How to Treat Acne Effectively with Turmeric

Acne is one of the most common skin ailments, affecting almost 50 million Americans. As per an estimate, almost $400 million dollars are spent on over the counter acne treatments. Surprising, isn’t it?

Dealing with acne can be upsetting however treating them isn’t tuff anymore if you cure the root cause.

The root cause of acne is excess sebum/oil production by the sebaceous glands . The excess sebum traps the impurities and clogs up the skin pores. This provides perfect environment for bacterial growth leading to inflammation, redness and lesions.

Wondering how to control the excess sebum production?

Turmeric is the most effective ingredient in treating acne. Ancient Indians have sworn by its capabilities to heal most of the skin ailments like acne, rocasea, acne scars, dark spots, and others.

Before getting deep into turmeric effectiveness on acne, let’s have a quick look on the reasons for excess oil production. This helps us to judge the capability of turmeric over acne in a better way.

Is Turmeric Good For Acne Treatment?

Most of the turmeric medicinal and therapeutic properties are present due to curcumin compound. Curcumin contains anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and other properties which are helpful in dealing with many skin and health ailments.

Below let’s see a detailed description of each property that helps deal with acne. We have also gathered relevant scientific studies that support the same.

1. Removes Oil/Sebum

The application of turmeric draws out the excess oil or sebum from deep inside the skin pores. Internal consumption of turmeric regulates the sebum secretion by restricting the sebaceous glands.

Various clinical studies conducted on curcumin and its effect on sebum secretion has shown positive results.

2. Kills the Acne Bacteria

In a study conducted by researchers, the curcumin compound present in turmeric was able to reduce P. acne bacteria growth from 50% to 96%.

Another study has showed that curcumin is 36 times stronger than azelic acid in treating acne. Apart from that there are many studies that confirm the same.

3. Reduces Inflammation

Curcumin is known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties which reduce swelling and promotes skin healing. Curcumin blocks NF-kB molecule which travels into the cell nuclei and turns on the inflammation.

As per a study conducted on six human trails, curcumin has showed anti-inflammatory activity by exerting anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting different molecules that cause it.

4. Increases Antioxidant Capacity of the Body

Free radicals which are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons cause oxidative damage that is the main cause of many skin ailments like acne, rosacea, blemishes and others.

Due to its chemicals structure, curcumin neutralizes free radicals and also boosts our body’s development of antioxidant enzymes.

5. Manages Insulin

Imbalanced insulin levels are one of the main reasons for hormonal acne. Reducing insulin levels can provide significant improvement in adult acne.

A recent paper has outlined the curcumin potential in reducing diabetes and improving insulin resistance.

6. mTor Inhibitor

mTor (mammalian target of rapamycin) is a protein which regulates cell survival, cell division and cell growth. Excess activation of mTor can lead to excessive cell growth which is also one of the reasons for acne.

Excess production of mTor can lead to more production of keratin and sebum. The combination of these ingredients can block the pores leading to an inflammatory lesion. Turmeric inhibits mTor and various studies have also confirmed the same.

How to Use Turmeric to Treat Acne?

Want to know different ways of incorporating turmeric packs into your beauty regimen? Below, we have mentioned various methods with step-by-step guidance.

Caution: Turmeric stains anything that touches it. So, we recommend wearing and using old clothes while trying any turmeric masks.

1. Turmeric and Honey

Honey is known to have antibacterial properties which help to kill and restrict the growth of bacteria. It also helps to lock moisture in skin cells which keeps the skin hydrated. This combination is perfect for all skin types.

How to Make?

  • Combine 1 teaspoon turmeric and 2 teaspoons honey.
  • Apply the mixture on acne affected areas.
  • Leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes, rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process daily until acne clears.

Note: For added benefits, add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice or milk or yogurt to the mixture.

2. Turmeric and Lemon

Lemon contains anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties which help to deal with acne.  The L-ascorbic present in it holds astringent properties which shrink the open pores. The combination of turmeric and lemon is helpful in treating acne, acne scars and blemishes.

How to Make?

  • Combine 3 teaspoons of turmeric powder, and 2 drops of lemon juice.
  • Now add ½ teaspoon of mustard oil to make a paste. Instead of mustard oil you can use olive oil or coconut oil or jojoba oil.
  • Apply the mixture on the affected areas, massaging gently in circular motions.
  • Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  • Wet your fingers and scrub gently in circular motion for 5 minutes.
  • Rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process 3 times in a week.

Note: If you have oily skin, avoid mustard or any other oil, and combine only turmeric – lemon in enough quantities to make a paste.

3. Turmeric and Milk

The deep cleansing properties of milk help to remove the oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities from the skin pores. This process works perfectly fine for people with normal to combination skin types.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric power into 2 teaspoons of fresh milk and mix well.
  • Apply the mixture on affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  • Wash with water and pat dry, and apply any oil free moisturizer.
  • Repeat the process daily.

Note: You can use ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 2 tablespoons of milk cream.

