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If rubbing a bright orange substance on your face makes you feel like Donald Trump, don’t worry — what we’re about to tell you has nothing to do with politics. The formula we’re referring to is the turmeric spice, and it’s a buzzy term in the holistic health community right now. The spice hails from India and has traditionally been used in cooking (it’s part of the ginger root family). But these days, people are adding it to everything from their smoothies to face masks. We’re going to explore the latter since turmeric has many amazing beauty uses.
“Turmeric is an age-old ingredient used for its internal as well as external health-and-beauty-promoting properties,” explained Sheetal Rawal, a scientist and founder of brand Apsara. “It has been used in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years for its natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and color-balancing properties. Currently, it is also gaining quite some fame in the West for its significant antioxidant properties.”
This ability to bring down inflammation translates to skin care by minimizing acne or bringing down a rosacea flare-up. You can also rely on it for antiaging benefits. “It is loaded with key vitamins that facilitate important skin renewal processes, such as the creation of collagen,” added Adina Grigore, the founder of S.W. Basics.
Barbara Close, founder and CEO of Naturopathica, explained the science behind this: “Extracts from turmeric, known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids, efficiently quench free radicals on the surface of the skin due to their antioxidant properties. This protects against damage from ultraviolet radiation and environmental irritants.”
In fact, it is even incorporated into prebridal Indian rituals, during which the bride and groom are massaged with a turmeric-infused, homemade herbal concoction. “Turmeric in this age-old concoction is supposed to bring out the ‘hidden glow’ of the skin,” Rawal shared.