When my skin starts to break out, turmeric is one ingredient that’s high on my go-to list. It’s no wonder too.
Blemishes are often a sign of imbalance and inflammation, so it makes sense that the antidote would be to reach for this bright yellow root that’s an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties to encourage healing.
“It is used externally for normalizing and calming blemish-prone as well as volatile sensitive skin,” said Ayurvedic Herbalist and Aromatherapist, Carollanne Crichton, founder of Solavedi Organics, about why she likes to incorporate turmeric in her skin care formulas.
She continued, “By way of inhalation in aromatherapy it has an action on digestion and on the gall bladder and may support detoxification.”
Dr. Pratima Raichur agrees. As the founder of Pratima Skincare and an expert chemist, botanist, and Ayurvedic physician, she often uses turmeric for its multiple healing abilities.
“A natural antioxidant, turmeric helps defend the skin against environmental factors, maintaining youth and radiance,” she said.
But be careful! When using turmeric powder in DIY (do-it-yourself) recipes, keep your fingers outta there. This root will leave stains on anything it touches, so handle with care.
Here are seven ways you can add turmeric into your beauty routine sans yellow stains.
pureSOL Konjac Facial Sponge
If you love konjac sponges, then give eco-friendly, biodegradable and turmeric infused pureSOL a spin. While I’m not convinced that I can detect the benefits of turmeric (or any of the other claims that it will brighten skin or reduce signs of aging), still this sponge is a nice occasional addition to my cleansing routine. It comes in a body sponge version too.
I love the dome shape that fits well in the palm of my hand, but I don’t love the wait time to soften up konjac sponges that harden between uses.
Old Orchard No. 16 Turmeric Oil Cleansing Cream
Old Orchard makes the unique No. 16 Cleansing Cream, $36, with hefty doses of turmeric and a slightly gritty texture for light exfoliation while you cleanse. From the first time I massaged it into my face, I was hooked!
I prefer using it in the morning as a facial massage and to stimulate cell turnover, rather than as a makeup remover. The cleanser leaves my skin soft, hydrated, and calmer than before. While it doesn’t stain skin, the kasturi turmeric may leave yellow stains on clothing or on a washcloth, so be aware not to use it with something that you want to keep in pristine condition.
This cream needs to be worked into the skin for one to two minutes to dislodge dirt and makeup and then removed with a steamy washcloth. Sweep off excess product with the konjac sponge or a toner, if needed.
Balm & Co. Honeysuckle Turmeric Toner
Give skin a spritz of this sweet smelling Balm & Co Honeysuckle Turmeric Toner, $20.
Along with redness-reducing turmeric, this golden hued toner also contains aloe vera juice to help relieve irritation and infuse skin with a dose of vitamins c and e to firm and hydrate. The heady scent alone keeps me coming back for more, but it also feels sooo good on skin.
Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil
You might find yourself calling this cult classic instant relief for your skin. Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil, $90, contains ingredients to repair a slew of skin issues including eczema, dry skin, rosacea, sun damage, acne, and fine lines. While turmeric is among the roster of ingredients, it is but one of many therapeutic, organic, and wild-crafted herbs and oil infusions.
The list reads like a herbal apothecary with organic Jojoba, St. John’s Wort and Andean Mountain Rose Hip seed oils, Indian Madder, Country Sarsaparilla, Amazon root, and Liquorice. Country Mallow, Turmeric, China root, Costus, and White Sandalwood. Cuscus Grass, Olive, Eagle Wood, Nut Grass, Bermuda Grass and Ashwagandha.
I love this oil paired with the Organic Soothing Gel, $60, that creates a hydrating base of healing aloe vera gel and sea kelp to treat flare-ups and calm skin down.
The Nourishing Oil feels rich and soothing going on and gives my skin a radiant glow that lasts—which, at 45, is saying something.
Solavedi Calendula Turmeric Day Cream with EPF
Solavedi’s Calendula Turmeric Day Cream with EPF (Environmental Protection Factors), $49, incorporates turmeric in a blend of other skin treats like avocado oil, carrot seed oil, calendula, mango seed butter, and rose water to calm skin down and protect it from the elements in a light cream base that isn’t one bit greasy on the skin.
Actually, every time I apply it I’m amazed by how comforting it feels going on. Then it leaves my skin petal soft and slightly dewy, especially when applied over the Dr. Alkaitis soothing gel + oil combo.
While this lotion does contain coconut oil, an ingredient I usually keep away from my face (here’s why!), it doesn’t seem to be breaking me out in this formula thanks to the combination of other skin soothers.
Don’t underestimate this modest looking bottle. It’s actually quite the impressive cream that boasts MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), purported to penetrate deeply into the skin and increase moisture and elasticity, lactic acid, for mild exfoliation, and a vegan herb and fruit based stem cell blend, designed to repair skin.
It offers mild sun protection too (about SPF 8) with non-nano zinc oxide.
I love using this by day (alternating it with this Osmia Organics Cream) and Pratima’s Revitalizing Turmeric Cream at night. Given that people have been complimenting my skin lately, I think I’m onto something.
Pratima Sandalwood Rose Mask & Turmeric Revitalizing Cream
I call these two products the dynamic duo for when my skin is in a funk and needs extra help.
Starting with Pratima’s Sandalwood Rose Mask, $45, a mix of sandalwood mud, turmeric, and rose petals, my skin always does well with this treatment mask that’s never drying but does calm it down and leave it happier than before use.
I then apply a layer of Neem Purifying Cream, $38, which is more of a gel than cream texture and feels extra soothing when I’m suffering from a bout of breakouts. This is followed by the Revitalizing Turmeric Cream, $38.
Dr. Raichur explains why the Revitalizing Turmeric Cream, $38, works so well both as a moisturizer and as a mask.
“Revitalizing Turmeric Cream is recommended for people with dry, sensitive skin as it helps relieve redness and irritation while hydrating the skin,” she said. “It also evens out skin tone for a fresh, healthy complexion.”
When I wake up the following morning after using this combination, my skin looks refreshed, hydrated, with a smoother and calmer appearance.
There seems to be no end to the ways turmeric can be added to skin care. What are some ways that you’re loving? Let me know in the comments.