAUTYcrew's beauty news and social content for a joyful stint in 2016, and now lives and plays in New York City, salivating over unlimited Sephora options and everything bagels while working as the Marketing Manager of Global Goods Partners, a women-empowering social enterprise.