The real skin benefits of turmeric

Is this ingredient a cure for acne? Here’s what we know.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Aug 10, 2020 · 3 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Curry lovers of the world know that turmeric is delicious, but there’s more to this goldenrod spice than its taste. Over the years, turmeric has gotten a reputation for being a natural health-boosting supplement. When it comes to our skin, turmeric fans claim it has miraculous anti-aging and anti-acne properties. But what does science say?

Is curcumin the cure?

Curcumin is a chemical that naturally occurs in turmeric, and it might have medical uses. Lab tests on animals have found that curcumin may have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. The catch? These findings haven’t been confirmed in people.

In fact, there is extremely limited clinical research on the skin benefits of turmeric. One systematic review looked at 18 clinical trials focused on skin health. Out of those, 10 noted “statistically significant improvement in skin disease severity.” And it’s important to note that these studies looked at a variety of skin concerns including acne, facial aging, psoriasis, vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis. In other words, although promising, these findings don’t prove that turmeric fights acne or signs of aging.

But don’t write turmeric off — though further studies are needed, this early research looks promising. If you want to take a turmeric supplement, be sure to do your research. With all supplements, there are possible adverse reactions. If you’re taking prescription medication, there’s a slight chance that it could have negative interactions with turmeric supplements. Your best bet is to talk to your primary care physician or another in-person healthcare provider first.

The best turmeric skincare products

Like I said earlier, researchers are looking into the possible benefits of topical turmeric, but nothing is proven yet. But if you want to try turmeric in your skincare routine, go for it! Just make sure your products pass the cosDNA test. Here’s what I’d recommend:

Turmeric face wash

Turmeric face masks

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If you’re looking for simple yet effective skincare to help skin concerns like acne, skin texture, or dark spots, turmeric might not be proven just yet. But you can try custom prescription skincare when you sign up for a free month of Curology. You’ll be matched with an in-house medical provider, licensed to practice in your state, who will prescribe you a bottle of custom cream with a mix of 3 active ingredients chosen for your skin concerns. You’ll just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover the cost of shipping/handling, and you can add on any of Curology’s other products at no extra cost.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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