Acne pimples and scars are an aesthetic concern. Painful acne cysts and scars can also make you uncomfortable. If you are one of the millions of people affected by acne and are considering turmeric for acne treatment, the question “is turmeric good for pimples?” may interest you. This article will not only look into the science behind treating acne with turmeric but also highlight numerous ways in which you can use this home remedy.
What Is Turmeric?
Native to south Asia, turmeric is widely used in Indian, Bangladesh, and Pakistan cuisine. It has also been used for centuries in Ayurveda - ancient Indian medicine - to treat an array of condition ranging from congestion and diabetes to breathing problems and skin problems, including acne. The use of turmeric for acne treatment is fast gaining popularity all over the world.
NB: Throughout the rest of this article, the term “turmeric” is used to refer to the spice (powder) obtained from turmeric plant, not the plant itself.
Why Turmeric for Acne Scars and Cysts Treatment? – Turmeric Benefits for acneThere are websites and magazine articles galore suggesting the use of turmeric for acne scars and breakouts. When applied topically or taken internally, turmeric helps to treat acne pimples and cysts and clear acne scars. Turmeric benefits for acne are majorly attributed to curcumin, the most significant active ingredient in this spice. Curcumin gives turmeric the “distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and mustardy smell” as explained in the Wikipedia.
Numerous beneficial properties of turmeric are recognized in as far as pimples and scars treatment is concerned including:
- Antibacterial Properties: The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to have potent antibacterial properties and anti-fungal properties. It can therefore help to kill the bacteria involved in acne, Propionibacterium acnes (or P. acnes). A study conducted at Chang Gung University showed Curcumin to be 36 times more effective than azelaic acid in inhibiting the growth of P. acnes bacteria.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: Of equal significance to the use of turmeric for acne treatment is the anti-inflammatory action of curcumin. According to the University of Maryland medical Center, “curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation”. This may in turn helps to reduce the red marks, associated with acne inflammation, especially in more severe cases e.g. cystic acne. It also helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Further research in humans is however needed.
- Anti-oxidant: Turmeric is also a great natural antioxidant. As such, it helps to rid the skin of harmful free radicals due to pollution and poor diets. Is this helpful to acne breakouts? Yes. It helps to maintain healthy skin and thus foster acne healing and prevent future breakouts.
- Skin regenerative action: According to a review published in the Biofactors Journal, curcumin in turmeric has potent chemopreventative properties that can help in skin regeneration and wound healing. It may thus be beneficial to acne scars and lesions.
Be cautious when using turmeric for acne treatment or any other purpose. Although it is not associated with significant side-effects, it is known to be notoriously staining to surfaces and clothes.
How to Use Turmeric for Acne Scars and Pimples on FaceNow that we know some of the scientific claims behind turmeric acne treatment, the next areas to focus on is of course how to go about using this natural remedy for acne. Below is a list of the top home remedies for acne that use turmeric as the main or one of the ingredients. As you will soon notice, you can either consume turmeric orally or apply it topically.
1. Turmeric and Water PasteThis is without doubt the easiest way to use turmeric for acne scars and pimple removal. Simply add enough water to ½ a teaspoon of turmeric to make a fine paste and then work it into the areas of the skin affected by pimples. Once the paste dries, wash it off with water and you are good to go. The paste will stop the existing pimple and leave your face glowing. Use this remedy regularly for best results.
2. Olive Oil and Turmeric Paste for Acne PimplesOlive oil is widely claimed to be beneficial to acne breakouts thanks to its abundance of helpful fatty acids and other compounds. Extra virgin olive oil is particularly good.
- To a small dish, add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- [Optional] add a pinch of black pepper.
- Pour in a teaspoonful of extra virgin oil.
- Stir the ingredients to attain a well-blended paste and then eat it.
- Ingest this this oral turmeric treatment frequently to heal and prevent acne pimples.
3. Turmeric and Olive Oil for Overnight Acne Treatment
- In a clean, dry bowl, add 8 tablespoons of turmeric powder followed by 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Sesame oil will as well work fine if you don’t have olive oil.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly until you get a paste with uniform consistency.
