Turmeric beauty masks have been used across Asia for centuries. They are known in Chinese and Indian traditions, and are an element of the Ayurvedic medicine. In south Asia, turmeric masks were an integral part of the bride’s wedding preparations, making her look spotless and glamorous on her big day.
Turmeric contains a phytochemical called curcumin, which can benefit the body, both inside and out. Turmeric is obviously one of the ingredients in the turmeric face mask recipe, but the mask also contains two other important ingredients with lots of benefits for your skin.
Before getting to the recipe itself let’s look in more detail at the health benefits of turmeric for skin.
Benefits of Turmeric for the Skin
Turmeric is an amazing herb with medicinal properties that also has skin-lightening properties to reverse the effects of hyperpigmentation. Turmeric contains curcumin which has many health benefits including being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Curcumin (the main compound in turmeric) is an effective ingredient to soothe skin irritations, treat burns and relieve the pain of sunburn. Curcumin can also help with the healing process of wounds and was even studied for its effect on skin cancer.
For example: the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects” reported that topical application of turmeric was found to decrease the number and onset of skin tumors.
Studies into the potential of turmeric to treat uneven skin tone found that it is an effective skin lightening agent. Research has shown that curcumin has compounds that inhibit the production of melanin in the skin.
Other studies have shown that curcumin can help to speed up wound healing and relieve pain. A study published in the Journal of Molecular Histology said that a topical application of curcumin has beneficial effects and accelerates the healing of wounds caused by burns.
Turmeric mask also works for acne, eczema and psoriasis. It reduces inflammation and facial redness, and promotes skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation. It helps softening lines and wrinkles, giving the face a more youthful appearance. It is also effective with rosacea – a chronic skin condition that is characterized by redness and pimples. It eases the redness and treats this disease.
The journal Phytotherapy Research examined many studies into curcumin for skin health and found that it can help to alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne. It commented that both oral and topical curcumin supplements offer therapeutic benefits for skin health. The research also showed the potential of turmeric to lighten skin tone and improve the appearance of dark skin patches. Researchers found that compounds in turmeric help to suppress melanin in skin cells and can be useful in products designed to lighten the skin.
The basic turmeric face mask is easy to make and acts as a moisturizer, exfoliator and reduces redness. It brightens the skin and makes it look fresh and clean. This is also due to the other natural ingredients in this face mask: honey and plain yogurt (or milk).
Benefits of Honey for the Skin
Honey is one of the oldest foods known to man and it has been used for centuries, not only as a food source but also for its amazing medicinal properties. One of the many health benefits of honey is the way it can help treat acne, reduce the appearance of pimples, scars, blemishes and generally improve the skin appearance.
One of the most important reasons why honey is beneficial for the skin is that it contains powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It also has antioxidant properties which are important in helping to get rid of acne, blemishes and reduce sun spots and pimples. Antioxidants help to destroy free radicals which can harm the skin. They also protect the skin by not allowing toxins to cause damage.
Another bonus of applying honey to your skin is that honey is hygroscopic, which means that is a very effective skin moisturizer because it attracts and holds water molecules and at the same time dries out bacteria. Similarly to turmeric, the medicinal properties of honey make it an excellent way to help wounds heal quicker.
So, taking into account the amazing antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of natural raw honey, it comes as no surprise that it is one of the best natural ingredients to treat any type of skin problem.
It is important to point out that you should always use raw and preferably organic honey for treating skin conditions (as many types of honey sold in supermarkets are actually fake honey). This way you can make sure that it contains all the healing properties that your skin needs.
Benefits of Yogurt (or Milk) for the Skin
Many people use lotions containing lactic acid to soften dry, hard skin and reduce skin roughness. Plain yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid and it is great for your skin because it helps to cleanse the skin and lighten it without drying out your skin.
Milk also contains lactic acid which develops in cow’s milk as a result of bacteria breaking down the lactose. Fresh milk does not contain lactic acid, as the concentration of lactic acid builds up after a short period of time due to the input of bacteria.
A study from Taiwan found that products containing lactic acid have a skin lightening effect. As well as helping to affect the production of melanin, lactic acid also has an antibacterial effect on acne-causing bacteria. Other studies have shown that lactic acid and glycolic acid from milk help reduce the signs of hyperpigmentation.
