Natural Skincare: 5 Considerations Before Using Turmeric

Hannah Do
Tuesday, 6th June 2017

There are multiple benefits to adding turmeric to your beauty regime, but also some considerations before you do so.

Turmeric is an age-old remedy to a number of skin issues. It can lighten dark spots, treat acne and even remove stubborn stretch marks. When used properly, it can also help with wound healing and skin inflammation.

Apart from these benefits, using turmeric as part of your skin care routine can also give you the following:

  • Turmeric contains curcumin, which is known to possess potent anti bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of these two properties make turmeric a big help for those with eczema.
  • It can prevent your facial hair from regrowing. Turning it into a paste by mixing it with gram flour and applying it on your face can help with facial hair control.
  • Containing a high amount of antioxidants, turmeric can improve your skin’s elasticity by triggering new cell growth.
  • Turmeric can also help reduce your risk of and treat skin cancer. It has the ability to kill abnormal cells and tumor formation.
  • If you have itchy, inflamed and irritated skin, turmeric can provide relief, too. It has anti-inflammatory agents that can halt your skin’s inflammatory response.

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With all these benefits, it’s easy to feel tempted to use turmeric right away. But, before you actually head on to your kitchen, there are things you have to consider first before using turmeric on your skin.

Here are some of them:

1. Allergies

Turmeric, although beneficial for the skin, still has the potential to trigger allergic reactions both from ingestion and topical application. If you are allergic to ginger, there’s a good chance you’ll experience negative reactions from turmeric, too.

It contains curcumin, which is known to be a potent contact allergen. It can cause contact dermatitis, itching and hives in susceptible individuals. In severe cases, it can also cause difficulty in breathing and extreme rashes. 

If you experience any of these things, stop using turmeric right away and seek proper medical attention. 

To know if you are sensitive to turmeric, rub a small amount on the inside of your elbow and wait for a few hours before checking. If you don’t develop any negative reactions, you can continue using it.

2. Staining

Turmeric is commonly used as a coloring ingredient in a handful of recipes so don’t be surprised if it leaves a yellow tint on your skin, too. Although, in general, the stain it leaves isn’t a serious threat to your health, it can still make you feel conscious.

You can end up with a yellow stain on your skin for a couple of hours or even days depending on how much turmeric you applied and how long you’ve left it on your skin. 

If you are planning to go out or attend a special event, skip the turmeric face mask for a while. In case you really need that face mask, be sure to add lemon or chickpea flour to help neutralize the mixture.

3. Folliculitis

Folliculitis might sound lethal but, in reality, it actually isn’t. It simply means that your hair follicles are infected and inflamed, either due to prolonged use of turmeric or applying high amounts of the spice on your skin. 

Although folliculitis is not that dangerous, it doesn’t mean that there’s no accompanying discomforts. Those small pimples on your skin can still give you some serious pain.

4. Flaking skin

Your skin is delicate and since turmeric is potent, you should expect to see a bit of flaking. Use the spice excessively and the flaking can get worse. In most cases, this has no long-term consequences. The minute you stop applying turmeric on your skin, it should be able to return to normal.

Keep in mind that not all skin types respond the same way to turmeric. For some people, especially those who are suffering from dermatitis and eczema, turmeric actually makes a great remedy in relieving skin flaking, itching and inflammation.

5. Pregnancy and lactation

With pregnancy, it’s still best to consider your baby’s safety. Turmeric has the potential to trigger uterine contractions and this can create problems for you and your baby. Uterine contractions that are too early to happen in a pregnancy can cause preterm labor and delivery. 

The same applies to women who are breastfeeding their babies. The effects of turmeric on newborn babies haven’t been fully established yet. Stay on the safe side and don’t risk your baby’s health just for the sake of having clear and glowing skin.

Hannah Do is the founder of Thank Your Skin, a beauty blog dedicated to provide honest skin care advice and information. She aspires to help her readers achieve their most beautiful skin by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out her latest article about Best Foundation for Oily Skin. You can find her on TwitterPinterest and Facebook

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