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Have you tried turmeric for skin yet? As my stained cookware will attest, I’m a big fan of turmeric in my food, but incorporating it into my beauty routine was an intriguing notion. I was happy to learn that as a skincare ingredient, turmeric extract does not leave a bright yellow stain on everything it touches!
This tasty ingredient is becoming more and more popular in skin care these days, and for a good reason. The Ayurveda staple is now popular in many other wellness practices, thanks to its reputation as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The benefits of turmeric in skin care are many, and as an ingredient, it is gentle and light, so it can work for all skin types.
I dove deep to explore which turmeric skincare products are the best. I also uncovered the origin of turmeric and its health benefits and how they relate to the skin. Finally, I give advice on how you can use turmeric in your skincare routine, including a simple DIY turmeric mask recipe.
Turmeric for Skin Guide: Contents
- 19 Best Turmeric Skincare Products to Buy
- What Is Turmeric Extract and How Does It Work?
- Turmeric Benefits for Skin
- How to Use Turmeric for Skin
19 Best Turmeric Skincare Products to Buy
These are the best turmeric skincare products we could find, with options for every budget and skin type!
1. Face Oil: Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil
This light, gentle face oil gives the skin a healthy glow with a blend of soothing and moisturizing ingredients. Turmeric for skin is in here to calm the skin and to give an antioxidant boost, though this formula is rich with other antioxidant sources like vitamin C and a ton of botanical oils. It’s like enough to suit all skin types, but it’d be best for those with normal and dry skin. Buy it from Sephora or Amazon!
2. Scrub and Mask: Kora Organics Turmeric BHA Brightening Treatment Mask
This multi-use treatment is a fantastic weekly or bi-weekly treat for the skin. It includes rosehip seed powder for physical exfoliation and a touch of salicylic acid for chemical exfoliation. The turmeric helps to keep this formula gentle and calming, as does a hydrating dose of aloe and probiotics. You can use it as a quick scrub or as a leave-on mask for added brightening benefits. You can get it at Sephora.
3. Jelly Mask: First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask
This super hydrating mask is perfect when your skin feels a little dull or stressed. Because it’s gel-based, it’s very light and appropriate for all skin types. It is rich in turmeric extract for its calming effects, but also contains humectants that help to infuse the skin with water. Over time, it can also help brighten the skin with the help of vitamin C and licorice root extract. It also contains clove oil, which has a cooling effect. It’s available at Sephora and Amazon.
4. Clay Mask: Kiehl’s Since 1851 Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask
If your skin is a little oilier, then a turmeric clay mask can be great. The turmeric helps to soothe the skin and calm down redness or breakouts, while the clay bend absorbs excess oils to deep-clean and mattify the skin. The mask includes cranberry seeds, so if you massage it into the skin, you can enjoy a slight exfoliation. Purchase it from Sephora!
5. Brightening Serum: Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Face Serum
Turmeric is fantastic in serums since the skin can absorb it more easily. In this all-natural formula, it’s combined with a gentle vitamin C derivative for a skin-brightening effect, as well as a wide range of emollients and hydrators like aloe, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. It’s a lovely brightening, anti-aging, and soothing serum that anyone can use. Order it online from Amazon!
6. Eye Cream: Farsáli Haldi Eyes Brightening Turmeric Eye Cream
The golden color that turmeric extract lends to skincare products makes them feel very luxurious. That’s definitely the case with this gorgeous eye cream that even comes in a golden jar! This soothing eye cream is very moisturizing, and it also firms up the eye area with the added touch of caffeine. It’s a great choice for all skin types but especially those who suffer from sensitivity or morning puffiness. Pick it up from Sephora or Amazon!
7. Physical Scrub: Volition Beauty Turmeric Brightening Polish
This lovely scrub polishes away dead skin cells while giving the skin a hydrating and brightening boost. Turmeric extract is here for its antioxidant effects, but the formula also includes moisturizing olive oil. The exfoliation comes from walnut shell powder, which can be too abrasive for some. If you’re looking for a two-in-one, we’d also recommend it for the body! Grab it from Sephora!
8. Anti-Aging Serum: Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate
This lovely serum is perfect for mature and dry skin. It’s loaded with potent hydrators, as well as natural extracts that give an antioxidant boost to protect the skin from the external damage that causes premature aging. It has a silky texture that glides over the skin to moisturize and condition, and turmeric for skin combines with oat extract to soothe away redness and irritation. Shop for it at Sephora or Amazon!
