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Turmeric Essential Oil For Skin Lightening And Other Benefits

Turmeric is called the Golden Spice not just for its hue, but for it many properties. The turmeric plant, botanically called Curcuma longa (from the ginger family of plants), has many medicinal and culinary properties. Its roots, its paste, its powder and its oil, all find widespread use in the kitchen and in healthcare. The focus here would be turmeric essential oil for skin lightening and skincare.

Turmeric has been used in traditional medicinal uses since time immemorial. Its therapeutic benefits make it indispensible. The uses of turmeric and its oil are not just limited to skincare, hair care and stomach-related ailments, but it may have an impact in the field of cancer treatment.

Its anticancer properties have been identified through a research by Dr Ahmet Unlu and team, but more studies and human trials are needed (1). The benefits of turmeric extend beyond its raw root and powder. The essential oil extracted from the plant has the same benefits.

A 2013 research article by Dr Mukda Jankasem and team evaluated the medicinal properties of turmeric essential oil (2).

Turmeric essential oil is obtained by steam distilling the roots or rhizomes of turmeric plant. The yellowish fluid from the process has a strong spicy scent, which when diffused in small quantities is reminiscent of turmeric. The oil has many properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, astringent, stomachic and antifungal (not to mention anticancer).

These properties of turmeric oil are due to the presence of concentrated phytonutrients in the oil. Some of the compounds that give the oil its medicinal benefits include eucalyptol, curlone, tumerone, phellandrene, beta-sesquiphellandrene and alpha zingiberene. The main compounds are from the terpene class. These compounds have a positive impact on the skin when applied on a regular basis.

The journal Phytotherapy Research published a study in 2016 that investigated the effects of turmeric oil on the skin (3). The research found that the oil has many positive effects on the skin. (The oil has good effects when applied on the scalp including stopping hair loss, itchy scalp and dandruff.) So, let’s find out how turmeric essential oil is useful in skincare

Beauty Benefits of Turmeric Essential Oil For Skin

1. Turmeric Essential Oil For Skin Lightening

The essential oil of turmeric gives a glow to the skin. Turmeric has long been considered a skin lightening agent. Even today, several marriage ceremonies involve applying turmeric paste on the bride and groom to give them an instant glow for their special day.

The oil, with is potent antiseptic and antioxidant properties, is applied to reduce hyper-pigmentation, dark spots and scars. When applied on a regular basis the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric oil gives the skin a radiance.

A 2017 ; a randomised, double blinded trial published in Phytomedicine, confirms the skin lightening properties of the oil (4). For turmeric essential oil benefits for skin mix 4 drops of turmeric oil in 4 tsp of almond oil, or mix 2 drops of turmeric oil and 3 tbsp of olive oil and massage on your face for radiant skin.


Applying diluted essential oil to your face will lighten the skin tone and its anti-inflammatory qualities will soothe the skin.

2. Turmeric Essential Oil Treats Skin Infections

The oil has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. These properties of the oil help in the treatment of skin infections and rashes. It moisturizes the skin and hence deals with dryness. A thin layer of turmeric oil diluted with coconut oil or olive oil can be applied on the infected skin.

This blend of oil can be used on skin infections including psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. It can also be applied on wounds and yeast infection to get soothing relief. A 2013 research article mentions the antidermatophytic properties of the compounds in turmeric essential oil (5).

3. Turmeric Essential Oil For Acne Outbreaks

Turmeric has antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can clear the skin and remove the microbes responsible for acne breakouts. Several studies have found that the compound curcumin present in turmeric has strong antioxidant properties that act against acne vulgaris.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil also lower the inflammation of the skin and lowers redness of skin. The soothing effect of turmeric oil mixed with almond oil ensures that the acnes are prevented.

4. Turmeric Essential Oil For Atopic Dermatitis

The skin condition of atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema and mostly impacts children. However, the American Academy of Dermatology has stated that the condition also affects adults. In adults, the condition is felt near the eye region.

A 2015 randomized clinical trial published in a medical journal found that topical formulation in the form of gels, ointments and micro emulsions prepared with Indian pennywort, Walnut and Turmeric extracts could be used as a treatment for eczema (6).

More research is needed to ascertain the benefits of turmeric oil for eczema, but a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients shows promise (7).

5. Turmeric Essential Oil Anti-ageing Agent

Turmeric oil is known to reverse the biological clock of an aging skin. Modern day lifestyle can fasten the ageing process, the first evidence of which is visible on the skin. The astringent properties of turmeric oil along with it antioxidant and hydrating qualities is potent in delaying the onset of sagging skin fine lines and wrinkles.

When the oil is regularly applied it cleanses the skin, moisturizes the skin and tightens the pores, thereby giving the skin a youthful glowing appearance. The ultraviolet ray and environmental pollution also disrupts the natural oil balance of the skin. This gradually affects the skin’s elasticity. The antioxidants in the oil neutralize the free radicals and the astringent nature of the oil tightens the skin, thus helping it retain its elasticity.

