If you’ve been to Sephora or your local beauty store lately, you’ve probably seen a bunch of products popping up with turmeric as the main ingredient (not to mention the fact that it’s been popping up in supplement aisles and even coffee shops - hello golden lattes).
Now, you may be thinking turmeric? Isn’t that for cooking?
Well, yes! That said, while turmeric has been used to flavor your favorite curry, it’s also been popular for centuries as a healing spice. So is it actually a good idea to start sloughing it on your skin and drinking it in your coffee?
Here’s what we know.
This bright yellow-orange spice, which is native to South Asia, has been used for hundreds of years for its healing properties and cosmetic benefits. Specifically, it has been used in Indian healing and in Ayurveda for centuries, and it’s an important part of Indian cuisine and culture.
So what exactly is in turmeric that could make it a healthy skincare ingredient? First, it has curcumin, a bioactive component that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also has antimicrobial properties that can properly address many antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
All of this gives turmeric many skin-saving benefits, including:
This spice has also been hailed for its ability to help with a host of conditions, including depression, high cholesterol, gingivitis, premenstrual issues, and even hangovers. In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s often used as an antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic agent - and it’s even been used to help with diabetes, pain, and memory conditions.
It’s a pretty long list of “possible” health benefits, but according to The New York Times, the science isn’t fully there to back these claims ... yet. Most of the studies that havebeen conducted are small lab studies, and many human trials have been inconclusive.
That said, there isn’t evidence that turmeric will actually hurt you either - and it is definitely anti-inflammatory - so if you’re adding it to your latte or juice, it’s not a bad thing.
It can stain skin and leave a yellow residue - though those with darker skin tones can actually take advantage of this and use it as an all-natural self-tanner!
If you have an allergy, it can also cause irritation, redness, and swelling - so try a spot test before you go all-out with a turmeric product.