Anti-Aging Skin Care

Turmeric benefits for skin -a “twist” from what is out there

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: April 21, 2020
turmeric benefits for skin

Turmeric benefits for skin are not limited to making topical masks!

I almost can’t believe my eyes that in my search for the uses of turmeric benefits for skin I have only found items limited to topical use. Turmeric, AKA curcumin if you want the active stuff, is more effective taken orally than topically. That is unless you are looking for an acne mask, and even then it’s may-BE about a tie.

So, I will give you topical turmeric benefits for skin with the best topical recipes but will also give you the information you didn’t bargain for. Turmeric’s primary effects on prevention of skin aging (which is what most of my readers want to know about) are realized best when used orally.

It is found as the product Cumetra via store search or as a part of the health and well-being kit or brain health kit. To continue, let me first dispense with the topicals you’d like to know. Then, do stick around for what I consider the BEST information to de-age your skin and give it a glow from the inside-out!

Facial mask to moisturize dry skin:

shrink poresCombine 1 egg white, 2 drops of virgin olive oil, a few drops of rose water, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a tsp of turmeric. Apply to all affected areas and allow this to dry into a hard mask.

Using a warm facecloth, soften up the mask so you are not tugging at your skin to remove it.Gently remove the mask and then moisturize with Lifeline proplus night serum. For severely dry skin also add an extra layer of platinum supreme cream.

Facial pack for reduction in the appearance of wrinkles:

Combine 1 tsp of turmeric powder with 1/4 cup rice powder. Add 1/8 cup tomato juice which is combined with 1/8 cup raw milk to the powder mix.  Apply the complete mixture to your face and neck for 30 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. This will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and brighten your skin.

Night Cream

Make a paste with turmeric and fresh, unpasteurized yogurt. Use 1 tsp of turmeric and a generous 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Thicken with rice powder as needed. Leave the mask overnight and rinse it off the next morning, first using a wet, warm facecloth to loosen up the “pack.”

Body pack and scrub:

Make a paste by mixing gram flour and turmeric powder in equal proportions (about a tablespoon of each) with raw, fresh kefir. Apply it evenly on your body and allow it to dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water while you scrub gently in a circular motion.

Turmeric benefits for skin – for real:

turmeric benefits for skinSo, it’s not as if you will not see some effects from the masks above. However, it’s just that you must admit, irritation limits us topically, and therefore we can’t use much turmeric.

In fact, only 3-5% of turmeric is the active curcuminoids or forms of curcumin.  For this reason, I am just not convinced we’re going to see more than a little brightening and temporary tightening.

Of course, there are no studies.

In addition, when I talk about all of the “inside-out” things we must do to look younger, one of the primary and very common issues which age the skin prematurely is chronic internal inflammation.

Next, I’ll discuss what that is and how it relates to your skin. Then we’ll get into the “fixes” including the best supplement: a good, strong curcumin.


Inflammation is usually the result of overweight/obesity status and/or poor eating habits and consumption of inflammatory foods. Processed foods, junk foods, and fast foods trigger inflammation in the body. So, are you wondering why processed foods are so bad?

Here is what many food companies don’t want you to know: processed foods are loaded with chemicals, pesticides, food dyes and colors, artificial ingredients and other harmful and inflammatory compounds.

Other inflammatory foods include starches, sugar, and non-sprouted grains- even probably gluten. These foods and ingredients all cause inflammation.  That means skin inflammation too. AHA! Got your attention now, didn’t I? Next, I’ll discuss skin inflammation in-depth. Note inflammatory eating speeds the aging process in all cells including skin cells.

you look young if you eat and drink healthy foodsIt is quite common to have chronic inflammation without even realizing it. If you are overweight, eat heavily processed foods, or consume sugary foods and drinks your body is inflamed.

If you are overweight, losing weight becomes harder because the more inflamed you are the harder it is to lose the weight. 

Something else that you likely don’t know is that sugar damages DNA and DNA damage leads to inflammation.

When I do your consultation and labs, I measure all the markers of inflammation and then we fix it together!

Now let’s talk about how all of this applies to your skin and the question how old do I look? And yes, of course, I give you the dietary guidelines in this blog.

Chronic Inflammation of the Skin:

The effects of inflammation aren’t just internal; they are visible in your skin. Chronic inflammation just plain makes you look older than you are. Chronic inflammation contributes to faster cellular aging in animal studies, and experts believe it is contributory (along with UV exposure and other environmental effects) to all the visible (read skin) signs of aging.

To remind you of what that includes, it’s everything from pore enlargement to excess pigment to lines, wrinkles, and downright sagging skin. (Don’t fret- I have the best internal and external cures on the planet!)  Psoriasis is one example of a skin inflammation condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly.

serious skin care productsResults of a JAMA Dermatology study done in 2013 suggested that weight loss would help psoriasis patients find relief since obesity contributes to inflammation.

As an aside, at AWS we consider it serious skin care to treat oxidative stress and inflammation immediately for everyone who does a skin de-aging consult with me.

If you want to know how to tighten skin and how to look young forever-no plastic surgery needed, the first place you start is inside out.

