These are the most dangerous side effects of using turmeric on your skin, make sure you read this post very carefully and apply the tips in it to avoid them.
The good news?
First of all, this post has recently been updated with the latest side effects of turmeric on the skin, 2018, and second of all, once you know what your skin is suffering from, I’ll personally guide you into applying the right techniques to lower itchiness and pain as much as possible.
Here are the most important topics we are going to discuss in this post:
Turmeric is an amazing ingredient to use on your skin; especially at lowering inflammations and getting rid of bacterial and fungal infections, but it can also cause serious and sometimes even dangerous side effects, especially when using excessive amounts.
In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the most frightening side effects turmeric can have on your skin, there is only one thing to do to avoid such effects harming you: never using cheap products that have the words “turmeric” or “curcumin” on them and if you are opting to use ground turmeric as it is, then you need to respect the dosage, we will talk more about this later in this post.
First of all, turmeric is an amazing spice and healing ingredient when it comes to lowering inflammations and healing painful areas of your body, however, if you abuse it, it can have some side effects, especially on your skin.
And here, I’m referring to some very dangerous products sold nowadays that may cause serious and sometimes even life long skin problems and scaring.
The most common type of these products are skin lighteners, also known as skin whiners, most do contain highly elevated concentrations of curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric.
Let’s now start by asking this very important question:
Is turmeric safe for your skin?
The thing is we keep hearing and reading so many horror stories about someone’s skin being burned or permanently damaged because of turmeric and this keeps us hypnotized and I can even say at constant fear of using anything with the word turmeric in it, at least this what happened to me for a a very long time.
The reality is something completely different, in fact, turmeric has been used on the human skin for as long as humans have been using this spice, without side effects and without getting life long skin scars and other nightmarish issues.
The thing you have to understand is that with the development of technology, people have started using highly concentrated forms of the spice, and here I’m talking about the active ingredient found in turmeric, curcumin, which is the main component of so many turmeric supplements, pills, creams and even a multitude of skin products.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against this, the only problem I have is that a lot of the less than quality products use higher amounts and concentrations which can cause the side effects we are going to discuss in this post, although, to be fair, according to many curcumin toxicity studies, doses of up to “2500 mg of curcumin per day have also been found to be safe…” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044
However, these studies were mainly done in vitro and were not tested long term, only short term, in fact, there are more and more studies that show that curcumin supplements may be dangerous to our health, this is also the case, in my opinion, with curcumin rich cosmetic products and especially creams that are designed for skin whitening, read more about this here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ijc.24967
Vox published a video that deal with such phenomena and products, they talk about the dangerous of these skin whiteners and bleachers at 03:43:
You can also read their very interesting article on this subject here: https://www.vox.com/2016/5/2/11535904/lil-kim-skin-bleaching
My very first advice then would be to only shop from trusted retailers which provide a solid warranty and can interfere in case you have an issue with a brand.
What about the spice turmeric?
As long as you are using a small amount with a good carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil, you have absolutely nothing to worry about, of course, this requires that your skin is not sensitive, or allergic to turmeric, in this case, you need to stay away from using turmeric directly on your skin, this also applies to using turmeric products such as turmeric soaps, turmeric masks and even turmeric water on your skin.
Le’s now talk about the most common side effects of using turmeric on your skin:
The first one is folliculitis.
First, these side effects are only going to occur if you use high amounts of turmeric directly on your skin, more than three tablespoons a day!
Folliculitis simply means that you are going to suffer from pain in your skin due to congested hair follicles, in other words, you are going to have small pimples that are not very dangerous, but can cause serious pain if not treated and if you do not lower the amount of turmeric used, these are often referred to as hives or simply skin rash.
Can turmeric cause breakouts?
Yes, sometimes, if you apply too much turmeric on your skin, folliculitis can worsen and even cause pimples and rash and if not treated, may even end up permanently damaging your skin and causing scars.
What about acne?
No, since acne is caused by bacteria and turmuric is in itself a very powerful antibacterial spice, especially when used topically, it is not responsible for acne breakouts, although most people may confuse skin rash with acne, especially if they have turmeric sensitivity!
What to do then?
The wonderful thing about turmeric is that avoiding these side effects can be very easy, you just have to lower the amounts, and if you notice your skin starting to inflame and become red and painful, you need to stop immediately and apply icy water on it, this is more than enough because your body is going to do what’s necessary to heal you and avoid any permanent damages.
However, you need to be aware that turmeric is extremely beneficial for your skin, although most people are going to be scared from reading such an article about its side effects, you need to understand that it can be very beneficial, however, everything in moderation, including moderation , so, use your mind and do not put too much turmeric on your skin.
The second side effect is flakiness.
Flakiness happens when the outer layer of your skin becomes fragile and brittle, it’s characterized by excessive skin dryness.
This is due to your skin being deprived of its essential fats, the ones that coat it and protect it from the environment and bacteria.
This problem occurs because some cosmetic brands may use very powerful detergent agents in their products and by using such products often, more fat is going to be “cleaned” away from your skin and it will end up dry and very flaky.
This also can happen when you abuse applying the spice turmeric directly on your skin as it will dry it by sucking more moister from it, so, you are going to suffer from flakiness, but rest assured, the moment you stop using it, your skin is going to get back to normal.
The third side effect is itchiness.
You need to understand that turmeric is extremely powerful; however it can cause some itchy sensations especially if your skin is too sensitive or is inflamed.
The same compounds that are going to get rid of bacteria and fungi on your skin are also going to cause itchiness and inflammations as well if your skin is very weak and not protected, for example, if you have cuts, you are going to feel an itchy sensation after applying turmeric.
The next one is skin burn.
You may notice your face burning after applying turmeric or other curcumin products or creams, this is very common, especially when dealing with skin whiteners.
I assure you that most of the time, this is not caused by turmeric, but it’s mainly caused by bleaching agents found in these products, the most common ones are Kojic Acid and Alpha-hydroxyl Acids.
Here is a list of the most used bleaching agents: http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/cosdata/bleaching.html
You may have noticed that these ingredients, most of them, are going to end with the word “acid” and this is for a reason, to destroy pigments in your skin and to lighten it.
Redness and burning is highly linked to the itchy sensation, because once you have an inflammation in your skin, you are going to notice an almost immediate redness and burning feeling, if not treated, this inflammation is going to translate into the next side effect.
Temporary hair loss
Yes, you may suffer from temporary hair loss if you start applying too much turmeric, more than three tablespoons a day in one small area of your skin, remember that turmeric is very powerful and can cause tremendous stress to your skin if used extensively.
Now, you understand that using turmeric, high amounts, on your skin, especially on a very small area, can be quite dangerous, however, do not imagine that turmeric is to be completely avoided, in fact, I really believe that it’s safer than most cosmetic products and creams sold nowadays.
Here is a very safe recipe I use from time to time, it’s not going to cause these side effects to your skin, however, it is going to give you fantastic results, especially if you are trying to lighten your skin color and improve its condition, such as when suffering from pimples, acne, oily skin, and even rash and other infectious skin problems.
Take one tablespoon ground turmeric to which you are going to add two tablespoons melted coconut oil, mix everything very well and put in a glass container, don’t forget to close the lid.
Every day, I simply want you to use two teaspoons on your skin.
What’s fantastic about this recipe is that it’s not only very safe to use on a daily basis, but it’s also going to last you up to one month since coconut oil is extremely rich in vitamin E which is not only very nourishing to your skin, but is also going to preserve the essential characteristics and compounds found in both coconut oil and ground turmeric.