Health Benefits of Turmeric for Skin and Hair
People are starting to discover the benefits of using turmeric for skin health, but this plant has been around a long time. What exactly is turmeric?
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb native to Southeast Asia, and is made from the root of Curcuma zedoaria (a cousin to ginger) that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The primary active ingredient in the herb is curcumin. Traditionally it has been used as an ingredient in meals, as a healing tonic or supplement, and even formulated into ancient skin elixirs for beautifying rituals.
People commonly use turmeric for osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, and itching. Until recently, western countries have only just started to discover the benefits turmeric can have on your skin. Turmeric is a multitasking wonder. From joint pain, acne, to even hormone imbalances, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that packs a punch.
Inflammation is the root of many skin woes, like eczema, rosacea, acne, and premature lines and wrinkles. Inflammation does a number on your skin, including breaking down collagen, triggering breakouts, and spurring chronic conditions. To keep skin feeling supple and bright, it's vital to keep inflammation down. One way to do this is through anti-inflammatory topicals. Turmeric inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory genes, blocking the inflammatory response pathway. Turmeric's powerful anti-inflammatory properties offer a protective benefit.
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Free radicals are a naturally occurring part of your body; however, they can quickly become problematic. These unstable molecules harm healthy ones in the body, and when they become rampant it leads to oxidative stress, which affects your skin. Turmeric has been shown to increase the body's natural antioxidant capacity, boosting your defense system against free-radical damage.
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Turmeric also has an impressive ability to balance good bacteria and bad bacteria on the skin, thanks to its antimicrobial properties. While this can help skin health generally, it is specifically beneficial for acne, as one of the components of breakouts is an overabundance of acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
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Soothes Skin Conditions
Thanks to all the above characteristics, turmeric has been shown in preliminary research to treat specific skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
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Aids in Wound Healing
Wound healing is an underrated benefit of many botanicals, including turmeric. Your body's ability to heal itself is paramount to skin health, and unfortunately, this declines with age. Curcumin has been shown to aid this process by reducing inflammation and neutralizing oxidation, which allows the skin to repair itself faster with less residual damage.
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Perhaps the most marketed benefit of turmeric is that it can help brighten tone and relieve dark spots thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This combination is hugely important because often, certain kinds of hyperpigmentation occur due to past inflammation. Using an ingredient like turmeric breaks the cycle.
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