I’m always enamored by how good it feels to pamper your skin. Most of us can’t afford expensive spa facials—or fancy beauty products—but it doesn’t mean we have to go without the luxury or benefits of these treatments! Whether it’s making a simple sugar scrub or moisturizing with your own rose petal body oil or making a turmeric mask for skin care, 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 called turmeric her “secret beauty weapon.” Isn’t that just for curry? Nope! (Although it is fantastic and one of the most scientifically studied and proven natural ingredients 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, but it’s also a great beauty product. It 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 she says it’s also a medicinal and beautifying herb. In fact, she notes it has been scientifically proven as an anti-inflammatory that soothes redness and itchiness [source].
“Turmeric manages microorganism growth on the skin, helping ward off acne-causing acne bacteria, and it prevents other infections from spreading,” Dr. Gates explains [source]. “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 [source].
- It’s widely used as a skin exfoliant and improves the texture of skin [source].
- It helps with inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema [source].
- It helps reduce pigmentation and even out the skin tone [source].
- It is also said to diminish wrinkles [source].
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
- 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)
- Mix flour, turmeric, honey, and milk to make a paste.
- 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 the mixture to your 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 and Soothing 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. 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, making sure to focus on any inflamed areas. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Repeat as necessary until the 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 its known 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 5 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 the mask twice a week.
7. Turmeric and Egg ‘Face Lift’
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 pinch ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon organic extra-virgin 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?
While the powerful antioxidants present in turmeric impart that vibrant yellow color, be aware that this same color can stick around a little too long. I learned first-hand just how powerful turmeric is at coloring my pores. As Dr. Gates explains, turmeric may stain pale skin if used in a DIY skincare recipe.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to try it on the inside of your arm for a few minutes first, to get an idea for how long it takes to stain the skin. You can use the 1 minute rule — if you notice no discoloration after 60 seconds, leave on for another four minutes. Test again, and keep it on all the way until 10 minutes, which should be the max for most products and at-home solutions.
And, if taken orally at high doses, it may secrete in pores and stain your clothing and skin a yellow color. This typically happens at dosages of higher than 2,000 mg a day.
But I definitely recommend a thin layer—the more you pile on the greater your chances of staining, especially on your neck where the 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 to help remove any staining.
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!
Go ahead and try it!
With all of those star-level healing powers, you probably can’t wait to test out turmeric ASAP.
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:
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.96