We often think of adding turmeric to our diet because of its cancer-fighting properties, but how many of us think of adding it to our skin care regimen?
Our skin hosts valuable microbes that can be wiped out when we use chemicals such as triclosan or triclocarban.
Cancer researcher Dr. Heidi Kong and genome researcher Dr. Julie Segre discuss the hazards of antibacterial skin products in their article Skin Microbiome: Looking Back to Move Forward,
“Our current society paradoxically strives to colonize our guts with probiotic yogurts, but sterilize our skin with hand sanitizers.”
We can protect our skin flora when we use beneficial substances such as those found in turmeric. After all, research shows we absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin!
Will the turmeric stain? Any staining will diminish within a few hours. The rich hue of turmeric is celebrated in India where turmeric is applied to the bride’s skin before her wedding ceremony to give her a vibrant glow.
Do you have dark patches on your skin? Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit melanin in the skin and may be useful for hyperpigmentation.
4 ways to incorporate turmeric into your beauty care regimen.
1. Yogurt and Turmeric Mask
- 1 teaspoon honey (raw is optimal)
- 2 tablespoons fresh yogurt (kefir may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt *optional
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Stir well.Apply with cotton pad and leave on face for ½ hour. Rinse with warm water. This mask will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
2. Turmeric Toner
This makes use of a liquid probiotic form of turmeric. Similar to the ginger bug which is used to make fermented beverages, the turmeric bug combines raw or powdered turmeric with sugar and water. The mixture is “fed” daily until it is fermented. For specifics see How to Make a Turmeric Bug.
- 2 ounces turmeric bug
- 2 ounces hydrosol or witch hazel
Hydrosols are also known as floral waters. Examples include rose hydrosol, lavender hydrosol, and tulsi hydrosol. Like fermented turmeric, hydrosols act as an astringent, cleaning the skin and constricting its pores. The turmeric bug can be used without the hydrosol, but I find the two make a delightful combination. Apply with cotton pad and feel the rich boost fermented turmeric offers to the face. Toner stores well at room temperature.
3. Turmeric scrub
This simple yet effective scrub is reminiscent of the Indian “haldi” wedding tradition mentioned above. For this scrub, gram flour is added.
- 1 tablespoon gram flour (also known as chickpea flour or garbonza flour)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon filtered water
Combine in small bowl. Add more water if needed. Keep the mixture thick. Apply to face and neck. Rinse with warm water. Great for use in baths too.
4. Hand milled soap
There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of turmeric’s orange hue than a homemade bar of soap. Hand milling offers all the artistry of soap making without having to work with lye. The process is simple: Melt a bar of natural soap, add powdered turmeric, and pour into mold. For detailed instruction see How to hand mill soap.
Want to try turmeric soap that’s already made? Just So Natural Products offers this unique Turmeric Thyme probiotic soap.
Hoping to improve your skin and your overall health? Try turmeric!
Have you tried turmeric in your skin care regimen?
Looking for more posts in the 31 Days to Health and Wellness Challenge?
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