Although prevalent in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, in the West turmeric is largely known as an ingredient in Indian curries. However, in parts of India the yellow-hued spice is also used as a beauty product. When applied to the skin, turmeric's natural anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties may be used to treat a variety of skin ailments. A popular way to use turmeric is to create a face mask by blending the spice with yogurt, honey or milk and applying the paste to the skin.
Since acne is an inflammatory disease, a turmeric mask's anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe blemished skin and promote healing. In the book "The Yoga of Herbs," authors David Frawley and Vasant Lad advise combining turmeric with sandalwood powder and applying the paste to the skin.
Itchy and painful, eczema appears as red scaly patches on the skin. As with acne, turmeric applied topically can soothe the skin and reduce redness and inflammation. A December 2001 article in "Yoga Journal" recommends leaving a turmeric paste on the affected for 20 minutes and then rinsing with cool water.
Women in India and other parts of Asia use turmeric masks for skin rejuvenation and to soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Regular use of a turmeric face mask is also believed to lighten uneven pigmentation and promote soft, supple skin.
Characterized by ruddy skin, small pimples and dilated capillaries, rosacea may flare up in middle age and is more common among fair-skinned individuals. Regular use of a turmeric face mask may reduce the redness and small pimples associated with rosacea. The Pakistan-based Cyrus Clinic recommends daily use of a turmeric face mask to treat rosacea.
Combine a few tablespoons of turmeric in a small plastic bowl with honey, yogurt or milk. Stir until the mixture is dissolved and apply to freshly cleansed skin. Leave on up to 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. Turmeric can permanently stain towels and clothing, so avoid wearing favorite garments when applying a turmeric face mask.