Can Turmeric Help Acne?

Turmeric has been used for centuries in India to help with many ailments. It is a spice found in most kitchens and can even be purchased as an extract at your local health food store. The active ingredient, curcumin, is what gives Turmeric its healing properties. 

Many people report that taking turmeric extracts or consuming the spice helps them feel better and have fewer aches and pains than before starting their treatment plan with this natural supplement. 

But does it work on our skin? Unfortunately, there are conflicting reports about whether or not Turmeric does anything for Acne, but we will explore these claims below to see any truth to them!

What Is Turmeric, and Why Is It Used For Acne?

Turmeric is a native Indian herb that’s most often used to add a kick to traditional dishes, but did you know it also has some potentially fantastic health benefits?

There has to be some science behind its overall benefits, based on the frequency they are reported.

However, the jury is still out on whether it helps acne in particular. There is some evidence to back it up, but nothing conclusive (yet).

How Does Turmeric Work To Reduce Acne?

Tumeric can fight acne-causing bacteria, which is common in all types of skin. In addition, it has antibacterial qualities that fight off the bacteria that exacerbate pimples and breakouts, and much more. Turmeric also helps to reduce inflammation on the surface of your skin, resulting in a quick recovery from blemishes! What’s more, is that it contains curcumin, which is a strong antioxidant. 

Together, these properties work to heal the damage done by acne and keep pores clear of the bacteria that causes acne. 

Plus, turmeric is a natural exfoliant. It helps to slough away dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of acne scars! 

The Benefits of Using Turmeric As a Treatment For Acne

Turmeric can help with all types of acne, including hormonal breakouts. It’s also safe for sensitive skin and does not irritate your pores! Some people find that applying turmeric topically reduces their inflammation in only a few days. 

Others notice an improvement after three weeks of use or more! You may want to experiment using it every other day at first to see how your skin responds. 

When reaping the benefits of turmeric orally, research shows that 500mg capsules are safe to take daily. Just be sure to start slowly by introducing them into your diet gradually over several weeks, if necessary. 

And don’t forget about cooking with this spice! Curcumin is fat-soluble, so it has better absorption when taken with fatty food, such as greek yogurt or avocado.

Side effects of taking turmeric, including stomach upset and diarrhea

Turmeric is generally considered safe for most people when taken orally, but there are some precautions to take. First of all, turmeric can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diabetic drugs, so consult your doctor before beginning a new supplement regimen! 

If you’re taking aspirin or other NSAIDs simultaneously as turmeric, they may increase your risk of bleeding. Finally, if you have gallstones or bile duct obstruction, turmeric should not be used topically because it could cause further problems. 

However, using turmeric powder on acne scars has improved them over time, even without any additional treatments.

Tips on how to use turmeric topically or orally in your daily routine

There are several ways to use turmeric as an acne treatment. You can make a paste with water and turmeric powder or purchase it in capsule form for oral intake. Some people find that applying turmeric topically reduces their inflammation by morning! 

It may take weeks to see noticeable results, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any right away.

Start slowly because too much may irritate your skin. If you prefer to take turmeric orally, read labels carefully about how many capsules contain 500 mg of curcumin because different brands vary widely on serving size per pill! 

It’s best to introduce it gradually to give your system time to adjust. The best way to absorb curcumin is by combining it with black pepper or fat, like avocado. So make sure that you’re adding black pepper into the Turmeric doses to maximize its benefits!

Turmeric May Help To Reduce Hormonal Breakouts, Plus More

Turmeric may help to reduce hormonal breakouts. It also treats acne-related inflammation and can clear pores, making it an all-natural option for many people! In addition, it’s able to prevent hormonal breakouts by controlling the sebum from becoming too thick. 

It also contains curcumin, a strong antioxidant that can heal the damage done by acne and keep pores clear of bacteria-causing breakouts! In some cases, turmeric has even been shown to reverse sun damage when applied topically or taken orally. 

Curcumin can be helpful for all types of acne, including hormonal breakouts. While it may take up to three weeks for some people to notice an improvement, others see results after only a few days! 

If you prefer to take turmeric orally, start with the smallest dose possible. It’s also vital not to use too much at once because this could irritate your skin.