- Take a hot shower or bath with a mild soap - not an antibacterial soap - to help open up the pores.
- Pat your skin dry – as opposed to wiping the skin dry ¬– with a towel.
- Apply the turmeric-olive oil paste all over the areas of the face or skin affected by spots, scars, or blemishes.
- Massage the paste lightly over your skin for 10 minutes and then leave it on overnight.
- Rinse the paste off in the morning.
- Repeat this pimple treatment daily until you get the positive results.
You may notice a slight tinge of yellow for a few days after using this turmeric acne treatment. Don’t fret. It will soon go away. This may take a week or so. If it pisses you off, you can fade it away faster by wiping it off with a cotton ball soaked with facial toner.
4. Turmeric and Coconut Oil for Acne-Prone, Dry SkinAs mentioned previously, turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to pimples breakouts and scars. Coconut oil on the other hand has powerful skin healing and moisturizing properties that may as well help clear acne. It is also rich in vitamin E which helps to fade acne scar tissue.
Read also: Coconut oil for acne
Turmeric and coconut oil make for a great combination home remedy for acne prone dry facial skin.
- Combine ½ teaspoon each of coconut oil and turmeric.
- Apply the resulting paste to the parts of the face affected by spots and scars. To avoid excessive staining, apply 20 minutes before retiring to bed.
- Allow the paste to work on the skin overnight, then rinse with water the next morning.
- Repeat this treatment routine every day until you get the desired results.
5. Neem and Turmeric for AcneNeem is renowned for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. As a natural astringent and antioxidant it is beneficial to acne breakouts.
- Pour 3 to 4 drops of neem oil into a small container.
- Add a little turmeric powder and then mix the two ingredients thoroughly to attain a paste with fine consistency.
- Work this paste to the areas of your face affected by spots and blemishes.
- Allow the paste time to dry, then wash it off with cool water.
- Use this home treatment regularly until you get rid of acne pimples.
Caution: Both neem and turmeric acid are not recommended for people who are allergic to salicylic acid.
You may also want to read: Neem oil for acne treatment
6. Turmeric CocktailTurmeric is effective against acne when consumed orally, but rather than drink it alone to cure acne, what about making a tasty cocktail for the hot afternoon? Here is how to go about it:
- Turmeric powder
- A cup of fruit juice (V8 juice is also okay)
- Black pepper
- To the fruit juice, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder followed by a pinch of black pepper.
- Stir thoroughly to blend the ingredients.
- Drink the cocktails to get rid of acne pimples.
- Drink this cocktail 2 to 3 times each day for best results.
7. Yogurt and Turmeric for AcneYoghurt is rich in lactic acid. It thus helps to exfoliate the face and get rid of the dead skin cells that contribute to acne development. It is also claimed that the zinc in yoghurt plays a part in healing of acne. This acne healing benefits of yoghurt alone, it also deeply moisturizes and nourishes the skin, leaving it supple, smooth, and radiant.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder into a small bowl.
- Add 3 teaspoons or so of yoghurt and then stir well to make a well-blended paste.
- Apply the paste to the facial areas affected by spots and red marks.
- Allow it time to work on the spots; 25 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse your skin with cool water and then pat it dry.
- Finish off by applying a moisturizer.
- Do this frequently to clear acne pimples and scars.
8. Sandalwood and Turmeric PasteThis organic paste will not only help to cure acne pimples and clear acne scars, but also leave your skin looking great.
- In a small bowl, mix equal proportions of sandalwood and turmeric powder, then add enough rose water to make a fine paste.
- Apply the paste to the parts of the face affected by acne blemishes and breakouts.
- Allow the paste to stay on for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.
- Use this home treatment for acne once daily until the scars and pimples get healed.
Nutmeg also makes for a great spot treatment. While you can use a paste made from nutmeg and water alone, consider using a face mask made from nutmeg and turmeric as follows:
9. Nutmeg and Turmeric for Acne
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, nutmeg, basil leaves (juice is as well okay), and mint juice.
- Stir the ingredients thoroughly to make a paste with fine consistency.
- Apply the paste as a mask all over your face, paying close attention to acne prone and afflicted areas. This face mask is particularly effective for acne scars.
