Better together: Adding turmeric to herbal skin care formulas can improve your skin’s moisture
04/09/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Turmeric is not only one of the most popular spices in Indian cooking; it's also widely used in natural skin care remedies. But do you know that it works better when combined with other herbs? A new study shows that taking herbal supplements that contain turmeric may improve skin barrier function and skin appearance compared to taking turmeric alone.

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the study compared the effects of turmeric-containing herbal supplements with turmeric and placebo on skin barrier function and sebum production in 30 healthy individuals. A team of researchers at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento randomly divided the participants into three groups: a placebo group, a turmeric group, and a turmeric-containing herbal supplement group. The participants orally took their assigned supplements twice a day for four weeks.

The research team measured the facial sebum and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in the participants at the beginning and the end of the study. Facial sebum is the oily, waxy substance produced by the body's sebaceous glands that coats, moisturizes, and protects the skin. TEWL, on the other hand, can contribute to various skin problems, such as a more noticeable appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Out of 30 participants, 28 of them completed the study. The results revealed that only the herbal supplements that contain turmeric caused a significant effect on the skin barrier function of the participants. In particular, turmeric-containing herbal supplements substantially decreased TEWL.


All three interventions did not cause a significant effect on facial sebum. However, they did not cause any side effect on the skin of the participants.

The findings of the study suggest that herbal supplements that contain turmeric may be used as a safe and effective natural treatment for improving skin health. (Related: Turmeric improves skin health, protects from UVB radiation damage and aging, concludes Japanese study.)

Turmeric's skin benefits and skin care recipes

In addition to oral intake of turmeric, you can also apply turmeric combined with other herbal ingredients directly on your skin. Here are the benefits of turmeric on the skin and some turmeric skin care recipes:

Turmeric helps reduce acne: Turmeric has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, which are helpful in acne treatment. For treating acne, combine ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of raw manuka honey, ½ teaspoon of sandalwood powder, a drop each of tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil.

Turmeric brightens the skin: Curcumin in turmeric can regulate the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation. When overproduced, it can cause dark spots and a darker skin tone. For skin brightening, mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and a drop each of sandalwood essential oil and frankincense essential oil. Apply this at night to avoid any skin coloration problem.

Turmeric exfoliates the skin: Turmeric is an ideal scrub not only because it is gentle on the skin, but also because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties. You can make one by mixing ¼ tablespoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of oatmeal powder and a drop of ylang-ylang essential oil.

Turmeric accelerates skin healing and regeneration: Do you suffer from skin problems like pimples, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and acne scars? Try applying turmeric on the affected areas. Turmeric together with other herbal ingredients can help speed up the healing process and regeneration of the skin. Make your own cream by combining ½ teaspoon turmeric powder with 3 ounces of soft raw shea butter cream, and 3 drops each of lavender essential oil, chamomile oil, and tea tree oil.

Read more news stories and studies on the skin health benefits of turmeric by going to

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