Lately, over here at The Light Side, we're obsessed with turmeric and we're going crazy for natural DIY skin care using this magic little ingredient!
Turmeric has long been known in the west as a spice that adds flavor and color to Indian dishes or as an Ayurveda or Chinese medicine however, it’s becoming increasingly popular here in the West as well. Using turmeric is a great way to improve skin health as well as to alleviate and prevent a myriad of health problems. In many parts of India, turmeric is an essential part of any beauty treatment. When applied to the skin as a paste or a face mask, it can help in treating acne, eczema, rosacea and aids in skin rejuvenation.
Turmeric’s awesomeness resides in its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, making it PERFECT for treating problem skin conditions. For acne, using facial masks can soothe skin blemishes and heal acne scars. For those suffering from eczema, applying a facial mask can reduce inflammation and redness. And, it can reduce the tiny pimples and redness that come with rosacea.
When it comes to face masks, there are many different ingredient combinations that you can use with Turmeric. Aaaaaannnnnnd….regular use of turmeric with these various ingredients can help soften wrinkles and fine lines! #YesPlease!
Before Using a Facial Mask:
Before applying a facial mask, your skin must be clean and fresh (i.e. no makeup or lotions, etc). I like to start with a nice hot shower or steam bath to open the pores, making the mask more effective. Once you’ve mixed up your turmeric mask and applied it, get comfy and relax for at least 20 minutes, giving the mask sufficient time to sink it and do its thing while it dries and stiffens. After about 20 minutes, rinse with warm water and a wash cloth. I suggest using a wash cloth that you aren’t too attached too,as the turmeric can stain.
The following are my two favorite turmeric face masks:
· Basic Turmeric Mask
To make this basic turmeric mask, combine some honey (I prefer Wedderspoon Manuka honey available at Community Natural Foods), yogurt or milk with a few tablespoons of turmeric in a bowl. Mix this until it forms a smooth paste and apply to face
· Traditional Indian Turmeric Beauty Mask
For glowing skin on their big day, brides in India use a turmeric mask before their wedding ceremony. For this beauty mask, combine 2 teaspoons sandalwood powder, 2 teaspoons turmeric powder, ½ cup chickpea flour with a little almond oil (or ghee). Add water to make a paste and apply to face.
*Note: make sure to use a high quality sandalwood powder; they are not all created equal and this is your face we are dealing with! The powder can be hard to find; thanks to a globetrotting goddess friend of mine, I am lucky enough to have a personal ration of pure Sandalwood powder from Bahrain however, in my search for it locally, the apothecarist I spoke to at The Apothecary in Inglewood recommended Eden Botanicals as a reputable dealer. If you're having trouble finding powder, consider the apothecarists other suggestion to substitute it with a cosmetic quality sandalwood or rosewood essential oil (available locally from The Apothecary in Inglewood).
Will Turmeric Stain your Face?
Turmeric is well known to stain clothes. While the stains eventually fade away they tend to linger for a while. When I first started doing these masks and shared the idea with my sister, she laughed saying, “Omg’osh, I hope that stuff doesn’t stain your face yellow!!” (I’m sure half wishing, for her own entertainment, that it would, lol!) but, no. Sorry, R! to your disappointment, turmeric masks will not stain your face! It is possible to experience a yellow tinge if you leave the mask on too long but this is not permanent and will fade with washing. This can also be easily overcome by wiping any yellow-tinged areas with few drops of a mild facial toner on a cotton ball. Also, you can prevent staining by using a good quality turmeric; I prefer the Organic Traditions Turmeric Powder (also available at Community Natural Foods).
Other Things to Keep in Mind:
Turmeric on the skin usually does not produce any side effects, unless of course you have allergies or sensitivities. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or naturopath before introducing new herbs or supplement into your personal care routine. Keep in mind that turmeric does stain clothes so wear old clothes and don’t use your best towels during this process. As mentioned above, while not permanent, with prolonged exposure to the skin, turmeric can temporarily discolor the skin. As an added precaution, people who are prone to different skin conditions should consult their dermatologist before using a home facial masks using turmeric.
Stay tuned for more posts about using turmeric in your beauty and wellness regimen (coming soon on the blog!). In the meantime, happy pampering!
With love & light,