9. Natural Moisturizer: Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream
Though it smells a bit like banana, the beautiful yellow color of this cream comes from potently calming turmeric for skin. It’s a fantastic moisturizer for all skin types, including sensitive skin (though it might feel a little heavy if you have oily skin). The ingredient list is lovely, with silky coconut alkanes, soothing centella asiatica, and emollient squalane. It is sold at Sephora and Amazon.
10. Rich Moisturizer: The Inkey List Turmeric Brightening Moisturizer
This is another fantastic turmeric-based moisturizer for those with dry skin. It’s light but creamy with squalane and coconut oil giving the skin a softening effect. The soothing effects of turmeric for skin are boosted by oat extract and vitamin E, so we think it really would be a great choice for anyone with severely compromised or irritated skin. Find it at Sephora and Amazon!
11. Natural Serum: Edible Beauty Turmeric Beauty Latte Serum Clear and Brighten
This is another phenomenal turmeric serum crafted specifically for dark spots. We like it for all skin types, but we think those with oily skin will enjoy it the most since it’s so light. It contains licorice root extract and vitamin C to deal with pigmentation and glycerin and snow mushroom for moisture. You can buy it at Sephora.
12. Budget Serum: Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum with Neoglucosamine & Turmeric Extract
Even on a budget, you can enjoy the benefits of turmeric for skin. This gorgeous Neutrogena serum has a milky, moisturizing texture and an occlusive effect that locks moisture into the skin. It includes neoglucosamine, which has an anti-aging effect, and while it is recommended for skin brightening, we think it’s better as a holistic antioxidant serum. It’s available on Amazon.
13. Budget Mask: Feeling Beautiful Indian Turmeric Gel Cream Mask
For the occasional pampering, this creamy turmeric mask is a real treat, and it costs less than $5! It’s a simple and natural moisturizing and soothing formula that relies on classic ingredients like glycerin to nourish the skin. In addition to turmeric, it also includes soothing lavender oil for total pampering. It’d be best for dry and normal skin. Get it from Ulta!
14. Emulsion Milk: Fourth Ray Beauty Turmeric Face Milk
This luxurious face milk is somewhere between a serum and a lotion, with a light yet sumptuous texture. It contains both turmeric oil and extract for a double boost of antioxidants and soothing agents. It’s best for dry skin since it also includes ingredients like argan oil and MCT oil. It does offer a fair bit of hydration thanks to both glycerin and hyaluronic acid, as well as brightening effects with licorice root extract. Purchase it at Ulta!
15. Anti-Acne Cleanser: Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Wash with Neem and Turmeric
If you have oily skin, this gel acne face wash is a miracle worker! It’s SLS-free and with a low pH, but it’s still thoroughly cleansing, and it includes both turmeric and neem extract to help soothe active breakouts. It’s gentle enough for daily use, and you can also rely on it as a second cleanser after oil cleansing. Pick it up on Amazon!
16. Skin Booster: Verso Antioxidant Turmeric Booster
You can use this booster like a serum or as a mix-in to your moisturizer to benefit from its antioxidant effects. It has soothing and antioxidant effects thanks to the combination of turmeric with microalgae, so it can help fight off the early signs of aging. It has a slightly richer texture but should work for everyone. Order it from Dermstore or Amazon!
17. Spot Treatment: Cocokind Turmeric Tonic
If you have acne-prone skin, this tonic can be a quick and easy remedy! The turmeric in here helps to bring down active blemishes, while tea tree oil fights against the acne bacteria. Despite the acne-fighters, the formula also includes some hydrators in order to keep the skin strong and calm. You can find it at Ulta.
18. Chemical Exfoliant: TULA Skincare Get Toned Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner
The combination of glycolic acid, probiotics, and turmeric is a winning one! This gel toner is fantastic for daily exfoliation because turmeric and probiotics help to mitigate the irritating effects of the acid. It helps to renew the skin, but it also increases moisture thanks to a wide range of natural humectants. It’s sold at Dermstore and Amazon.