- Allow the mask time to dry, then wash it off with water.
- Repeat this herbal remedy frequently for the best pimple healing and scar removal action.
10. Yoghurt, Rice Flour and Turmeric Face Mask for Acne Scars/PimplesThis face mask is a great remedy for acne pimples removal and is particularly suited to acne prone skin. Prepare and use the mask to relieve yourself of the breakout and heal acne scars as outlined below:
- In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric with one tablespoon of rice flour and 3 teaspoon of yoghurt.
- Stir the ingredients thoroughly to make a paste with uniform consistency.
- Clean your face and then apply the paste all over the areas inflicted with acne scars, pimples or blemishes.
- Allow the paste to stay on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
- Repeat the process regularly to effectively get rid of pimples and acne-prone skin.
11. Turmeric and Honey for Acne - Top 3 Face MasksJust like turmeric, honey has natural antibacterial properties that are beneficial to acne spots. In addition to this acne treating benefit of honey, it also helps to moisturize the skin. Here are ways in which you can use honey alongside turmeric to get rid of acne breakouts, scars, and blemishes:
a) Honey and turmeric face mask for acne
- Take one-eighth teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix it with 2 teaspoons of honey. Organic honey is particularly recommended for effective curing of acne.
- Stir the ingredients thoroughly till well blended.
- Keep the resulting paste aside for 10 minutes, then apply it all over the areas facial skin that need relief from acne scars and pimples.
- Wash the mask off with warm water after 25 to 30 minutes.
- Use a towel to pat the skin dry and finally moisturize your face.
- Use this natural acne treatment remedy frequently and you just might soon be grateful to honey and turmeric for acne pimples and scars gone away.
b) Turmeric, honey and lemon face mask for acne prone skin
- Take 2 teaspoons of organic honey and add it to a small bowl.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- Pour in ½ teaspoon of freshly made lemon juice.
- Mix the ingredient well to get a finely blended paste.
- Using your fingers or a face brush, apply the paste on the treatment areas.
- Wash the mask off with warm water after 15 minutes
- Finish by applying your facial or skin moisturizer as you normally do.
c) Turmeric honey and milk face mask for cystic acne
- In a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 4 tablespoons of organic honey and blend them into a paste with fine consistency.
- Cover the bowl and place it in your refrigerator.
- As the pate cools down, take a clean washcloth and dip it in hot water.
- Wring out excess water and then place it on your face to open up the skin pores. This is especially helpful for severe acne breakouts e.g. cystic acne as it helps to push the pus to the surface.
- For scalp, back, or chest acne, you may want to take a hot shower with a mild soap instead of a warm compress.
- Now apply the cool turmeric on your face, paying close attention to the parts of the face that are inflicted by pimples and scars and the acne-prone ones.
- Leave the face mask on overnight. You will want to use old beddings and clothes as turmeric is particularly staining.
- In the morning, wash your face with warm water.
- Repeat this process every now and then for more effective relief from acne pimples and blemishes.
12. Besan (Gram Flour) and Turmeric for Acne ScarsAlso known as besan, gram flour is widely recognized for its skincare and beauty benefits. It is well suited for acne prone oily skin. As regards how to use gram flour and turmeric for acne treatment, a guideline is provided below:
- Pour 2 tablespoons of fresh milk into a small dish.
- Add a dash of turmeric powder, followed by 1 teaspoon of gram flour (besan).
- Mix the ingredients properly to attain a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste on the areas of the skin that need relief from scars and pimples.
- Wait 25 minutes or so for the paste to work into your skin, then wash it off with warm water.
13. Turmeric, Gram Flour, Jojoba Oil, and Lemon Juice Face Mask
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of besan (gram flour), turmeric, and jojoba oil.
- Pour in a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Stir the mixture as you gradually add milk so as to attain a paste with fine consistency.
- Apply the paste all over your face as a mask, paying close attention to acne-prone scars and pimples-afflicted areas.
- Allow the mask to stay on for 20 minutes or so, then rinse it off with water.
- Use this remedy frequently to heal acne.
