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Most people enjoy turmeric’s benefits by adding it to recipes, but can applying a turmeric skin cream slow skin aging?
Turmeric contains many bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study presented at a meeting by the American Academy of Dermatology, turmeric extract reduces the visible signs of skin aging.
Turmeric is a spice popular in Indian and Thai cooking. However, it’s also well known for its potential health benefits. One of the best known are curcuminoids with anti-inflammatory activity.
For the study, 89 middle-aged women applied a cream containing turmeric to one side of their face and another cream with niacinamide, but no turmeric, to the other twice daily for 60 days.
This type of study, called a split-face study, makes it easier to see the two creams’ differing effects.
Beforehand, the researchers took close-up photos of the women’s faces and repeated the photographs every four weeks until the end of the study to monitor skin texture changes.
When they compared the results, the side of the face exposed to the turmeric cream showed a 15% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles relative to the side that got the cream without turmeric.
The turmeric was also better for lightening areas of increased skin pigmentation.
A subsequent study looked at the effects of turmeric cream versus a control cream on 105 Asian women’s skin using a split-face analysis.
Since Asian women have more pigment in their skin, they’re prone to developing hyperpigmented areas and sunspots relative to Caucasian women.
This study found that the side of the face that got turmeric cream fared better than the turmeric-free cream side.
By eight weeks, the turmeric treated side showed a 14.6% reduction in hyperpigmentation. The skin looked lighter, smoother, and healthier.
How Turmeric Fights Skin Aging
Why might turmeric slow skin aging? Research shows turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Both play a role in skin aging.
When you expose your skin to the sun, ultraviolet rays create free radicals that damage the proteins, collagen, and elastin, that keep skin firm and youthful. The antioxidant activity of turmeric may fight the oxidative damage that hastens skin aging.
How to Get the Benefits of Turmeric for Skin Aging
You could buy a moisturizer and add turmeric powder to it, but it’s unlikely this would be effective since the particles wouldn’t be in a form your skin could absorb. Also, turmeric has a distinct yellow-orange color that would frighteningly color your face!
Fortunately, you can buy moisturizers and skin creams that contain turmeric in a form your skin can absorb and won’t color your skin.
Some people also add turmeric oil to moisturizer, like this one, although it’s unclear whether this will have the same benefits as a cream formulated with turmeric.
Other Benefits of Turmeric for the Skin
Turmeric isn’t just a one-trick pony.
Dermatologists say that turmeric may help some inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis, too, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but check with a dermatologist to make sure turmeric is right for your skin.
You can buy a variety of anti-aging skin creams that contain turmeric online similar to this one. Look for one that has turmeric high in the ingredient list to make sure it contains enough to offer benefits.
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