Then you move onto products and esthetic procedures.

Your #1 product would, of course, be the Lifeline Proplus duo.


The term “skinflammaging” emphasizes the connection between the presence of chronic smoldering inflammation and skin aging. As I’ve pointed out, this phenomenon of inflammation and diseases-of-aging is not isolated to the skin. Inflammation is contributory to nearly all diseases of aging.

Notable in this list are issues such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and age-related macular degeneration. Sun exposure, environmental toxins, and repetitive microtrauma are the major external reasons skin ages. Correspondingly, all cause inflammatory reactions within the skin which accelerate the look of aging.

Couple that with chronic internal inflammation and you have the recipe for looking older than you are.

In acute situations, or at low levels, skin inflammation deals with the “abnormality”  (such as dermarolling for instance) and promotes healing, especially if parthenogenic stem cell products (Lifeline proplus) are used. However, when internal and/or external skin inflammation is chronic, it slowly and progressively damages tissue.

Treating inflammation at its source:

There are a variety of measures that you can take to treat inflammation, but the first thing you should do is to review your diet. I have created a lifetime healthy eating plan specifically designed for inflammation- the anti-inflammatory diet. It’s on this blog in full. You may also use this to normalize your weight. In addition, you can add anti-inflammatory products to get rid of residual inflammation. I can guide you through this part scientifically rather than “winging it.”

If everyone ate correctly, didn’t lose hormones with age, exercised daily, and had minimal body fat, we wouldn’t need anti-inflammatory supplements or much of any anti-aging products. However, few people eat a perfect diet, and everyone loses hormones with age, and body fat can be inconsistent. As a result, we all need anti-inflammatory supplements.

By the way, in my opinion, it is easier to take supplements than to deal with having diseases. Don’t you agree?

Turmeric benefits for skin include lowering internal inflammation:

As you just read, inflammation is a huge contributing factor for many diseases. It contributes to obesity which then increases inflammation much more.

Additionally, it increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease. We know it also increases the risk of cancer.treats skin inflammation

We are aware inflammation really increases the risk for  Alzheimer’s, and this is where some of the most exciting benefits of curcumin lie.

Again, we know skin inflammation causes aging skin. Further, this is caused by a combination of internal inflammation and external inflammation mostly due to UV radiation.

So, you do realize to maintain weight, youthful looks and health, you need to control inflammation, right?

This is where turmeric needs to be replaced by the “actives” in its potent derivative called curcumin. Only about 3-5% of turmeric is anti-inflammatory and that 3-5% is found in curcumin. Curcumin per se is only one of the three major curcuminoids in the spice turmeric.

A good curcumin supplement (such as our Cumetra) will have the three major curcuminoids, be non-GMO and have a GMP certification.

The three main ‘markers’ of inflammation you should ask your doctor to test are insulin (total body inflammation), homocysteine, and CRP (coronary inflammation) as well as fibrinogen (inflammation and clotting propensity). If your doctor doesn’t do them, it’s because he/she isn’t trained. If you get a Dr.Kim Crawford consult and labs, we’ll measure these and even more!

Curcumin is extremely helpful to normalize those inflammatory biomarkers. Current research is looking into the possible beneficial effects of curcumin in treating a number of heath issues. Specifically, this includes arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammatory conditions.

To point out, those inflammatory conditions include wrinkles!

How does turmeric-curcumin block inflammation? Curcumin is a safe COX-1, COX-2, and LOX Inhibitor:

The easiest way to illustrate how curcumin works is to discuss inflammatory pain pathways. Now, this isn’t the only way it works but is illustrative for the purpose of demonstrating the connection between inflammation and pain and how that can be blocked. Curcumin works by blocking what is the cyclooxygenase (COX-1) pathway. This pathway is also blocked by aspirin.

Further, curcumin also inhibits the COX-2 pathway.  COX-1 and COX-2 are blocked by non-steroidal drugs such as ibuprofen.

There are some non-steroidals which selectively block the COX-2 pathway. In fact, five clinical studies show curcumin works just as well as steroid medication or the non-steroidal phenylbutazone for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-operative inflammation.

Another pain pathway is the LOX pathway. LOX inhibition is also in some arthritis medication. Curcumin studies reveal excellent LOX inhibition.

In conclusion, curcumin has similar anti-inflammatory action as non-steroidal drugs minus the nasty side effects. In detail, curcumin is safe at doses as high as 8,000 mg per day. Note: Please don’t take this information to mean that if you have inflammatory-mediated disease or skin inflammation and wrinkles, that non-steroidal drugs “do anything” positive for you.

Conclusion about skin:

To sum it up, now you have fun mask recipes and a new understanding of how chronic internal inflammation can make you look older. I’ll assume you will explore this topic a bit more and hopefully get any inflammation you have under control. With this in mind, do the symptom checker questionnaire #1 on the home page to see if you have risk factors for inflammation. 

Furthermore, to deal with the external inflammation on your skin causing aging, you can do two things. To illustrate, wear sunblock and use products which repair that external inflammation. We have some great ones here.


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