Turmeric benefits for Skin

Skin is the largest organ in our body and covers our bones, muscles and internal organs. It gives protection by the lining of our body parts. Skin always exposed to external hazardous substances including germs, dirt etc. Environmental and seasonal changes also provide a harmful effect on skin tissues. Besides these, internal organ dysfunctionality affects skin structure. Some common skin problems are acne, dermatitis, photoaging, pruritus, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and vitiligo. Turmeric is one of the natural ingredients which have the significant potency to treat and prevent these skin conditions.

In several Hindu religious traditional ceremony turmeric paste apply on the skin. This may indicate that our ancestors knew the skin benefits of turmeric. In the present century, a research publication published that turmeric has a beneficial role in skin health and is effective to treat different skin diseases, including acne, dermatitis, photo-aging, pruritus, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and vitiligo.   [1]

Turmeric properties helpful to skin health

Anti-oxidant property

Turmeric contains different phytochemicals which are a rich source of flavonoids, polyphenols, ascorbic acid, and tannins. These phytochemical components have free radical-scavenging activity and high antioxidant power values. The antioxidant property of turmeric is evaluated through laboratory research and scientifically well established.  [2]

Anti-Inflammatory property

One of the most potent active constituents of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin suppresses NF-κB activation and inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and nitric oxide synthase enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the inflammatory pathway. Thus turmeric can treat and prevent inflammation by inhibiting the inflammatory process by downregulating different enzymes and inflammatory mediators. [3]

Anti-microbial property

Turmeric has a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect, as it inhibits bacterial, viral and fungal growth. [4] Research evidence proves that turmeric provides a synergistic effect in combination with other anti-microbial agents, along with its broad-spectrum antibiotic effect. [5]

Turmeric has anti-bacterial effect against a wide range of bacteria, including Aeromonas hydrophila, Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis, Edwardsiella tarda, Staph. aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Staph. epidermidis, Staph. intermedius  V. alginolyticus,   Vibrio harveyi, V. vulnificus, V. cholerae , V. parahaemolyticus. This anti-bacterial effect of turmeric assists to treat and prevent these causative organism-specific infections like a skin infection and underlying soft tissue infections. Turmeric has an antiviral effect against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2. In addition, it also has potential anti-fungal effect against Candida species, which causes fungal infections on the skin. [4]

UV radiation protective effect

Curcumin obtained from turmeric also give protection from detrimental effect of UV radiation, especially UVA- ray, which causes skin tanning and tumorigenesis.[6] Turmeric also has potential to prevent skin cancer.

Turmeric is effective in different skin conditions

Anti-aging property

All of us want long lasting younger looking skin. The application of turmeric on the skin is an effective way to treat skin aging.  One of the key reason for skin aging is an accumulation of free radicals in the skin tissues.  The anti-oxidant property of turmeric prevents free radical accumulation, as curcumin and other active metabolites of turmeric act as a scavenger of free radicals and prevent free radical induced skin aging. Sun exposure also cause photo-aging. The UV ray protective effect of turmeric also prevent photo-aging.

Acne treatment

Inside the hair follicles present at the deeper layer of the skin contain sebum glands. The secretion of sebum gland helps to drain off all the toxic substances from the internal layers of the skin. Some physiological factors and environmental factors affect sebum gland secretion and increase secretion of oil from the gland. This results in blocking of the drainage system. Microbial attacks worsen the condition and result in the formation of acne over the skin. The anti-microbial effect of turmeric assists to reduce the infection and anti-inflammatory property lessen the acne-related inflammation. The anti-oxidant property also accelerates wound healing process internally.  Thus turmeric is helpful to treat acne and skin infection.


Vitiligo is a skin condition occurs due to hypopigmentation. In some individuals on exposure to the sun causes melanocytes (skin pigment-producing cells)damage. Turmeric can protect skin from UV radiation and improves the symptoms of vitiligo. A clinical trial report also supports curcumin is effective to treat vitiligo.  [7]


Psoriasis is a chronic irreversible skin disease. In cases when the multiplication of cell gets accelerated then skin becomes thick and gradually it turns to scaly dry red or silver skin lesion. The pathophysiology of psoriasis is the elevation of phosphorylase kinase, which induces keratinized thick skin.  Curcumin can decrease the phosphorylase kinase level and also reduce keratinization of the skin. A Human study report also showed that curcumin provides the effective result to treat Psoriasis.  [7]


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27213821
  2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfq/2017/8471785/
  3. http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/14/2/141.pdf
  4. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/186864/
  5. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtm/2016/2853045/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535097/
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