14. Ginger and Turmeric Tea for AcneAs already mentioned, eating or drinking turmeric is helpful to acne be it for pimples or scars. Taking a tea prepared from turmeric and ginger is a particularly good way to cure pimples and scars. Here is the recipe to use to make the tea for acne treatment.
- Pour 2 cups of water into a small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder add simmer it for about 10 minutes. This helps to increase the acne healing benefits of turmeric (curcumin).
- Take the pot off your heat source and then add ginger to add flavor to your liking.
- Strain and drink this turmeric tea for acne treatment twice daily. You may also want to drink this tea regularly to prevent future acne breakouts and heal acne scars.
If you use a commercially available turmeric tea to treat acne, use the dosage recommended on the packaging, for the specified duration.
15. Turmeric Paste for Cystic AcneCystic acne is a more severe form of acne vulgaris characterized by deep, painful cysts. The term nodularcystic acne is also often used to describe the condition; where cysts are accompanied by nodules. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action of the curcumin in turmeric can help to treat and get rid of cystic acne breakouts and any scars resulting from it. Here is a recipe to use for treatment of acne cysts using turmeric:
- Add 3 cups of water into a small saucepan.
- Add 3 tablespoons of turmeric powder and bring the water to a boil. This helps to release the acne curing potency of curcumin.
- Continuing boiling the mixture over low heat until it turns into a thick paste. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Work the mixture onto the acne cysts.
- For more acne cyst healing action, cover the cysts with a gauze.
- Use this natural cyst treatment remedy once per day until you get the desired results.
Turmeric Supplements (Capsules) for AcneWe have so far discussed using turmeric for acne topically and orally in the form of home recipes. As regards supplements, turmeric is also available in the form of capsules and pills (tablets).
You will, however, want to consider taking black pepper alongside the turmeric supplement capsules or pills of your choice. This helps to to increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric thanks to the piperine in black pepper. Piperine works by inhibiting the action of certain digestive enzymes. This in turn slows down the metabolism of curcumin in the liver and intestinal wall.
A study published in the Planta medica journal found that in the dosages used, piperine enhances the concentration and bioavailability of curcumin.
Instead of taking turmeric supplement pills or tablets and black pepper separately, look for supplements that have piperine already added. Good examples of turmeric supplement pills with piperine are:
- BioGanix Turmeric Curcumin
- Vimerson Health Turmeric Curcumin With BioPerine
- Wellness Daily TRU-ORGANIC
Vicco Turmeric Cream for Acne Marks, Scars and SpotsVicco turmeric cream has been around for some time. This ayurvedic cream is claimed to help prevent treat acne pimples and scars while lightening acne hyperpigmentation.
Vicco cream is not only natural but also non-greasy which makes it particularly good for oily skin that is acne prone. In addition to helping heal acne scars and spots, and blemishes, this cream is also claimed to leave your skin feeling soft supple, and glowing.
I have personally never used Vicco cream but if you want, go ahead and try it. If you find that it makes your breakout worse, stop using it and try another acne treatment or home remedy.
Just like reviews, before and after pictures (photos) give a powerful window with which to gauge the effectiveness of an acne treatment remedy. They give you a rough idea of the kind of results that users of a specified treatment are attaining. To take us in that direction, here are a couple before and after pictures from subjects who have used turmeric for acne treatment:
Turmeric for Acne Scars Before and After
Side Effects of TurmericTopical use of turmeric for acne treatment is not associated with significant side effects. There are few exceptions where users develop skin irritation after using turmeric topically. Perhaps the only major side effect of turmeric to be concerned about is its staining of clothes and surfaces. You may, however, experience nausea and diarrhea if using turmeric internally.
Have you tried using turmeric for acne scars and pimples treatment? Share your experience with us. Also, if you found this article helpful or would like us to add something or discuss a specific acne cure in the future, kindly leave us a comment below and let us know.
- Biofactors Journal: Skin Regenerative Potentials of Curcumin
- Chang Gung University: In Vitro Anti-Propionibacterium Activity by Curcumin Containing Vesicle System
- Planta Medica Journal: Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.
- Priyadarsini, K.: The Chemistry of Curcumin: From Extraction to Therapeutic Agent
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Turmeric
- Wikipedia: Turmeric