Discover the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of turmeric, nature’s answer to your acne woes
Words Joy Montgomery
The Powers of Turmeric
WHAT IS IT?
Part of the ginger family, turmeric is the herbaceous root native to southwest India which is used both fresh and dried for everything from spicing curries to dying fabrics. It might surprise some, however, to know that it has also been used in alternative and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Curcumin is the primary component of this wonder root and the chemical that gives it both its distinctive yellow colour and healing properties.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
The yellow chemical Curcumin has long been championed for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It may come as no surprise then that it is said to work wonders on spots and acne, which are typically triggered by inflamed skin and clogged pores. Indian brides have long been known to use turmeric body scrubs and masks to provide a healthy glow before their wedding day.
Essentially, the Curcumin helps remove the excess oil by destroying bacteria and soothing the inflammation caused by spots. The result? Clearer, glowing and soothed skin.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
Turmeric face masks are one of the most popular ways to harness its benefits. For a quick and easy mask, simply mix enough water with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to make a fine paste and then work onto areas of spot-prone skin. Once dried wash off with warm water. You can also mix in additional ingredients, such as honey, coconut oil, olive oil or yoghurt, to give your mask an added skincare boost. Perfect for dry winter complexions.
It’s worth noting that some people can have an allergic reaction to turmeric so it’s important to test some on a small patch of skin before applying to the face. Also, watch out for your clothes because the stains are notoriously hard to remove.
If you’re not so keen on direct application, remember it’s possible to get the benefits through adding to food and drink. Turmeric lattes have recently witnessed a boom in popularity, with their warming and spicy flavour. For a healthy coffee alternative, try this delicious almond milk latte recipe. Or, for a warming weekday dinner, you can’t go wrong with a turmeric carrot apple soup.