Turmeric - Golden Spice

Hydroquinone, which is extensively used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation is associated with known side effects. These undesirable side effects have resulted in regulatory restrictions. 

In the quest for alternates to Hydroquinone, skin care science looked for safer natural materials. And Turmeric is one of them.

Tyrosinase inhibitors and other agents that affect the melanin biosynthesis pathway are widely distributed in plant materials. These natural actives are safer alternatives to hydroquinone, for use in topical skin lightening compositions, and may offer additional functionalities, as sunscreen boosters, moisturizers, or anti-aging ingredients.

One of the plants that has loads of tyrosinase inhibitors is Turmeric.  Turmeric in Latin is terra merita or translated as meritorious earth.  The color of the ground turmeric is deep yellow and in some languages it is known as yellow root.

Turmeric is one of the revered plants that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is used today as a cosmetic ingredient, health food supplement, spice, natural food colorant. It's brilliant yellow color, effected by the curcuminoids, does not blend well with currently manufactured cosmetics. If it is color free it can be used in a cosmetic formulation.

Ancient texts of Ayurveda written more than 2500 years ago described the benefits of turmeric. In Ayurveda and Unani systems, turmeric has been used in the treatment of various diseases and dried turmeric powder has been used topically for insect bites, chickenpox, small pox etc.

Modern skincare science has made it possible to get the benefits from the unique compounds of turmeric. 


Turmeric compounds offers effective topical antioxidant protection. Its antioxidant action is of a comprehensive nature, efficiently preventing the formation of free radicals. It protects the skin cells from damage by UV radiation and the resultant inflammation and injury with far reaching beneficial effects on overall health and well being. 

Melanin suppressor

Studies indicate that turmeric compounds efficiently inhibits tyrosinase, the rate limiting enzyme in the synthesis of melanin. Its efficacy is superior to that of commonly used natural skin lightening agents such as kojic acid.

Anti-inflammatory and UV protectant effects

Laboratory studies revealed that turmeric compounds offer topical protection against UVB induced inflammation and the resultant damage to the skin. These properties are particularly useful in antiaging, skin lightening, sun care and after sun care formulations.

Free radical scavenging action

Free radicals on the surface of the skin, generated through exposure to ultraviolet radiation, chemicals or other environmental stress factors stimulate aging of the skin. Turmeric compounds scavenges free radicals, and prevents their formation. The anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric combined with the efficient antioxidant action is useful in anti-aging formulations and in topical formulations. 

Turmeric compounds are used in our product Skin Serum - Turmeric

Bonté, F, et al. “Protective Effect of Curcuminoids on Epidermal Skin Cells under Free Oxygen Radical Stress.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 1997, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9225611.

1 comment

  • This is such a great and informative post on the use of Turmeric for hyper-pigmentation! I’ll definitely check out the skin serum. Plus, it’s important to raise awareness of some of the risks associated with the use of hydroquinone — it is the active ingredient in some of my current skincare products, and I’m always looking to green up my routine. Thank you for this!!


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