I’m always amazed at how good it feels to pamper your skin. This discovery was followed shortly by the realization that I can’t afford salon facials – or fancy beauty products! Whether it’s making a simple sugar scrub or moisturizing with your own rose petal body oil, or making a turmeric mask for skincare, I’m all about easy, budget-friendly ideas for looking your best. First up, a glowing skin turmeric face mask!
“Secret Beauty Weapon”
I read recently that actress Thandie Newton recently called turmeric her “secret beauty weapon.” Isn’t that just for curry? Nope! (Although it is fantastic for healing inflammation from the inside out – here are some of our favorite anti-inflammatory turmeric recipes.)
Not only does this spice have amazing healing properties (my mom is taking it as a supplement because there is evidence it kills cancer cells) but it’s also a great beauty product. Turns out Indian brides have long used turmeric as a head-to-toe body scrub and face mask to brighten skin before their weddings.
What is turmeric?
Though turmeric is found in many southeast Asian dishes, naturopathic physician Dr. Trevor Gates says it’s actually a long-standing South Indian spice that’s been trusted for a multitude of uses. Not only is it a flavoring and coloring agent, but he also says it’s a medicinal and beautifying herb. In fact, he notes it has been scientifically proven as an anti-inflammatory that soothes redness and itchiness.
“Turmeric manages microorganism growth on the skin, helping ward off acne-causing acne bacteria and prevents other infections from spreading,” Dr. Gates explains. “It also contains powerful antioxidant properties, balances sebum secretion, and helps clean out pores.”
Turmeric beauty benefits
- Turmeric is high in antioxidants that slow down cell damage.
- It’s widely used as a skin exfoliant and improves skin’s texture.
- It helps with inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, dry skin, psoriasis and eczema.
- It helps reduce pigmentation and even out the skin tone.
- It is also said to diminish wrinkles.
8 DIY Turmeric Masks
Since turmeric offers internal and external benefits, there are plenty of ways to incorporate its healing properties into your beauty routine.
1. Make your own glowing skin turmeric face mask
- Mix flour, turmeric, honey and milk to make a paste
- 2 tablespoons of flour. You can use regular flour, rice flour or ground oats if your skin is dry.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons milk. You can also use yogurt to fight acne.
- A few drops of honey (any kind will work, but manuka is especially good for acne)
- Apply a thin layer to your face and let it dry for 20 minutes
- Rinse off in the shower, scrubbing gently to remove.
- Apply your favorite moisturizer.
2. Hydrating Turmeric Face Mask For Sensitive Skin
For a hydrating face mask, combine the skin brightening and lightening benefits of turmeric and lemon. Milk adds B-vitamins, alpha hydroxy acids, calcium and other potent antioxidants.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ¼ tablespoon turmeric
Mix ingredients in a bowl slowly. Apply mixture to face and leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing off.
3. Turmeric Face Scrub
Turmeric’s texture provides excellent exfoliation, and it helps regulate skin’s oil production, making it great for acne-prone skin.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 teaspoons almond milk
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and stir to combine. Using clean hands, massage over clean, damp skin with fingertips starting with your chin and working upward in small circles. Rinse and follow with moisturizer.
4. Tightening Turmeric Face Mask
Turmeric calms inflammation and irritation while skin-soothing ingredients like raw honey and coconut milk help tighten and brighten skin.
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon raw organic honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk
Put turmeric, honey and milk in a small bowl and stir. Add the orange oil and stir again. You want your mask to be a thin paste, so adjust the milk as necessary until you get the right consistency. Before applying, cleanse your face to remove dirt and makeup. Apply the mask evenly all over your face, being sure to focus on any inflamed areas. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Repeat as necessary until inflammation subsides.
5. Turmeric-Chickpea Face Mask
The three Cs in this mask — chickpeas, coconut and cucumber — are all soothing and healing for our skin. When you add in turmeric, you’ll also get the added anti-inflammatory and brightening benefits, too.
- 2 tablespoons (or 15 grams) of chickpea flour
- ½ teaspoon of organic unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon of cucumber juice
- ⅓ teaspoon of turmeric
In a small bowl, mix the flour, cucumber juice, coconut milk, and turmeric to form a paste. You can also add more flour if the paste is too thin. Apply the mask evenly to your face. Leave it on for about 15 minutes — but not until the paste dries. Rinse with warm water. Makes 2 applications.
6. Turmeric Acne Mask
Naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, turmeric and honey soothe inflamed skin and acne.
- Organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of organic, raw honey (preferably Manuka honey)
Apply apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball and swipe all over the skin. Wait about five minutes before you apply the mask. Mix the turmeric powder with the honey. Use your clean hands to apply the mask, avoiding the eye area. Let the mask sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. If the turmeric powder leaves a yellowish tint on the skin, use a milk-soaked cotton ball to go over stained areas. Repeat mask twice a week.
7. Turmeric and Egg ‘Face Lift’
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 pinch ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Mix yolk, turmeric and oil together to make a paste. Apply to the face and let it dry for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
8. Turmeric Anti-Dandruff Treatment
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix turmeric and olive oil and apply to scalp. Leave on for 15-30 minutes before shampooing.
Will a turmeric mask stain my face?
Another important caveat I learned first hand is just how powerful turmeric is at coloring our pores. As Dr. Gates explains, turmeric may stain pale skin if used in a DIY skincare recipe. A good rule of thumb to follow it the one minute rule — if you notice no discoloration after sixty seconds, leave on for another four. Test again, and keep it on all the way until 10 minutes, which should be the max for most products and at-home solutions.
But I definitely recommend a thin layer – the more you pile on the greater your chances of staining, especially on your neck where skin is thinner. I noticed some staining on my hands but it came off easily. You can always wash your face again or wipe it with a milk-soaked cotton ball.
Your kids/husband might find turmeric masks a little disconcerting so it’s also a good idea to do this when you have some alone time!
A note of caution
With all of those star-level healing powers, you probably can’t wait to test out turmeric ASAP. Though generally speaking, internist Dr. Seema Sarin of EHE Health says this spice is usually safe, it is important to proceed with caution, especially if you’re applying it to your face or ingesting orally. As she warns, it can react with certain types of medications, so if you’re unsure, speak with a trusted physician.
Have fun and enjoy your glow! Or if you’re not ready to DIY, here are some of our favorite turmeric-based beauty products to buy: