6 Benefits of Turmeric to Get Rid of Acne

For thousands of years curry has been a staple spice in Indian, Chinese, and Southern Asian countries and has religious significance in Buddhism, Hinduism and throughout Southeast Asian society. (1)

Turmeric to Get Rid of Acne

There are various supposed medical benefits of consuming turmeric such as weight loss, digestive health, relief for arthritis, together with cancer prevention and treatment. (2) This is because of the active ingredient curcumin, which in recent years, has been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

Below are six benefits of treating acne with turmeric:

1. Turmeric is a Natural Skin Exfoliant

Those who are suffering from acne know the importance of exfoliating one to two times a day. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cell, excess oil, and improve the overall quality and appearance of the skin.

The active ingredient in turmeric (curcumin) is a chemical exfoliant which means that it works to break down dead skin cells through a chemical reaction. There are many over-the-counter and prescription chemical exfoliant however many of these can be very harsh on the skin which may cause increase in irritation and blotchiness. You can also add oatmeal into your basic turmeric mask which will lead to physical and chemical exfoliation.

2. Turmeric Helps Reduce Excessive Oil Production

For those who suffer from combination or oily skin, oil can be a constant source of frustration when trying to fight acne. Turmeric acts as a toner on oily skin which helps in removing excess oil. (3) Additionally turmeric is high in potassium and Vitamin B6, which aids in keeping the skin naturally moisturized. Apart from adding moisture to the skin it also send signals the biggest organ in the body notifying that it does not have to work so hard to produce oil which help keep the skin free of blemish and blackhead.

3. Turmeric is a Natural Anti-Bacterial Agent

Turmeric works as a natural anti-astringent, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal agent. (4) By removing bacteria and other agents which cause acne breakouts, your skin will be clearer and healthier.

Rather than use antibiotics every time you have a skin infection, use turmeric so that you don’t become resistant to medication. More often than not, natural skin remedies are more than enough to soothe breakouts. Save the stronger, prescription-grade medicines for more serious skin conditions.

4. Turmeric Helps Reduce the Appearance of Acne Scars

A main concern of those who suffer from long-term severe acne is not only the initial pimple but the deep scars that may linger long after the initial breakout. Scar tissue can be difficult to treat and there are various chemicals available over-the-counter to help treat scars, specifically those associated with acne.

Turmeric is an excellent, natural, and cheap method to treating acne scars compared to other over-the-counter products. (5) It exfoliates to help remove the buildup of oil and dead skin cells that can exacerbate the appearance of scars. Additionally, it lightens skin and removes unwanted pigment, which can help decrease the appearance of newer scars that appear very red or purple.

5. Turmeric Helps Regulate Blood Sugar

When you are unable to regulate your blood sugar properly, all sorts of problems in your body begin to arise and diabetes is only one of them. Other ailments include weight gain and inability to lose weight as well as cardiovascular issues. Additionally, those who are suffering from high blood sugar and unregulated diabetes may find that they also have issues with acne. (6) This is because insulin is one of the hormones that can indirectly cause acne breakouts.

Turmeric is considered to be one of the best plants for those who are diabetic to incorporate in their diet and those who are suffering from hormone related acne concerns may find relief with turmeric as well. In order to fully utilize these benefits, oral consumption of turmeric through supplements or tea will work better than topical application.

6. Turmeric Helps Reduce Inflammation

Turmeric is a soothing anti-inflammatory compound and when applied topically, can offer almost immediate relief for pimples and blackheads while having the capacity to help those who are suffering from sunburn and to those who cannot utilize their normal skincare routine for fear of greater irritation. (7)

Additionally, when consumed orally, turmeric helps to reduce all over inflammation and stress in the body which can help minimize the production of the stress hormone cortisol. One of the most common ailments of those with elevated cortisol is increased acne.

How to Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet and Skincare Routine

To get the most versatility out of turmeric, try to find the fresh root. It is sold in many health food and grocery stores next to ginger or other root vegetables. You can easily grate this root at home and is versatile in many different recipes. Ground turmeric can be found in the spice aisle and can be used in various ways as well however it will not be as fresh or potent.

In order to get therapeutic effects of turmeric, you will need to dose it correctly according to your body weight. However for overall health, you can also just start off your day with turmeric tea which is a simple recipe of turmeric and water with a little bit of honey and milk stirred in for taste. (8)

Incorporating this every day will help with various full body benefits. Turmeric masks which are made from turmeric, honey, and milk or yogurt can be applied directly to the skin for immediate and long-term results.

Are There Any Health Precautions Associated With Turmeric?

When taking turmeric orally, it is important to be mindful of consumption if you are taking any medication that directly or indirectly inhibits the body from clotting appropriately as turmeric thins the blood as well. Medications such as NSAIDs and/or anti-clotting medication should not be mixed with high doses of turmeric.

For those who utilize turmeric topically, it is important to do a small test patch to ensure that you do not have a bad reaction. While reactions are generally rare, they can occur in certain individuals with sensitive skin. Some examples of these bad reactions include irritation, redness, and dryness of the skin.

The biggest concern that people have when using turmeric masks is skin discoloration. Those with fair skin tones find that the bold coloring can actually leave the skin mildly yellow. This usually washes out with mild soap or will simply fade after a few hours. Those with darker skin tones will not usually have problems with discoloration. If you’re concerned, simply leave enough time for the color to fade before scheduling an event or outing.


Turmeric has been an important part of Indian and Chinese cuisine and medication for thousands of years. Today, turmeric is a spice that can be found in grocery and health food stores throughout the entire world but still offers fantastic health and wellness all through the body. If you suffer from severe acne, consult your dermatologist or other health care provider before changing or adding turmeric into your skin care routine.


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