How You can Use Turmeric for Acne

Ever since I wrote about turmeric masks, I was receiving requests on how one can use turmeric for acne. This post covers the same.

Acne is a major worry for teenagers and adults alike.

It can prove a serious impediment in social, work and personal life. The more society places emphasis on having blemish free skin, the greater the tension that people feel when they are affected by that ignominious zit at the most inappropriate moment.

Many home remedies are available, which can be used to effectively treat acne at home. You need not waste money on expensive OTC products or prescription medications if the acne outbreak is mild.

Herbal products like turmeric, mint juice, basil and nutmeg can be made into a paste and applied on the skin to reduce inflammation.

Home remedies to treat acne scars are beneficial when the infection has spread because the patient has squeezed the pimples. Turmeric for treating skin disorders has been used for centuries in Eastern and Asian countries.

Benefits of turmeric for acne

Turmeric made into a paste and applied to acne-prone areas can destroy the P.acnes bacteria that cause inflammation and remove excessive oil from the skin.

Turmeric possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are both beneficial in treating acne.

Acne recipes / remedies using turmeric


Basic Recipe of turmeric for acne

Take 4 tablespoons turmeric powder and to this add 1 tablespoon milk and 4 tablespoons rawturmeric for acne honey. Stir this mix in a clean bowel until it becomes a smooth paste.

Keep this mix in the refrigerator to cool.

An alternate set of ingredients are – 8 tablespoons turmeric powder mixed with 5 tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil. Mix these in a clean bowl until a smooth and creamy paste is formed.

The rest of the treatment steps are the same for both types of turmeric acne pastes.

Take a long hot shower to soften your skin using mild shower gel or bath soap. Avoid all medicated, glycerin and antibacterial products that can dry out the skin.

While in the shower, take a washcloth and dip it in very hot water (as much as your hands can stand). Apply the hot wash cloth directly on affected areas for at least 5 minutes.

This will help to bring pus in inflamed acne lesions to the surface. Now pat your skin dry.

Use your fingers and apply the turmeric paste to the dry, soft skin, using gentle massaging motion. Massage for at least 10 minutes. Leave this to dry overnight.

The turmeric will dry and become stiff like a mask. This action will reduce the acne size. Rinse the dried paste in the morning. Turmeric will stain clothes.

So use old clothes and bed sheets when following this treatment. Turmeric will also leave a yellowish tinge on the skin. To clear this, wipe these areas with a cotton ball dipped in a few drops of a mild facial toner.

Turmeric and yoghurt

For this turmeric acne mask, take 2 teaspoons of yoghurt and combine this with ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and a small quantity of honey.

Yoghurt that is rich in lactic acid acts as a gentle exfoliator. Apply this mask on the face for ½ hour and rinse off after this.

Organic facial mask with turmeric

This is a good mask for acne-prone skin. Take ½ teaspoon sandalwood powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Combine these two powders with 2 tablespoons curd until you get a smooth paste.

Apply this gently on pimples and lie down for at least 20 minutes. Wash this off with warm water. Finally splash on some cold water, dry your skin and apply a suitable moisturizer.

Always clean the affected areas or take a steam bath or warm shower to open up clogged pores.

Relax with your mask for the required time. Place cooled down chamomile teabags, cotton pads dipped in lavender or rose water or cucumber slices on your eyes to give wonderful relaxing feeling.

Turmeric and oatmeal mask

Oatmeal is a great exfoliator. Combine 1 tablespoon each of oatmeal flour and lentil powder and ½ teaspoon turmeric.

Mix these in fresh water, make a smooth paste and apply on the skin. Leave for 20 minutes and wash off as before.

A few words of caution while using turmeric for acne

While there are a few side effects when taking turmeric capsules or supplements, there are not too many side effects when using turmeric on the skin. In rare cases, people can develop a skin rash.

Otherwise, the only side effect is that turmeric will leave a yellow tinge on the skin that can be cleared using a cotton swab and facial toner.

What’s my take on this

Turmeric is a useful herbal remedy to fight acne. Using these simple home turmeric masks, you can enjoy your own natural spa at home and clear acne.

These facial masks are affordable, simple to make and most ingredients are available in your own kitchen or are easily procured.

But make sure 1) you do a patch test before you start using it extensively and 2) use genuine turmeric for best results.

If you have used turmeric for acne, do share your experience! In case you used turmeric in some other way please provide the details for everyone else’s benefit


    1. This is great! Do take turmeric orally to. It generally helps in keeping body healthy and have so many other benefits too.

  1. I use a birth control method that causes acne no matter what. I’ve used every type of cleanser, antibiotics and prescription meds, and even just plain water. Nothing was helping. My cystic acne eventually got worse. I needed help and began looking into home remedies. After using turmeric mixtures a couple times, I noticed dramatic differences. My cystic acne just stopped. It went away. Deep acne that was already there just disappeared. I couldn’t believe it. I recommend turmeric mixtures to anyone. Just try it. It doesn’t smell great but the results are worth it.

