Skin, Lip and Body Care

Why Turmeric is So Good for Your Skin

+ CV Skinlabs Team

 If you’ve looked at the label on your CV Skinlabs products, you may have noticed that we have turmeric in every one of them.

It’s a key part of our exclusive Tri-Rescue Complex, which delivers a powerful anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and skin-repairing action.

Whey are we so devoted to this ingredient? Read on!

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is best known as a spice—one of the main components in curry powder, which is popular as a spice in Indian cooking.

Like its cousin ginger, turmeric is a rhizome, which is basically a root. It comes from a flowering perennial plant (Curcuma longa) in the ginger family that grows naturally in India and Southeast Asia. It likes warm temperatures and lots of rainfall and grows to about three feet tall. The leaves are long and oblong shaped, narrowing at the tip.

The root of the turmeric plant has been used for thousands of years to make condiments, spices, a textile dye, aromatic stimulant, and perfume. It has a pepper-like aroma and a bitter, warm taste. Today, you’re likely to find it not only in curry but in your mustard, too, as it colors and flavors most types.

How is Turmeric Helpful in Skin Care?

In ancient times, people turned to turmeric to treat a number of conditions including breathing problems, rheumatism, pain, and fatigue.

Modern-day research has discovered that turmeric contains compounds—including curcumin—that may help enhance human health. So far, we have evidence that it might:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Provide antioxidant protection
  • Increase brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone that may help protect against depression and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improve the health of blood vessels, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease
  • Interfere with the growth, development, and spread of cancer cells
  • Reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery
  • Control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen

In addition to these potential benefits, turmeric has also found a place in healthy skin care products for a number of reasons.

1. Turmeric May Decrease UV Damage from the Sun

Enemy number-one when it comes to skin aging is the sun. It causes those premature fine lines and wrinkles, and of course, it can also lead to sunburn and skin cancer.

Studies have indicated that turmeric fights the growth and spread of cancer cells, and may have a particular action in skin cells. In a 2012 study, for example, researchers tested a curcumin extract on an aggressive skin cancer cell line. They found that topical application was as effective as taking turmeric orally (such as in a supplement) for helping to suppress tumor growth.

This and other similar studies were particularly important to us because it shows that applying turmeric onto the skin can help protect it from cancer. The researchers concluded that their data supported the use of curcumin as a cancer-protective agent for skin.

2. Turmeric Products Healthy Skin from Radiation Treatment

Ask any cancer patient who’s been through radiation, and she’ll tell you that the skin takes a beating. It often turns red and can sometimes blister around the treatment area, yet treatment can be difficult as doctors usually prefer the skin have nothing on it during treatment.

Studies show that turmeric can help protect those healthy skin cells, and the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that it can protect from damage by radiation therapy in cancer patients. That was also important to us, as we formulated these products to be safe and helpful for medically treated skin.

3. Turmeric Can Help Clear Up Acne

Because it’s a natural antibacterial, turmeric can help reduce bacteria on the skin so it’s less likely to break out. In a 2016 review of 18 studies, researchers found evidence that both oral and topical application of turmeric could help significantly improve skin conditions including acne.

Other studies have shown that curcumin can kill acne bacteria specifically. In a 2013 study, researchers found that it significantly inhibited the growth of these bacteria, and also found that curcumin tended to accumulate in the lipid layers of skin, meaning that it stayed there where it could be effective. The scientists concluded that curcumin had potential as an alternative treatment for acne.

4. Turmeric Can Help Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation damages skin from the inside out, and is a factor in acne breakouts, rosacea, dryness, psoriasis, fine lines and wrinkles, and sagging. Reduce inflammation, and your skin becomes naturally healthier.

Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, as shown in many studies. In a 2007 study, researchers reported that curcumin reduced inflammation by inhibiting a certain type of inflammatory cell.

Some studies have looked at curcumin as a potential treatment for psoriasis, and have found positive results. In 2015, scientists reported that a gel containing curcumin improved both the actual psoriatic lesions on the skin, and also improved quality of life in patients.

5. Turmeric Can Improve Collagen Action

As we age, we tend to produce less collagen, and what we do produce often doesn’t work as well as it should. That’s part of the reason why we develop fine lines and wrinkles, and why our skin starts to sag.

Curcumin interacts with collagen in the skin, working to bring collagen together so that it provides more support to the skin. This action also helps speed wound healing, as curcumin helps to bring new skin together to close the wound.

6. Turmeric Can Help Lighten Dark Spots

We are always looking for more safe and gentle lightening ingredients, as we know that hydroquinone can be damaging to the skin over time. Turns out that turmeric has skin-lightening properties, too.

It’s the melanin in the skin that creates the color, and we get dark spots when the skin produces too much melanin in certain areas. In a 2011 study, researchers found that like other lightening ingredients, curcumin helped inhibit the action of melanin, as well as inhibiting an enzyme needed for melanin to do its job.

Turmeric May Also Have an Anti-Aging Action

Because of its antioxidant power, anti-inflammatory action, and collagen-stitching benefits, turmeric may also help delay premature aging in skin. One thing that seems perfectly clear is that it can help create healthier skin overall, and we know that healthy skin is not only beautiful skin but that it protects your overall health, as well.

Find turmeric in our Tri-Rescue Complex in all four of our products.

What do you think of turmeric in skin care products?

Liu, C., & Huang, H. (2013). In Vitro Anti-Propionibacterium Activity by Curcumin Containing Vesicle System. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 61(4), 419-425. doi:10.1248/cpb.c12-01043

The Mayo Clinic. (2018, November 3). Curcumin: Can it slow cancer growth? Retrieved from

Nishad Fathima, N., Saranya Devi, R., Rekha, K. B., & Dhathathreyan, A. (2009). Collagen-curcumin interaction — A physico-chemical study. Journal of Chemical Sciences, 121(4), 509-514. doi:10.1007/s12039-009-0061-4

Ryan, J. L., Heckler, C. E., Ling, M., Katz, A., Williams, J. P., Pentland, A. P., & Morrow, G. R. (2013). Curcumin for Radiation Dermatitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Thirty Breast Cancer Patients. Radiation Research, 180(1), 34-43. doi:10.1667/rr3255.1

Sarafian, G. (2015). Topical Turmeric Microemulgel in the Management of Plaque Psoriasis; A Clinical Evaluation. Iran J Pharm Res, 14(3), 865–876. Retrieved from

Sonavane, K., Phillips, J., Ekshyyan, O., Moore-Medlin, T., Roberts Gill, J., Rong, X., … Nathan, C. O. (2012). Topical Curcumin-Based Cream Is Equivalent to Dietary Curcumin in a Skin Cancer Model. Journal of Skin Cancer, 2012, 1-9. doi:10.1155/2012/147863

Thangapazham, R. L., Sharma, A., & Maheshwari, R. K. (2007). Beneficial Role of Curcumin in Skin Diseases. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2007(595), 343-357. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_15

Tu, C., Lin, M., Lu, S., Qi, X., Zhang, R., & Zhang, Y. (2011). Curcumin Inhibits Melanogenesis in Human Melanocytes. Phytotherapy Research, 26(2), 174-179. doi:10.1002/ptr.3517

Vaughn, A. R., Branum, A., & Sivamani, R. K. (2016). Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytotherapy Research, 30(8), 1243-1264. doi:10.1002/ptr.5640

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