A Few Ways to Implement Turmeric Into Your Diet Are:

  • Add a tsp of turmeric to your smoothies or iced tea each day.
  • Sprinkle it on roasted vegetables for dinner this week.
  • Make an anti-inflammatory, detoxifying juice with fresh squeezed lemon and ginger!
  • Add it to your soups or chilis.
  • Make a homemade turmeric face mask by combining raw honey, coconut oil, and turmeric powder.

This list is not comprehensive but shows how easy it can be to add this spice into your daily routine! If you’re looking for more ideas, then check out our blog post about the top ways to use turmeric in cooking!

How To Make a Turmeric Face Mask

To make a turmeric face mask, you will need:

Turmeric powder (a small container should be around $15 at any grocery store or natural food market)

A few drops of water, milk, or honey to mix with the turmeric. These ingredients can help dilute the strength of turmeric for those who have sensitive skin. If you don’t mind a strong mask, simply skip this step!

Several tablespoons of raw organic honey (raw honey is great because it contains healthy enzymes that nourish your face and keep acne away!) – if you’re vegan, then use agave nectar instead!

A bowl/container to hold all ingredients together and an old towel will come in handy later! Make sure you cover up anything you don’t want to get turmeric all over, such as your clothes!

Steps to make the face mask:

Mix a little bit of water/milk with the turmeric powder until it forms a paste. If you’re sensitive-skinned, then add more liquid – if not, just use what’s already in there! You can also add honey or agave nectar for added benefits and hydration.

Next, take out an old towel and place it on top of your shoulders so that when the mixture comes off your face, it won’t ruin your clothing! Now gently rub small circles onto your face using either clean fingers or a makeup brush (if you have one). Make sure that you avoid getting any into your eyes or mouth!

After that, leave the face mask on for 15 minutes. If you’re more comfortable with it, then feel free to go ahead and lay down while you let the turmeric work its magic! After 15 minutes have passed, rinse your face off gently until all of the mixtures are gone, or else it will keep drying onto your skin, which won’t be fun later when you try to take it off.

Now pat dry with a clean towel (which hopefully hasn’t been used before) and apply moisturizer directly where needed – I would recommend avoiding putting any in eyes because turmeric can sting big time if it gets into them! Congratulations, now just sit back and relax for a while, knowing that your newly smooth skin will thank you for looking younger than ever and be on track for smooth skin!

If you do not have the time or materials necessary to make a turmeric face mask, we recommend buying a turmeric face mask infused with Vitamin C.


Turmeric is an excellent acne treatment. It can reduce inflammation and help fade dark spots, but you need to experiment with your routine until you find what works best for your skin! 

Plus, it’s important to remember that there are no set guidelines for how much turmeric powder or curcumin extract you should take orally because everyone will have different needs based on their lifestyle and the severity of their acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can drinking turmeric water clear acne?

Turmeric can be an excellent acne treatment, but drinking turmeric water will not clear your skin. You need to apply it topically or take it orally for the best results. Plus, drinking too much turmeric water can irritate your stomach. This is why it’s best to use turmeric in your cooking or take a supplement if you prefer. Make sure you buy a curcumin supplement that contains at least 95% standardized extract. This will ensure you get the best possible results with little risk of side effects!

Can turmeric clear dark spots?

Turmeric can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and acne scars, but it won’t work overnight. You will need to use turmeric for several weeks or months before you notice results! Plus, taking curcumin orally may be even more effective than applying turmeric topically. Because curcumin is fat-soluble, it works best when combined with certain foods, such as yogurt. Not to mention, it’s safe to use daily, so you can take turmeric supplements every day if necessary.

Does turmeric prevent cystic acne?

Turmeric can be used to prevent cystic acne by reducing inflammation. However, it won’t necessarily keep these breakouts from forming if you already have them! For best results, take turmeric orally or apply topically—just remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for clearing your skin, so experiment with your routine until you find what works best for you. Also, turmeric doesn’t work overnight, so it’s best to be patient and consistent.

Does turmeric make your skin more sensitive to the sun?

Turmeric is not known to increase sensitivity to sunlight, and no studies show that this spice makes your skin photosensitive. However, if you’re taking oral supplements, note that curcumin may reduce how much vitamin D your body absorbs from the sun (by about 25%). Since it’s always best practice to wear sunscreen regardless of whether or not you take an acne treatment, be sure to stay protected when outdoors!

Originally Published: October 29, 2021

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I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood
Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.

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