Turmeric—A Natural Treatment for Hyperpigmentation
Tumeric—A Home Remedy That Treats Dark Spots
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that occurs as a result of excess melanin production in the body. This excess production can be triggered by prolonged sun exposure, inflammation, acne, or even hormonal imbalance. For those of you that suffer from hyperpigmentation, you will know how difficult it is to find an effective treatment to fade out these stubborn dark patches and regain a natural, even skin tone again. Luckily, there is a completely natural ingredient that may prove to be extremely beneficial.
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a spice that is native to Southern Asia with India being the world's largest producer of the spice. It is commonly used in Indian cooking and has traditionally been used for treating inflammation, skin wounds, and liver disorders in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Turmeric has a wide variety of beauty- and health-related benefits, some of which are discussed below:
- Reduces inflammation—The yellow pigment of turmeric, also known as circumin, has been shown in numerous scientific studies to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is also as effective ad Ibuprofen in reducing the pain associated with inflammation, but it does not have the pill's toxic side effects. This is because circumin is an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), an enzyme associated with inflammation. So a pinch of turmeric a day may keep degenerative diseases at bay. However, those taking blood-thinning drugs such as Warfarin must exercise caution as turmeric can reduce the blood clotting time.
- Acts as an antioxidant—Circumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is also a powerful antioxidant. An antioxidant protects cells from free radicals that are formed as a result of oxidative stress. These free radicals can damage cells over time, resulting in aging. Therefore, turmeric may slow down premature aging.
- Has anti-bacterial properties—Turmeric is often used to create a soothing warm turmeric milk drink for sore throats and colds in South Asian households. Because of the spice's anti-bacterial properties, this prevents the infection from spreading further. Additionally, gargling with warm turmeric powder two to three times a day can relieve a sore throat. Another way to use turmeric as an antibiotic is to apply it to cuts and wounds to prevent infection.
- Lowers cholesterol—Circumin lowers serum cholesterol levels and therefore may be beneficial in controlling high cholesterol levels in the blood (hypercholesterolemia).
- Treats acne—due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, turmeric is a very effective ingredient in the treatment of acne. What's more, it costs a fraction of the price of commercially available creams and ointments and is free of side effects such as irritation and dryness.
My Experience Using Tumeric to Treat Hyperpigmentation
After prolonged sun exposure a year ago, I developed dark patches on the side of my face. I tried numerous treatments for hyperpigmentation—some quite pricey—to try to get rid of these marks, but I saw no significant results.
I was finally given this turmeric mask recipe by my grandmother. For the past three months, I have been using this turmeric face mask to help lighten these marks, and so far it has been working amazingly well. Due to the pleasing results, I also wanted to share this turmeric mask recipe with all of you so that you may also benefit the way I have.
This mask recipe is cheap and easy to make, and most of the ingredients can be found in the kitchen cupboard or your local Indian grocery store.
Word of caution: Turmeric stains, so please ensure that you do not get it on your clothes or anywhere else. Use an old towel to dry your face after using this mask.
This mask may be used on any affected areas of your skin, not just your face.
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2-3 tablespoons gram flour (also known as chickpea flour or besan)
- 1/2 teaspoon oil, I would use almond oil, as it absorbs well into the skin
- Approximately 1/2 tsp milk, enough to form a paste
- Lemon Juice, or cucumber juice if you have sensitive skin
- Mix the gram flour and turmeric together in a bowl until evenly combined.
- Add the lemon (or cucumber juice) and oil to the mixture. The oil is important for ensuring that your skin remains moisturized while the mask is drying out.
- Add enough milk to form a creamy consistency.
- Mix well until a smooth paste is formed and ensure that it is not too watery, else the mixture will run from your face. You can add more gram flour to the mixture if you feel the mixture is too thin. The mixture should look like the picture below.
- Apply the mixture on your face (or other affected area) and leave it on for approximately 10 minutes, or until the mask completely dries on your face. You will feel the mask hardening on your face—this is completely normal and to be expected.
- Use warm water and gentle circular movements with your fingertips to remove the mask from your face. Wash the face well and ensure that that all of the mask has been removed.
Upon first use, you will immediately notice the glow on your face. After several consecutive uses, you will begin to see those stubborn pigmented areas lighten out. To ensure optimum results, use this mask once or twice a week, every week.
Please note—If irritation occurs, then you should discontinue use, as the mask may not be suited to your skin type (but this would be rare).
It is always important to remember that hyperpigmentation could be a sign of underlying health problems, and it's always best to get a check up from your GP and get treated. This mask, however, is great for any existing pigmentation on your body.
I really hope this works for you as well as it did for me.
Disclaimer—All material in this article is provided for your information only, and should not be taken in the place of medical advice or instruction. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
Turmeric for Beauty—Create an Even Skin Tone
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a natural beauty treatment by Indian women. A traditional custom that is still alive in India today is ‘haldi’ (the hindi word for turmeric). This is a bridal beautification custom that involves anointing the bride with turmeric paste before her wedding day to give her a beautiful golden glow on her big day. In fact, when rumours of the beauty benefits of turmeric reached Rome, the Romans ordered for the spice to be exported from India into the city—it soon became the most important beauty treatment for Roman women. Turmeric has been shown to actually inhibit melanin in the skin, and some studies have also shown that turmeric is effective in reducing unwanted body hair.