4. Turmeric and Sandalwood

The super absorbing properties of sandalwood help to draw out the impurities and oil from the skin pores. It also helps to soothe the inflammation and irritation caused by acne lesions.

  • Mix ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder, 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder, and enough amounts of milk to make a paste.
  • Apply paste on acne affected skin.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process regularly until you achieve the results.

5. Turmeric and Gram Flour

Gram flour or besan contains absorbing properties which suck out the excess oil from deeper layers of the skin. It also helps to remove tan, dark spots, and acne marks.

  • Combine 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, gram flour, and jojoba oil.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and enough amounts of milk to make a paste.
  • Apply the mixture on acne prone skin, massaging in circular motions.
  • Leave it on to dry completely.
  • Rinse with water thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process twice in a week.

6. Turmeric and Yogurt

Yogurt is a very rich source for probiotics. When probiotics like yogurt are applied on the skin, the good bacteria present in it act as a barrier in preventing the bad bacterial growth. Its antibacterial properties kill the bacteria causing acne.

The calming effect of yogurt reduces the swelling, redness and irritation. Consuming oral probiotics has shown effective results in treating acne from inside. (14)

Method of Preparation:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 3 teaspoon of yogurt.
  • Apply on the acne affected skin areas.
  • Leave the application until it dries completely.
  • Rinse with cool water and apply any oil-free moisturizer.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

Note: You can add 2 teaspoons of rice flour or avocado for added benefits.

7. Turmeric Tea

The antioxidant property of turmeric helps to provide relief from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Apart from that turmeric also helps to regulate hormone and insulin balance which are also reasons for acne development.  Follow the below recipe to make turmeric tea.

  • Bring 2 cups of water to boil.
  • Stir in ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon ginger root (minced).
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of raw honey for taste.
  • Consume while it is still lukewarm.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day.

Note: Add milk instead of lemon juice if desired.

8. Turmeric and Aloe Vera

The astringent properties of aloe vera helps to shrink the open pores which in turn helps to prevent acne formation. The glycol proteins present in aloe vera reduce inflammation, irritation and redness caused by acne lesions.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of aloe vera, 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of your favorite essential oil.
  • Wash your face, soak a clean wash cloth in warm water and wring the excess water.
  • Place it over your face for few minutes to open the pores.
  • Remove wash cloth and apply mixture, massaging gently in circular motions.
  • Leave it on for 20 minutes or overnight.
  • Rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process 3 times a week.

Note: You can use witch hazel instead of honey.

9. Turmeric and Olive Oil

Olive oil contains anti-bacterial properties which are helpful in treating p.acne bacteria. The polyphenols present in olive oil protect the skin against free radicals that cause damage to the skin.

The vitamin E present in it restores the skin’s natural oil balance which prevents the excess production by sebaceous glands. It helps to reduce swelling and irritation of acne lesions.

  • Combine 1 tablespoon each of turmeric and olive oil to make a paste.
  • Soak a wash cloth in hot water, wring out the excess and place it on the face for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the wash cloth, pat the skin dry.
  • Massage the mixture on the face in circular motions.
  • Leave the application overnight and rinse in the morning.
  • Repeat the process daily.

Note: Instead of olive oil, you can also use coconut oil or sesame oil.

10. Turmeric and Apple Cider Vinegar

Turmeric contains antibacterial properties which can reduce 90% of bacteria and 95% of virus that can lead to skin ailments. The acids present in apple cider vinegar remove the damaged skin and promote the regeneration of healthy skin.  The following mask also helps to prevent scarring.

  • Combine 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, apple cider vinegar and yogurt.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 drop lemon juice into it.
  • Stir the ingredients thoroughly to make a paste.
  • Massage the paste on the acne affected areas.
  • Leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a week for best results.

Note: You can refrigerate the leftover and use it up within few days.

11. Turmeric and Ginger

Ginger contains zingibain, shogoals, and gingerols which help to reduce irritation and pain caused by cystic acne. The astringent properties of ginger shrink the open pores and exfoliate the impurities from it.

This combination works effectively for people with sensitive skin and oily skin. This process helps to remove cystic acne, acne spots and acne scars.

  • Grate 1 inch ginger and extract juice from it.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon ginger juice and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • Apply the mixture on the acne lesions.
  • Leave the application until it dries completely.
  • Wipe off the application with a wet towel and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process daily.

12. Turmeric and Garlic

The allicin present in garlic contains antimicrobial properties which is very effective in killing the bacteria causing acne. The antioxidant properties of garlic protect the skin against the damage caused by free radicals.

  • Crush 6 garlic cloves into a smooth paste.
  • Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of Manuka honey and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Mix well to make a fine paste.
  • Apply the paste on the acne prone areas.
  • Leave it on for few minutes to dry.
  • Rinse off with water thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process regularly to treat acne and new breakouts.

13. Turmeric and tomato

Tomato contains astringent properties which help to reduce blemishes, shrink open pores and slow-down the aging process. Magnesium present in tomato helps to provide youthful radiant skin.

