Can you fade dark spots, dry up pimples, protect from dangerous UV rays and slow the aging process, all with one natural ingredient? If you are talking about the turmeric, which is a main ingredient in curry, the answer is yes. This relative of ginger has been present for thousands of years, turmeric has enjoyed renewed popularity thanks to some new research that has proven it is nothing short of an amazing array of health benefits. Studies have proven that curcumin, which is the compound in turmeric responsible for the orange color, might reduce the risk of heart attack, delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, ease the joint pain, help stop or slow the growth of cancer cells and help improve memory in dementia patients. The new research, building on these findings has also made some great discoveries about what turmeric might do for the skin,
Here are 7 reasons why you might want to add the turmeric to your homemade mask.
7 Turmeric benefits on the skin
Modern medicine has embraced the turmeric, with over 3,000 publications over the past 25 years dealing with the root. Some of the newest studies have involved the effects of turmeric on the skin. But, we have other ideas how to use the turmeric to look younger.
1. Protects the skin from sun damage
In one animal study in 2009, researches applied turmeric extract to the skin that has been damaged by the long-term, low-dose UV radiation. They discovered that it protected the skin from the UV rays, helped retain the skin elasticity, prevented the formation of wrinkles, and reduced the appearance of dark spots.
After 2 years, one study combined turmeric extract with skin cream, and then applied it to the skin for about 6 weeks. The results showed that the cream protected the skin from the sun, and improved the ability of skin to naturally moisturize itself. The researchers recommended that the extract could be also used into the sunscreen formulas.
2. Reduces the risk of skin cancer
Here is another reason that the manufacturers would be wise to add the turmeric to sunscreens – it has anti-cancer properties. There are many studies that showed that this ingredient helps slow the cancer cell growing, and also shrinks tumors.
A few studies have searched at skin cancer. For example, in 2011, the researchers pretreated mice with extract of curcumin for 3 days. Then they injected skin cancer cells into those areas treated with curcumin, and measured the resulting tumors.
The results showed that in the control mice, the volume of the tumor increased 2.3 times faster than in the mice that get the 15 mg curcumin extract. The researchers found out that the curcumin inhibits the growth of cancer cells on the skin and blocks the progression of the tumor.
An earlier study from 2005 discovered similar results, with curcumin stopping and killing the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells. Melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer.