Simple Turmeric Face Mask Recipe For Glowing Skin

Heather Dessinger

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Whether you’re the type to lean on thousands of years of Ayurvedic practice or the 3,500+ studies on PubMed – or both – there’s no denying that turmeric is one of the most fascinating botanicals out there. Its health and beauty applications have been celebrated for thousands of years, and now research is supporting many of those traditional uses. I’ve already shown you how to whiten your teeth naturally with turmeric and use it to support a healthy oral microbiome, so today we’re going to cover skincare.

Turmeric is one of the central ingredients in the traditional Indian Bridal Glow Mask – or ubtan – which is applied head-to-toe the night before the wedding. Not only does it impart a subtle radiance, topically applied turmeric (or turmeric extract) helps maintain skin elasticity, soothes irritations, and even supports wound healing. (source 1source 2)

In this recipe, I’ve paired it with two of my other favorite face mask ingredients – both which may be in your kitchen right now!

Benefits of Turmeric for Skin

Turmeric is rich in an antioxidant called curcumin that “inhibits collagenase, elastase, and hyaluronidase.” (source) Now, you may be wondering if that’s a good thing. It is!

Collagenase, elastase and hyaluronidase break down collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – all things we want because they keep skin looking youthful. Collagen is made up of strong fibers that provide structure for our skin, while elastin fibers allow it to “snap back” into place like a rubber band. Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that keeps skin plump and moisturized – obviously something we want as well!

An extract of turmeric containing curcumin has also been found to even skin tone, while other research has found it to be helpful for healing wounds and soothing skin irritations. (source 1, source 2) The extract was used because researchers were concerned about whole turmeric staining the skin. Later on in this post I’ll show you how to use whole turmeric without staining.

To sum up, turmeric:

  • Protects against the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid
  • Helps to even skin tone
  • Supports wound healing
  • Soothes skin irritations

Benefits of Raw Honey for Skin

Raw honey contains enzymes that work as a skin clarifier, breaking the bonds of dead skin cells so they can easily be rinsed away. It’s also an emollient and humectant that possesses anti-aging properties, says this study. One of my favorite things about honey is that its pH is around 4.5, making it ideal for delicate facial skin.

Honey has been found to support healthy microbial balance when used topically, which is why it’s a favorite for those with acne-prone skin. (source)

Also, as I mentioned in this salt glow scrub recipe, honey contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that helps brighten and even out skin tone, plus antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals.

To sum up, honey:

  • breaks down dead skin cells so that they rinse away easily
  • moisturizes
  • contains a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that brightens skin and evens out tone
  • neutralizes free radicals
  • helps to balance the skin microbiome

Benefits of Yogurt for Skin

Yogurt can do amazing things for your face, just ask this mom who photographed herself while using it as a cleanser for a week. It contains lactic acid, which like the gluconic acid in honey is is a mild alpha hydroxy acid that helps brighten skin and even out skin tone. It’s also moisturizing and rich in beneficial bacteria that may help balance the skin microbiome.

To sum up, yogurt:

  • moisturizes
  • contains a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that brightens skin and evens out tone
  • helps to balance the skin microbiome

Will turmeric stain skin?

It can, but there’s a way to avoid it. Turmeric has long been used to dye silk and wool, so it’s no surprise that some cases it can temporarily stain skin. However, I’ve found that after applying and rinsing the mask, any remaining color will disappear when I apply a little olive oil or avocado oil and then wipe away the excess.

Now, on to the recipe!


Turmeric Face Mask Recipe For Glowing Skin


  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon full-fat yogurt or nourishing oil, such as almond or coconut oil

Optional addition: Olive oil or avocado oil to apply following the mask.

  • Clean makeup brush for application


Put on an old shirt that you don’t care about just in case the mask drips onto it. Apply to clean, moist skin using your fingertips or a makeup brush, starting at your forehead and going all the way to the bottom of your neck. I prefer to use the brush to avoid getting the turmeric under my nails. Allow the mask to set for about 20 minutes, then rinse away with warm water. Make sure to use a very dark washcloth or one that don’t mind developing a having a bright, sunny tint. If your skin still has a slight tint, apply some olive oil or avocado oil and wipe away the excess. You’ll find that the color goes with it. Enjoy your soft, radiant skin!

seaweed mask

Next Recipe: Seaweed Mask

Seaweed is a skin superfood. It contains more minerals than just about any source, and studies have shown that topical applications of 1% extract support collagen production.

A seaweed facial at my local spa costs $175, but I can get one every week for about $0.25 – $0.35 with this DIY recipe.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world.