Turmeric is the yellow spice you probably know from curry and Indian food. It's also a traditional herbal medicine used in Ayurveda for its bunch of anti-something magic abilities including being anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic.
As for turmeric and skincare, we have good news: studies show that the root extract and its main biologically active component, curcumin can do multiple good things for the skin. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, it shows some promise for acne-prone skin and a small study from 2013 showed that it might be able to regulate sebum production.
It's also a potent antioxidant and skin-brightening agent so it often shows up in anti-aging and/or radiance-boosting products.
Show me some proof
- Vaughn, Alexandra R., Amy Branum, and Raja K. Sivamani. "Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on skin health: A systematic review of the clinical evidence." Phytotherapy Research 30.8 (2016): 1243-1264.
- Akram, M., et al. "Curcuma longa and curcumin: a review article." Rom J Biol Plant Biol 55.2 (2010): 65-70.
- Zaman, S. U., and Naveed Akhtar. "Effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa Zingiberaceae) extract cream on human skin sebum secretion." Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 12.5 (2013): 665-669.
- Jang, Ji Yeon, et al. "Partially purified Curcuma longa inhibits alpha‐melanocyte‐stimulating hormone‐stimulated melanogenesis through extracellular signal‐regulated kinase or Akt activation‐mediated signalling in B16F10 cells." Experimental dermatology 18.8 (2009): 689-694.