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.
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:
Table of Contents
Turmeric is a fantastic 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. In essence, 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.
Nowadays, I only use this turmeric soap, it costs about $9 and it’s very gentle on my skin. You should give it a try.
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.
The reality is something completely different; 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.
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 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.
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 turmeric is in itself a very powerful antibacterial spice, especially when used topically, it is not responsible for acne breakouts. However, 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 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 of 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.
Try to use this turmeric soap, it’s very healing to your skin.
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 in a very small area, can be quite dangerous.
However, do not imagine that turmeric is to be completely avoided; in fact, I 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 colour 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 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.
Been using Turmeric Curcumin for three weeks and started getting red spots on my back that are itchy, could the Turmeric cause this?
Are you using capsules? If yes, then they maybe for something, if not, maybe you are using too much turmeric, anyway, it is a very safe spice, don’t use more than half a teaspoon daily though.
I’ve been taking Curcumin capsules for 6 weeks and I have a rash all over my body that is so itchy I can’t stand it. I’ve been to 2 dermatologists and am taking antihistamines. Still itchy. Now I’m going to try stopping the Curcumin and see if that helps.
Do you know if taking about 1 or 2 teaspoons a day would cause hair and skin to dry out?
I keep reading that it helps people with acne, so is it correct to assume that it would dry out skin/hair that isn’t oily?
I’ve searched high and low and can’t find any helpful data.
Thanks for any help you might provide.
Terry P – turmeric has powerful effects of killing skin cancer, it you have little red spots after using the turmeric, it’s possible those are pre-cancerous or cancerous spots and the turmeric is killing them. Check out this western doctor showing all the studies which support this : https://nutritionfacts.org/video/topical-application-of-turmeric-curcumin-for-cancer/
Goes to show that your Liver is clearing up some toxic in the body. Turmeric is good in clearing the body of Inflammation.
Yes, it cleanses the body from the inside.
Wow, this is very helpful.
When I used turmeric 1st time on my face. I felt pain for 15minutes. I think its side effects but I want to use it on my face. And I want to be the white. So what can I do please tell me…. And give advice
I have used turmeric for a long time, no side effects, what oil have you used?
U can use milk, just milk believe me it works alot and leave it to dry and then rinse it off It is the best for glowing skin
Mam while we apply turmeric face cream and. We go in sun then does skin gets dark and black ?
I have been taking large amounts of tumeric internally and ive started to experience all the skin problems you mentioned from dry skin, skin rashes, very horrible itching, breakouts. I just stopped taking it and its starting to get a little better. I was eating about 5 tablespoons a day followed by lots of water. Chewing and ingesting the tumeric powder. Must be bad to comsume so much internally.
Scary Facebook image heheheh and five tablespoons is just reckless in my opinion, plus you’d give yourself kidney stones due to the high levels of oxalate in turmeric.
I’ve been experiencing rashes on my face, ive used turmeric for a week now, i really need it for my pigmentation marks and would feel bad to stop…whats do you advice?
You have to lower the amount a bit if you are using too much.
I used it once only and it was about quarter of a teaspoon abd developed severe itching on my arms and woke up with these blisters and redness on my entire arm. How can i remove it?
Last time when i used turmeric was many years ago and was a pinch or so and immediately after then i developed a bump on my forhead. Never used eversince till yesterday.
I think you may have an allergy to this spice!
Try a small pinch, if it gives you any side effects, avoid it as much as possible.
my skin became very red and itchy unfortunately.
Does it mean i can’t use turmeric powder in a facemask? Only used a tablespoon with honey and chickpea flour.
I really want the topical benefits from it.
A tablespoon is a lot! Try using only a teaspoon instead.
i used a soap with tumeric on my face and my face became instantly became itchy, sort of a burning sensation…… should i discontinue use?
Yes, you should. I think you are using too much turmeric on your skin, you should lower the amount a lot.
just started to use turmeric… noticed a yellow color on paper towels that were wet and a white sheet I use to ice my knees should I quit taking /??????
Seems normal to me, after all, it’s a very colorful spice.
Hi…if you use tumeric on your skin..can it still affect your gallbladder…..im not using it near my gallbladder
If you use it topically, it won’t affect it as when ingested, still, there are many compounds which will be absorbed into your blood stream, better consult a medical expert.
Hi Sahar, I have been taking curcumin supplements (2500mg) which have great reviews on Amazon but I have had a random breakout of chin spots after about 3 weeks using them. I’m wondering if this is a bad reaction or my body detoxing and maybe a herx type reaction I should just ride out?
I think 2500mg is too much, especially if you are dealing with an extract! Better use the real spice.
I’ve been using tumeric for years now , almost every day… and I’ve noticed that my skin doesn’t look as plump. It has a lot of pores which are prominent and before it was just a smooth layer … also I’ve gotten darker ,,, what do u think?
Seems strange to me, I have been using it as well for a long time and it has only made my skin amazing. How many times are you using it a week? And how much?
Hi can i use almond oil instead?
I took curcumin in soft gel form for a month and I broke out in a itch and a red rash
and some burning the itch is very bad, now since I know what is the cause what can
I do to stop the itch ?
Hi can I use tumeric on skin an dscalp fo rbird mites
So sorry, I can’t answer your question since I have never used it this way before.
Can i use tumeric to clear pimples and spots on my face
Hello, I have been using Natures Nutrition Tumeric and Ginger with Bioperine 1950 MG veggie capsules for a month. Although it has helped me with feeling more alert as well as with joint stiffness, the skin on my face has become very dry. I also get an itchiness on my arms. The recommended dosage is 3 capsules a day! I have made an appointment with a dermatologist to get some answers. I hope it isn’t the product, because it does support other health factors.
My face is red cause bye bleaching so I stop bleaching my face and using turmeric soap can it take away the redness
I don’t think it would help you, I believe you should seek medical attention.