DIY Skin Care with Turmeric and Cumin

A quick note about two herbs I have fallen in love with, and now use in my daily routine: turmeric and cumin, two food-grade spices that are honored with a ubiquitous presence in kitchen cabinets across the world. Both spices create wonderful health benefits when taken internally, especially as part of an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective diet. But have you honestly considered their topical application potential? Maybe you should!

Cumin powder courtesy Michelle@TNS on Flickr

Turmeric powder courtesy megabeth on Flickr

Every morning and evening I look forward to smelling like curry. As I attempt to jump-start my brain early in the morning, I take a quick cold shower and follow up with a liberal application of a bright-yellow paste to my face and any areas that seem like they need some attention. As the paste dries and turns from a dark egg-yolk yellow to a sunlit-beach yellow, I like to imagine that I’m glowing like the sun and lighting up all my neurons and exuding radiance that suffuses the heart and soul of the universe! Or I just brush my teeth and make some coffee.

nice color

Either way, as I rinse off the golden powder I find myself taking a moment and deeply inhaling the earthy spicy smell of curry, stimulating my morning appetite and providing some mood-lifting aromatherapy. My skin feels smooth and it looks glowy. This subconsciously surprises me every time, since my skin is terribly sensitive and will break into a rash or irritation at the slightest hint of discomfort or chemical constituent. My skin has been known to react poorly to being looked at askance. I have finally found a neutral skin care solution, and it was staring me in the face from my spice rack.

happy sunshine face!

Make sure you use organic, very finely ground versions of both spices, with a ratio of 3:1 of turmeric:cumin. If you’d like to peel off the face mask, use honey instead of water to mix! Honey is also extra soothing for inflamed tissue (it promotes wound healing), and prevents the spices from becoming too drying. If you’ve had lots of sun exposure, are prone to acne, or have blotchy skin, use yogurt to mix with the spices- organic, plain, SUGAR FREE yogurt. Personally I just use water and it’s wonderful, with a little jojoba oil applied afterwards.

Thank you to this Thai herbal product for introducing me to this mixture of spices:

herbal for face!

As I was breaking out in heat rash during my travels in Thailand, this helped to soothe my inflamed skin and it did relax me as the label says. It is composed of turmeric and cumin. Does anyone have recipes they’d like to share, using these spices?

Thanks to the plants for their healing properties:

Cumin Seeds courtesy Paul Goyette on Flickr

Turmeric root courtesy h-bomb on Flickr


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