But for it’s highly pigmented yellow color with an earthy smell and taste, this spice could easily be mistaken for ginger. It does stem from the ginger family and infact, is a cousin to ginger! Turmeric has been used for centuries by Asians from India to China as a beauty and health aid. In India, it is associated with purity, prosperity and fertility and used in beauty, cooking and ancient medicine. I’m not sure the exact history of turmeric in Nigeria or how long it’s been in use here, but women in Maiduguri and some parts of Northern Nigeria (Arewa) have used it for beauty for as long as I can remember. Turmeric is highly prized in natural beauty and can be used topically or ingested internally. Also known as Indian Saffron, this yellow (sometimes orange) spice is called Kurkum in Arewa. Turmeric plays a significant role in the beauty rituals of an Arewa bride. It is used to brighten and polish the skin in a series of beauty treatments that can span days, sometimes weeks or even months before the wedding.
It is usually used as a body mask by mixing the kurkum with the white of an egg or full cream milk to make the mask.
Turmeric has anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral, anti inflammatory and anti tumor properties. Scientists have been researching it’s use in the treatment of certain cancers. Protein, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc are some of the nutrients found in turmeric hence, it’s use in treating different ailments.
Here are 6 ways I use turmeric for natural beauty.
- Glowing Body Mask: Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric with milk (peak evaporated milk can be used). Mix both ingredients together to form a liquid paste. Spread this paste all over your body and allow to dry completely then hop into the shower and take a normal bath. This mask improves skin elasticity and will leave your skin soft and glowing. Use daily.
- Face Tightening Mask: Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with egg white and spread this paste over your face and allow to dry. Once dry, rinse your face (you can use soap to take out the eggy smell) and follow with a face moisturiser. This will tighten your facial skin. Use 3 to 4 times a week.
- Facial Scrub: Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a half teaspoon of honey and half teaspoon of lemon or lime juice. Spread this on your face for 15 to 20 minutes then gently scrub off. You can dampen it a bit with water before scrubbing if it’s too dry and pulling your skin. Rinse off and follow up with a good moisturiser. This will exfoliate your skin and minimize pores. It’s best to exfoliate once a week or once in two weeks as over exfoliating can thin out the skin over time. If you have mature or sensitive skin, it is advisable to exfoliate once every 2 weeks or once a month.
- Body Oil: add a pinch or two of turmeric into your body oil and use this as your daily moisturiser. Note that turmeric stains clothes therefore only use a little depending on the quantity of the oil.
- Pigmentation: Mix some turmeric with lemon or cucumber juice and spread over your skin. Wash off after 15 to 20 minutes. Use daily.
- Skin Brightening: Mix 2 tablespoons of oatmeal or chickpea flour with half a teaspoon of turmeric with milk or yoghurt and spread on your face and body. When the scrub is almost dry, scrub it off using circular motions. This will help you maintain a youthful bright complexion.
Here’s a tip! I sometimes add a pinch of turmeric to my sugar scrubs.
Warning: turmeric can stain your fingers to an unsightly yellow color that doesn’t wash off easily. If this happens, use warm vegetable oil to wash it off your hands. Make sure you wear a tee shirt or outfit you don’t mind staining as turmeric stains clothes too!
As with any skin treatment, always do a test patch to make sure you’re not sensitive to any of the ingredients.
You can buy turmeric at most indian grocery stores in your area.
So how do you use turmeric? Let me know how it’s worked for you.
It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart ~Anonymous ~