The peer-reviewed medical journal Current Pharmaceutical Design in 2010 published a research that concluded that the compound curcumin (also found in turmeric) may be an excellent anti-ageing agent (8). Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals and boosts skin’s collagen production. Ever hear of Tricutan? It is a potent blend of several herbs, including turmeric.

A 20017 randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, split-face study found that tricutan increase skin firmness. This study was published in the international journal Phytomedicine (9).

6. Turmeric Essential Oil For Dark Circles

One of the prevalent issues affecting the skin is dark circles. It can happen due to stress, long hours in front of the computer screen, unhealthy eating or sleeplessness. Hyperpigmentation can also result in under-eye dark circles. The skin lightening effect of turmeric oil is a boon for those with dark circles. The oil not only lightens the skin, but also lightens reduces the puffiness around the eyes.

7. Turmeric Essential Oil Skin Moisturizer

Dry skin is a common skin type. The winter season also wrecks havoc on the skin’s hydration, which makes the skin look dull and of course dehydrated. But not to worry, topical application of turmeric oil on the face helps hydrate the skin and keeps the moisture trapped in the skin.

There are several cosmetic products that use turmeric oil as an ingredient. These products include face masks, creams and lotions. Natural homemade face masks can also be made with turmeric oil to moisturize skin. Massaging the face with turmeric oil removes dead skin cells and promotes regeneration of skin.

How To Use Turmeric Essential Oil for Skin Lightening?

(DIY Recipes with Turmeric Oil For Skin)

Face Masks with Turmeric Essential Oil

Face masks with turmeric and turmeric oil as an ingredient are easily available online and in physical stores. However, face masks can be made at home with all natural ingredients and it removes blemish just as good as store bought products. Here’s a list of ingredients needed for a turmeric face mask for blemish-free skin.


  • 3 drops of turmeric essential oil or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 3 drops of sandalwood essential oil or 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • Half teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A bowl
  • Some water


  • Mix the essential oils or powders together in the bowl.
  • Add lemon juice to the mix. A drop of lemon essential oil may be used.
  • Add honey to the bowl and keep mixing. If the powders are used then more thorough mixing needs to be done.
  • Add water as needed; but, make sure the mixture is sticky.
  • Mix all the ingredients well.
  • Use your fingers to apply the mix uniformly to your face.
  • Leave it on the face for 30 minutes
  • Rinse the mask with water.
  • Apply a moisturizer.

Face Cleanser with Turmeric Essential Oil For Skin

Turmeric oil cleanser prepared at home is used to take care of dark spots and prevent acne. Face cleanser will help remove the dirt and acne-causing bacteria. Here’s how to make a homemade face cleanser.


  • 5 drops of turmeric essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chickpea or besan powder.
  • Milk as required
  • Bowl


  • Add the chickpea powder and essential oil into a bowl.
  • Mix it well
  • Add a few drops of milk.
  • Ensure that the mixture is a paste and not loose fluid.
  • Use your fingers and apply the paste evenly.
  • Allow it to sit on the face for 30 minutes.
  • Wash it off with warm water

Turmeric Essential Oil and Carrier Oil For Face Care

A few drops of turmeric essential oil mixed with suitable carrier oil would suffice for an everyday face care routine. Using turmeric oil everyday can prevent premature ageing of the skin.


  • 5 drops of turmeric essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil (coconut oil or jojoba oil or extra virgin olive oil)


  • Mix the essential oil and carrier oil together.
  • Apply it on the face with a cotton ball.
  • Massage the face.
  • Allow it on the face for 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Wash off with fresh water and a face wash.

One can substitute turmeric oil with turmeric powder. The benefit of using turmeric powder is that it can be used internally as well. However, turmeric oil must never be used internally.

Risks Associated With Turmeric Oil For Skin

  • Turmeric essential oil is a concentrated product. If it is directly applied on the skin it may cause side effects including rashes and redness. A small skin patch test should be done the first time of using turmeric essential oil.
  • The bioavailability of turmeric oil isles, which means that the body does not absorb much of the turmeric an burns it quickly.
  • Using high doses of turmeric and turmeric oil will prove detrimental especially is someone is on medications. It might cause reactions with certain medications. Consult with a doctor before taking essential oils.
  • Using too much turmeric on the skin can leave the skin yellowish. This is normal; however, it must be used with care.


Turmeric oil is an essential oil extracted from the roots of turmeric plant and is in concentrated form. This oil has several health benefits. It can be applied on the skin to improve the health and appearance of skin. Turmeric oil has anti-ageing and anti-acne effect when applied on the face. It also boosts collagen production of the skin thus restoring the elasticity of the skin.

The oil is rich in antioxidants and has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that dry out the pimples, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and prevent further breakouts of acne. Turmeric essential oil benefits for skin and hair so include this essential oil in your beauty regimen. With a few precautions infuse turmeric oil in skincare routine and use it without any side effects.


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