This potent mask is a popular Indian beauty ritual that leaves skin refreshed and radiant.
We know turmeric as a potent spice in the kitchen. It’s a type of ginger used for cooking, and we’re most familiar with it for being a key ingredient in curry. But it isn’t just an ingredient that’s pungent in taste and scent. Did you know that it’s also a power player in the beauty realm? Turmeric is used as an Indian wedding tradition to help prepare a bride’s skin for her special day. It leaves her looking more youthful and glowing, and is also a symbol for a happy marriage.
We’re taking inspiration from this beautiful Indian custom and combining it with the science of natural skin care. In addition to turmeric, we’ve chosen 3 other natural ingredients to complement it and create a truly pampersome face mask, with additional benefits too. Here’s our simple yet potent turmeric mask recipe to restore your skin back to a toned, radiant complexion.
Turmeric benefits for skin
Brightens dark spots
Turmeric’s claim to fame is that it’s a plant ingredient that helps to brighten skin safely, as opposed to harsh synthetic ingredients like hydroquinone. How? Its main active compound—curcumin—is able to stop the process of melanin production that happens with dark spots and hyperpigmentation. As a result, applying turmeric to your face may help to even out your skin tone and promote a brighter complexion.
Along with other botanical ingredients, turmeric has been shown to be successful in treating acne. This is most likely due to turmeric’s powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help eliminate acne-causing bacteria and calm down skin. It’s great for purifying clogged pores that may occur with oily or acne-prone skin types. Turmeric is oftentimes a healthier alternative to synthetic ingredients that strip too much moisture away from skin while trying to treat acne.
Environmental damage and inflammation have both been described as the main causes of cancer and chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, curcumin—the main active compound of turmeric—has been shown to be highly anti-inflammatory. In addition to being a promising form of cancer treatment, turmeric can help improve inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne, or even reduce redness and soothe irritated skin.
Thanks to containing the powerful antioxidant curcumin, turmeric may help lessen signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Curcumin has been shown to fight the damaging effects of free radicals that form from exposure to UV light, pollution, and other environmental stressors. As a result, adding turmeric to your beauty routine may promote firmer skin, as well as help smooth out existing wrinkles.
Fights skin cancer
Turmeric contains 3 different forms of active compounds that are effective against melanoma—the most dangerous form of skin cancer that occurs from unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells. Turmeric can even aid in repair of skin damage that can lead to more dangerous conditions like tumors. As a result, turmeric may help treat existing skin cancer tumors, as well as prevent them.
Turmeric face mask benefits
To make this face mask, we’ve enlisted in the aid of 3 other ingredients: honey, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice. These ingredients help create the texture necessary to make a mask formula that’s able to rest on your skin, as well as create a spa-worthy treatment to take your stress away. Not only that, these ingredients are also noteworthy beauty ingredients on their own!
Honey is the glue that holds the ingredients together for this face mask. It’s no fun to apply just plain turmeric to your bare skin, and it actually needs an additional ingredient to help it spread evenly across skin. That’s where the sticky texture of honey comes in. We actually chose to use it as the base ingredient for our acne face mask recipes. Why? Because it’s antimicrobial and able to do its fair share of purifying skin, while also moisturizing and softening dry skin. We opt to use raw honey for more benefits.
Honey on its own is too sticky to apply onto your face for comfort, so it’s necessary to mix it with Greek yogurt to achieve the ideal, creamy texture (sounds more like a mask now!). Yogurt’s nutritional benefits extend to your skin as well. It’s a probiotic that can help balance the amount of beneficial bacteria living on your skin, and lessen harmful ones that cause infection and acne. Yogurt also contains lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid that helps gently clear away dead skin cells, leading to glowing skin, less breakouts and toned skin.
Lemon juice complements turmeric with its rich amounts of vitamin C and citric acid that help to brighten up skin. The two work together to help brighten dark spots, scars, and areas of hyperpigmentation. It’s also a gentle astringent that helps to tighten the appearance of pores for a smoother complexion. It also allows the face mask mixture to spread more evenly on skin (think about it, it’s a much more beneficial alternative to just plain water!).
Turmeric face mask recipe
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
How to make a turmeric face mask
- Spoon out Greek yogurt into a clean bowl.
- Add honey to the yogurt, and blend ingredients together with a spoon until a creamy paste forms.
- Add turmeric powder to the mixture and blend ingredients together.
- Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and mix.
- If the mixture is too thin, add more turmeric powder or honey. If it’s too sticky and doesn’t spread easily, add more yogurt or lemon juice.
- Store any unused portion in the fridge for up to a few days.
How to use a turmeric face mask
- Start off by washing your face with a natural cleanser. Massage the formula into your face for a good minute or two to unclog pores and promote circulation. This will enhance your skin’s absorption and increase the benefits you get out of your face mask. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
- Apply the mask mixture evenly all over your face and neck with clean hands. Or you might want to use an old brush instead, as turmeric easily stains skin, and can be hard to remove if it gets under your nails! Avoid getting the mask anywhere on your clothing.
- Leave the mask on your face for up to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You may notice some slight redness from the turmeric increasing your circulation.
- To help remove the yellowish tint that the mask leaves behind, massage your face with coconut oil, or jojoba oil if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
- Follow with a moisturizer to keep your skin soft and glowing! We also recommend using an effective sunblock afterwards, as the vitamin C in lemon juice can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun.
Best turmeric face masks
Interested in trying turmeric for skin, but prefer a ready-to-use version instead? We totally understand if you want to avoid the mess. Luckily there are many options that are just as pure and potent as a DIY one!
Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask from Kora Organics
Ecocert Certified Cosmos Organic, cruelty-free, vegan
This mask is a multi-tasking brightening and exfoliating treatment that leaves skin radiant and smooth. Turmeric works with papaya enzymes to gently clear away gunk and excess oil from clogged pores, while rosehip oil restores moisture to skin.
Turmeric Face Mask from YLLO Beauty
Prefer to keep things simple instead? This powerful face mask features just 7 ingredients, so you know you’ll be getting a good healthy dose of turmeric from it. The argan oil and vitamin E leave skin extra soft and soothed.
Besan + Turmeric Polishing Grains from Cocovit
This mask takes direct inspiration from Indian beauty traditions by using Besan (chickpea flour) that’s been used for centuries in India. It works with turmeric to even out skin tone and fight hyperpigmentation. Contains lemon essential oil for an extra brightening kick.
As always, be sure to first consult your doctor before using a new ingredient or product on your skin, especially if your skin is extra sensitive. You might want to patch test the face mask first on the skin behind your ear. You can use a turmeric face mask up to 3 times a week. But you know your skin best, so make sure to stop use if you notice any irritation on your skin! We’d love to hear about your experience with this popular Indian beauty ingredient.
Did you know that a natural, glowing complexion is associated with youthfulness? That’s why we’ve compiled the best natural remedies and products to help you restore your glow:
7 Vitamin C Serum Benefits Backed by Science: Why this vitamin is essential to bright, youthful-looking skin, and the best serums to find it in.
10 Best Natural Sunscreens To Protect Your Glow: Effective, worry-free mineral sunscreens and sunblocks to use for daily or active wear.
How Hyaluronic Acid Benefits Your Anti-Aging Routine: Described as “nature’s moisturizer” in a study, hyaluronic acid may be key to youthful skin.