While supermodels and celebrities ranging from Priyanka Chopra to Victoria Beckham swear by turmeric – be it in lattes, breakfast cereal or face packs and body scrubs, the humble haldi is finding its way into makeup kits. Sephora, one of the most popular beauty havens in the US, is stocking a ‘Haldi Eyes’ brightening eye cream containing turmeric. Retailing as Farsali Haldi Eyes Brightening Turmeric Eye Cream, the product is a turmeric-infused formula that also contains caffeine. In short, brands like these are acknowledging the wisdom of what desi grandmothers have always recommended – haldi for healthy skin.
Turmeric is a vivid, fragrant, and bitter spice. Although the turmeric plant thrives in many tropical locations, most of it is grown and consumed in India. The active curcumin component that gives turmeric its color may have therapeutic benefits for the skin. It has been used in Indian traditional medicine for purposes as diverse as treating cancer to repelling mosquitoes.
The bright yellow powder derived from the root of the turmeric plant is also known as Golden Goddess and Indian Saffron. Turmeric is also widely used as a food colorant and dye in India.
Indians have attributed turmeric with seemingly miraculous healing properties for nearly 4,000 years. Turmeric is associated with purity, fertility and auspicious beginnings in Hindu culture. The wedding cards of a Hindu wedding are first marked with haldi and kumkum and then distributed to the guests. Turmeric has many spiritual uses in a wedding ceremony especially haldi ceremony. Indian brides often undergo turmeric-based beauty treatments to get that special wedding glow.
Turmeric has a very important compound in it, called the curcuminoids. Just like polyphenol, curcuminoid has several healing properties which makes turmeric so strong that it can fight almost all health issues in one go! It is also a very strong anti-oxidant which is why it is very good for the skin and it contains antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties which help it to treat wounds and allergies. American Academy of Dermatology has established that moisturisers containing turmeric help protect the skin from sun damage and ageing.
Here’s how you can include this wonderful spice in your beauty regimen to get a radiant and blemish-free skin tone.
Application of haldi with honey and lemon on the face for 20 minutes clears blemishes and reduces hyper-pigmentation.
A paste of haldi powder, triphala and chandana mixed with rose water acts as a natural defoliator and removes hyper-pigmentation marks from the body. Apply this paste thrice a week before bathing.
For de-tanning, boil coconut oil with two rhizomes of haldi powder. Daily application of this restores natural glow of the skin.
2. Cures acne
Due to its anti-bacterial properties, haldi is very effective in treatment and prevention of acne. It helps in destroying the acne causing bacteria, while also removing excess oil from the skin.
Application of paste of haldi, sariva (hemidesmus indicus), manjistha chandan (ruba cordifolia), yashtimadhu (liquorice) and neem over the face for half an hour clears blocked skin pores, improves facial blood circulation and prevents acne.
3. Lighten skin
Haldi is popularly used to successfully lighten the skin. A lightening face mask can be made by mixing haldi with lemon juice. The natural skin-bleaching properties of lemon and the anti-oxidant properties of haldi make it a powerful boosting combination.
4. Cracked heels
Possessing great healing properties, haldi can be used to soften heels. Application of aloe vera pulp with a pinch of haldi over the heels soothes burning sensation of soles and heals cracked soles.
For smooth heels, add a few drops of haldi oil in 2 table spoons of coconut or castor oil and apply it over cracked heels every night.
5. Reduces stretch marks
Apply a paste of haldi powder with khadir and triphala, mixed with almond oil three to four times a week before bathing. This helps in reducing stretch marks, reduces laxity of skin and tones the skin.
6. Prevents wrinkles
Haldi prevents reduction in skin elasticity caused due to chronic UVB exposure. It helps in healing and also slows the ageing process, keeping the skin supple and diminishing wrinkles.
Apply a paste of haldi powder mixed with yogurt. Rinse with water thoroughly after 20 minutes. Use this mask thrice a week for one month to notice an evident enhancement in your skin.