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This spice is golden and aromatic, and it’s a popular ingredient in curries, among other savory dishes. But some people also use turmeric in their beauty routines. It’s used as a remedy for skin conditions like acne and dark spots (hyperpigmentation).
Its effectiveness for use in hair removal is mostly anecdotal. And you can find a number of personal reviews and tutorials online. Let’s look at how you can use turmeric to possibly help get rid of hair on the face and body.
It might. Turmeric hair removal is thought to work in two ways:
- Natural chemicals in turmeric help to stop or slow hair growth.
- Using a turmeric mask or scrub helps to weaken the hair roots and to mechanically pull hair out of the skin.
A 2017 study tested curcuma oil from a plant in the same family as turmeric. The curcuma oil was applied on the underarm area of 60 women for 10 weeks. Researchers found that the curcuma oil reduced or slowed the growth of hair on the area tested.
So, if it works to reduce hair or slow its growth, expect it to work more slowly and less dramatically than waxing or shaving hair off.
- Usually non-irritating. Using turmeric for hair removal or hair reduction might be a safe, natural way to get smoother skin. It is not known to cause side effects or skin irritation. Therefore, it may also be safe if you have sensitive skin.
- Fades spots. Using turmeric on the body may help brighten skin and even out your complexion. The 2017 study that tested curcuma oil for hair removal found that it also reduced pigment cells (melanin) in the body. This may help fade sun spots, age spots, or hyperpigmentation on the skin.
- Antimicrobial. Additionally, turmeric has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. This may help treat or prevent skin conditions like acne and dandruff.
- Gently abrasive. You can also use a turmeric mask as a skin scrub to slough off dead skin cells and unclog pores.
- Cost effective. Using turmeric for hair removal may be a cheaper alternative to other methods such as laser hair removal, waxing, and shaving.
A turmeric paste or mask is traditionally used for hair removal and for skin remedies. The paste is applied directly on the face for reducing facial hair. It can also be used on other areas of the body.
Turmeric paste recipe #1
Make a turmeric paste by combining:
- turmeric powder — the same kind you find in the spice section at a grocery store
- rose water (optional, for scent)
- aloe vera gel (optional, to thicken the paste and soothe skin)
For this recipe, use about one part turmeric powder to about one part water.
Turmeric paste recipe #2
A popular recipe for a turmeric paste adds flour. This is meant to help prevent turmeric from staining your skin a light-yellow shade. Try this recipe for a turmeric skin mask:
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp flour (or ground oats)
- 3 tbps milk (or yogurt)
- A few drops of honey
Turmeric paste recipe #3
Another turmeric paste recipe for skin uses only two ingredients:
- turmeric powder
- whole milk or yogurt
You can add turmeric oil or curcumin oil to your turmeric mask. This boosts the amount of turmeric chemicals that may help remove hair.
For all of the above recipes, mix the ingredients together until the paste has a consistency of toothpaste. The paste should be wet and grainy, so add more water or liquid if it’s too dry. Similarly, add more turmeric powder if the paste is too watery.
- Apply the turmeric paste to areas of your face or body where you want hair removed. Consider using a clean makeup brush to apply it to keep your fingers from getting stained.
- Leave the turmeric paste on your skin until it dries completely.
- Your skin will feel tight as the mask dries — it should start crumbling off as it dries.
- At this step some people like to pull up pieces of the mask that flake off easily. In this case, the mask is acting more like a physical hair removal method and might grab a hair here or there.
- Splash your skin with lukewarm water and gently rub the mask off with your hands or a face cloth.
- Pat dry with a towel.
Can stain your skin
A side effect of using turmeric for hair removal is that it can stain your skin. Turmeric has a strong yellow color. Using turmeric paste or turmeric oil may give your skin a slightly yellow or orange stain.
Turmeric stains are temporary.
Wash the area with a mild soap to help remove the yellow coloring. Gently exfoliate the stained skin with a soft, damp towel. Exfoliating removes some of the older skin cells at the top layer of your skin and helps to fade the turmeric staining.
Has a strong odor
The paste also has a strong scent, which some users find unpleasant.
It is not yet known whether using turmeric paste for hair reduction is better or the same as using turmeric oil or curcuma oil. The amount of turmeric needed and how long it should be used for is also not known.
More research is needed on using turmeric for hair removal. There are several
- You can buy turmeric powder from your local grocery store.
- You can also go to Middle Eastern, Indian, and Persian grocers in your area. They’ll carry turmeric powder as it’s a key ingredient in these cuisines.
- You can also use turmeric or curcumin supplements. Open or crush supplements to get the powder — though this is a much more expensive method.
- Look for organic products or well-known spice brands for consistent quality.
There isn’t definitive data or studies on the best way to use turmeric for hair removal, but you can still try turmeric masks for hair removal and for its skin benefits.