19. Daily Toner: Peach & Lily The Good Acids Pore Toner
This gentle toner is great for balancing the skin on a daily basis. While it does contain glycolic and salicylic acid, the amount isn’t too high, so it’d work even for sensitive skin and can be paired with stronger exfoliants. The soothing effects of turmeric for skin are boosted by aloe, glycerin, and allantoin, making for a radically gentle toner. Grab it from Ulta!
What Is Turmeric Extract and How Does It Work?
Turmeric is a flowering plant from the ginger family that is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. You might already be familiar with the powder crafted from its rootstalk, which is used as a spice in a variety of cuisines and also as a yellow coloring agent. Turmeric has a long history as ayurvedic medicine for a variety of ailments.
The active ingredients in turmeric are curcuminoids, phenolic compounds that give turmeric its bright yellow color and are also said to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They are the reason why turmeric lattes and pills have become so popular in recent years, although, in reality, the jury is still out on whether turmeric is actually bioavailable when consumed. However, topically, it seems to make a difference!
Turmeric Benefits for Skin
Turmeric extract is gentle and non-comedogenic, so it can be helpful for all skin types. Its main benefits, however, are as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that helps to improve the condition of red, stressed or irritated skin. Topically, it’s also promising as a wound-healing agent, although probably not when it comes from cosmetic formulations.
As a soothing agent, turmeric can help bring down redness associated with both acne and sensitive skin conditions, leaving the skin looking clearer and brighter. As an antioxidant, it offers anti-aging effects by helping to neutralize the damage caused by UV rays and pollution, helping to maintain the youthful appearance of the skin.
It also has a reputation as a brightening agent, although the only promising study conducted on the topic tested it in conjunction with niacinamide, so it’s likely the effect came from the combination rather than turmeric alone.
How to Use Turmeric for Skin
Turmeric is used in all kinds of products, including cleansers, toners, masks, exfoliants, serums, and moisturizers. Because it’s so mild, you can even have a skincare routine where every product includes turmeric! You don’t need to change anything up when using turmeric for skin but just follow the product directions as you would for any skincare product.
DIY Turmeric Mask
The fun thing about turmeric is that it’s really easy to use in DIY masks! If you’ve been reading our skincare articles regularly, you know that masks are one of the few product categories I think you can make at home safely because they’re not meant to last – you make your mask, you use it, and that’s it until the next time! You don’t need to worry about spoilage or preservatives.
This recipe calls for ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen that help to soften, soothe, and hydrate the skin but are non-comedogenic, so they are appropriate for all skin types.
You will need:
• 1/2 tsp of honey
Honey is wonderful for the skin because it’s hydrating and soothing but also has some mild anti-microbial effects, so it can also help with acne. Organic, floral honey is great, but if you really want to up your game, you can use manuka honey. On the other hand, if all you have is generic honey, you can use that as well, and it’ll still have hydrating effects.
• ¼ tsp of turmeric powder
You can use typical store-bought turmeric, but be aware that it might stain your skin a little yellow, and it can take a day or two for the stain to totally disappear. This isn’t a big deal now that we’re all socially isolating, but if this is your first time trying it, make sure you don’t have an important appointment in the coming days.
• 1 tsp of yogurt
Plain yogurt is really important in this recipe because it helps prevent some of the turmeric staining. It also has probiotic components that help to fortify the skin and lactic acid that helps to increase moisture in the skin (although, as far as we know, it’s not enough to exfoliate the skin, despite what some sources say).
• Other Potential Mix-Ins
While these basics are our easy favorites, you can add other things into your homemade turmeric mask! Chickpea flour is one very popular addition that gives the mask a more spreadable, paste-like texture as well as an amino-acid and nutrient boost. If you have sensitive skin, you can add oat powder instead. If your skin can tolerate essential oils, you can add your favorites for some aromatherapy, while if you have dry skin, you can include your favorite plant oil.
Making the mask is very simple! Just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until they are well combined, using a clean mask brush like in this set from Amazon. Then, cleanse your skin and apply the mask with the brush, using upward strokes and making sure to cover every inch of skin. Make sure to avoid the eye area!
Wait 5-10 minutes and then risk the mask off. Whereas we normally recommend exfoliating first and then masking, you can actually rely on a gentle physical scrub to help remove any yellow stains from your skin a little more quickly. Finally, finish things off with the rest of your routine, including toners, serums, and moisturizers.
If you have any mask residue leftover, don’t save it for later – just throw it away.
Photos via Instagram