  • Combine rice powder, raw milk, turmeric, and tomato juice in enough amounts to make a paste.
  • Massage the paste on the acne prone areas.
  • Leave the application for few minutes until dry.
  • Rinse off the application thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process daily until you get rid of acne and acne scars.

14. Turmeric and Neem

Neem contains salicylic acid which is one of the best things to treat acne bacteria.  Neem also helps to regulate the sebum production.

  • Mix enough amounts of turmeric powder with neem oil to make a paste.
  • Apply the mixture on acne lesions.
  • Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with water thoroughly and pat dry.
  • Repeat the process daily.

Note: Do not use this method if you are allergic to salicylic acid.

15. Turmeric and Nutmeg

Nutmeg is known to have curative properties which help to heal skin ailments like acne, acne scars, and acne rosacea. This homemade turmeric face mask is very effective in treating severe acne.

  • Mix ½ teaspoon each of turmeric powder, mint juice, nutmeg, and basil juice to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on affected areas.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes, and then rinse with water.
  • Repeat the process daily.

16. Turmeric Soap

The harsh chemicals present in soaps often tend to dry out the skin excessively. This can aggravate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. But instead of using harsh soaps, you can make one at home. The process helps you to make turmeric soap.

Method of Preparation:

  • Chop “Melt and Pour” soap base into small chunks.
  • Using a double boiler, melt the soap base.
  • Once it is melted, remove from the flame.
  • Quickly add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir well.
  • You can add any essential oils to avail more advantages.
  • Mix well and pour the solution into moulds.
  • Keep them aside without disturbing for few hours.
  • Once they get hard, remove from the moulds and use them.

Turmeric Supplements for Acne

Do you dislike the taste of turmeric or don’t have enough time for face masks? Don’t worry you can still avail the benefits of turmeric with supplements.

While buying supplement make sure it contains curcumin content. Curcumin cannot be absorbed alone, so it is better to take it with black pepper extract, ginger, oil or bromelain supplements.

Recommended Dosage: 500 mg 2 to 3 times a day


Things to Consider While Taking Turmeric Supplements

Turmeric is completely safe to consume when taken in medicinal or food amounts. However, in some cases, it is better to avoid its consumption in any form.

  • People who suffer from gall bladder problems or kidney stones should avoid turmeric consumption.
  • People taking blood thinners or undergoing surgery in a week should avoid turmeric consumption.
  • If taken in large amounts then it can cause diarrhea, nausea, hypotension, and increased menstrual flow.
  • Upon consumption or topical application of turmeric, if you develop rashes, then avoid using it further.
  • Pregnant and nursing women should consult doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
  • If you are taking any antibiotics then it is better to consult doctor as turmeric can interact with few medications.
  • Make sure to use only pure organic turmeric and check the label to know if the product contains any fillers.

General Tips to Take Care of Acne Prone Skin

  • Using a mild cleanser, clean the acne prone skin gently in the morning and before going to bed. While cleansing or exfoliating, avoid scrubbing harshly as it can make the problem worse.
  • Avoid touching, squeezing, pinching or pricking the pimples as it can lead to scarring.
  • While shaving make sure to be gentle and careful.
  • Apply a sunscreen before going out in the sun. Sun’s harmful rays can damage the skin and make it more prone to ailments.
  • While choosing make up, make sure it is non-comedogenic which states it doesn’t clog the pores. And make sure to remove makeup before going to bed.
  • Turmeric can stain clothes, so make sure to wear old clothes while trying the topical treatments.

Don’t let those pesky acne to steal your self-image and make you depressed. Follow the turmeric treatment regularly and combat the acne problem.

If you have any queries, write to us in the comment section below. And don’t forget to share your experience as it can help others to fight their acne using turmeric.

Some Queries Often Asked By Our Readers

1) Can I Leave turmeric on Face Overnight?

Yes, you can leave the turmeric application on face overnight. However, make sure to put old clothes and bed sheet as turmeric can stain them.

2) Does Turmeric Cause Acne?

No, turmeric doesn’t lead to acne formation. In fact they help to reduce acne and new breakouts in many ways. However, in some cases where people are allergic to turmeric or any of its compounds can develop rashes or acne. So, if turmeric is causing acne then it’s probably you are just allergic to it.

3) Can turmeric Mask be used every day?

It depends on your skin type. Turmeric soaks up the excess oil and also contains many skin-beneficial properties. If you have oily and acne prone skin then you can use it daily. However, if you have dry skin then use it for 2 – 3 times in a week.

4) How Long Do You leave turmeric on face?

You can leave turmeric application until it dries completely. Once it dries, you can rinse off the application completely with warm or cool water.

5) How to Remove Yellow Turmeric Stains from face?

Usually, turmeric leaves a little yellow hue on the skin. For removing the yellow tint, soak a cotton ball in milk and gently rub the skin using it.

6) How long does Turmeric Take to Work on Acne?

It is difficult to answer this question as everyone has a different skin texture and root cause. So, we usually recommend trying the treatment regularly until they achieve the results. We also recommend to test whether the treatment is showing any results after few weeks. If it doesn’t show any then it’s better to try another ingredient.

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