Homemade Turmeric Facial Mask – Basic Recipe
There are many variations of the recipe, but below you will find the basic turmeric face mask recipe. Some people add chickpea flower to thicken the paste or add other ingredients that benefit the skin (see other recipes below).
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of raw organic honey
1 teaspoon of natural yogurt (or milk)
Put turmeric into a little bowl. Add honey and yogurt (or milk). You can adjust the amount of yogurt (or milk) to adjust the thickness of the turmeric mask, but make sure that it’s a firm paste that will stick to your face. Turmeric is a dye and it can stain anything, so you don’t want it dripping off your face.
Wash your face with running water and remove all makeup. If your hair is long, tie it up at the back. Wear a T-shirt you are not too attached to, in case it gets stained.
Apply the turmeric mask evenly all over your face. A spot you don’t want to miss is under the eyes, as turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the dark circles, which form as a result of vasoconstriction (narrowing of the vessels).
If you have any mask leftover, you can save it in the fridge for a few days and use it the next time. The honey will usually harden in the fridge, so you can add a little bit of yogurt/milk to adjust the consistency of the paste and reapply to your face.
Let the mask dry on your face. This means leaving it on for about 20 minutes and then washing it off with cool water. Dry your face gently with a cloth.
Repeat the mask treatment over the course of a few days. You can also apply it to your face every few weeks, depending on your needs and complexion.
Optional Ingredients to Add to the Basic Turmeric Face Mask Recipe
As mentioned previously, there are many variations to this mask. Here are some of the common ingredients that can be added to the basic turmeric face mask:
Lemon juice – You can add to the basic recipe a few drops of lemon juice. Lemon juice contains vitamin C and citric acid, which naturally disinfect skin and remove excess oil. The natural acid gently exfoliates and cleanses oily skin, lightens the skin and leaving it toned and more even.
When researching natural ingredients that can be used as skin whitening agents, the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reported on the use of lemon juice. The researchers noted that lemon extracts are used in some skin lightening applications.
You need to be aware that lemon juice can dry the skin (it is one of the home remedies to treat oily skin). If you decide to use lemon juice, you may need to follow it with a moisturizer.
Tea tree oil – You can also add to the basic recipe a few drops of tea tree oil if you suffer from acne or pimples. Studies show that tea tree oil is antibacterial and kills off bacteria that cause pores to become infected. It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the redness of inflamed pimples. Tea tree oil also helps to dry up excess sebum from the skin and helps to reduce acne symptoms.
Olive oil or avocado oil – If you have dry skin you can add to the basic mixture 1/2 to 1 tsp. of olive oil or avocado oil or any other natural oil such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. These natural oils will further nourish your skin and moisturize it. They will help to protect the skin from irritants and infection, improve the appearance of dry skin, reduce signs of aging and repair damaged skin.
Does Turmeric Face Mask Stain the Skin?
Turmeric can temporarily stain the skin, especially if you have a fair skin tone or if you apply the mask for longer period of time.
If you want to reduce staining, you can do a sugar scrub with oil after rinsing the mask. To do this please mix equal amounts of fine sugar and natural oil, such as olive oil or almond oil and gently massage onto the skin on your face using circular motions. Rinse off with water.
It’s also a good idea to apply the turmeric mask later at night before going to sleep to allow several hours for the skin to get rid of the staining if you have one.
Can Turmeric Mask Cause Allergic Reaction?
Turmeric and honey can cause an allergic rash in some people which can result in one or more of these symptoms: hives, contact dermatitis, redness of the skin, raised welts on the skin, blisters, itchiness and swelling.
Make sure to apply the turmeric mask on a small skin patch on the first time you use it to make sure you don’t develop any skin irritation.
Did you know that there are many reasons to consume turmeric internally?
- You can use turmeric to make a healing golden milk to treat many ailments.
- You can use turmeric to prepare anti inflammatory pain relief tea.
- It can even be used to treat depression and relieve knee osteoarthritis.
You just need to be aware that turmeric has a low bio-availability in our body and is not easily absorbed,.
Here is a video with detailed instructions on how to make and apply the turmeric mask. The woman in the video is using a slightly modified version of the above recipe and adds organic brown rice flour.