    1. What did you mix the turmeric with? My child is dealing with severe cystic acne ( we noticed when we go on the candida cleanse acne gets better). Looking for people who’ve had results. Thanks

      1. I have the same problem and I’ve tried all kinds of products on my face – from drugstore kinds to high-end expensive brands and NONE of them worked. The only thing that’s worked for me is a mixture of:

        > apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
        > raw organic honey (you can purchase this from your local farmer’s market)
        > turmeric

        I SWEAR by this method, it has been my saving grace. I have learned from years of experience that natural methods are the MOST EFFECTIVE and are not potentially harmful to you compared to products you can buy from the store that are made with a long list of chemicals. Hope this works for you! Please comment back if you can to update us on your child’s progress!

  2. i am suffered from pimple and my face became rough. nowadays i used milk in face at morning and in afternoon i used yogurt and turmeric powder and in night i used tomato. Does it effect me using these things in a day please suggest me and give your good opinion

  3. hi i have alot of pimple black marks and pimples on my face… can i use turmeric+milk+honey daily to remove them… or if you have any other advice please let me know…

  4. Hello Keshav,

    Men have facial hair and i have heard many people say that if we apply turmeric it may affect the growth of the facial hair. That is if we use turmeric we may see facial hairs not grow and disappear there fore leaving a clean skin.

    Is it true ?

    Can men also use turmeric mixture remedies for face ?

  5. My skin is clearer, pores are smaller, and the texture is MUCH smoother since I started using Citrus Clear’s “Pore & BlackHead Clay Mask”. Using this mask a few times a month as part of your routine really helps with any acne scarring and the condition of your skin. . It does feel warm and tingly while it’s on, but i kinda like that

  6. If you are using turmeric as a face mask be sure that you regularly apply sunscreen because it does make your skin sensitive to the sun especially if you are fair skinned.

  7. Hi
    I have acne, spots, sunburns, blackheads and hyper pigmentation. Can i apply turmeric + gramflour + water mask everyday for a week?
    I thought this could get rid of the harsh creams i have used in the past and result to milder safer creams.

    1. Fatma, None of the ingredients seem to be harmful but everyone skin’s is different. Thus, I would suggest you try a patch test first. Then apply them once in couple of days. If skin responds positively, please increse the frequency

  8. Honestly for this to work it need to be done daily for at least 30 days. Wearing sunscreen daily (if exposed to sunlight, yes, even your window in winter) and use AHA or BHAs which will prep the skin.

  9. I used honey and turmeric everyday overnight for about a month and my acne and scars disappeared. I stopped completely and it slowly came back. I couldn’t stand sleeping with a sticky face any longer. My advice is if you have an hour to spare every other day, that works just as well! Then reduce usage of the mask to every few days but don’t ever stop completely. Use a gentle face wash like Cetaphil. After two days you’ll get total pain relief from cystic acne from this mask.

    1. Vinny… I have question to you……
      1) did you leave the paste on your face for overnight everytime ???
      because normally people suggest to leave it for 30 min.
      2) how long does turmeric and honey mixture take to clear the skin properly. (please tell your experience)

    1. Hi, steam has been used to open pores of skin but one has to be careful not to burn the skin. Use a good steamer for the process and you should be fine.

    1. Hi, Well, there is nothing which says you cannot if your skin takes it up fine. I would start with a small patch test and then apply it for a short period and check if some issues (if any). They will extend the period gradually to 20 min. Hope this helps.

  10. If you are lazy or unsure of how to make the turmeric paste, buy the Indian product called vicco turmeric paste. It is very cheap and can be bought from ebay or amazon. Moreover, I believe that the paste is 100% natural and after applying it overnight for 3 nights I saw the results. If you have really sensitive skin or have a lighter skin tone I would advice you to try it out for about 10 mins and see the affects on your skin. You can thank me later ;).

  11. Hi! My skin is basically sensitive but iam really fed up of having these red marks dat the pimples leave! I wud lyk to know if just organic turmeric powder with water paste wud work!???

    1. hi, I would recommend you try using it for a few days (do a patch test first on a small area). Turmeric does benefit skin but the effect may vary from person to person.

  12. Hi. My skin is quite acne prone. Sometimes the acne gets severe and worse. I m just fed up of my red skin. I hav tried many methods like ice pack, sandalwood etc. but all in vain. What to do?

  13. Hi, it is highly unlikely that turmeric is causing pimples. Maybe try removing cinnamon powder. Also make sure the quality of turmeric you are using is good one.

  14. What’s tha purpose of the honey? Isn’t sweet inflame actually? How about a hot steam and a baking soda turamic & a few drops of g rapeseed oil I tried it and the pus ozzed out without squeeze

    1. Hi Carolyn, honey is not just sugar! Honey (natural) has amazing healing properties. Manuka honey is known to have significant antibacterial and wound-healing properties. Thus by including honey you are even improving your natural remedy!

  15. hi i m drinking turmeric tea for some reason i used to make tea with regular tea+1/4 tsp turmeric+1/4 tsp cinnamon powder two times a was good but from 3 day i see 3 to 4 big pimples on my cheeks that r systic acne i apply termeric and rose water paste on it but ist not working i wanna know that it is because my termeric tea do i have to stop drinking this tea i m taking this tea since about three months

  16. Hi my skin has tanned and no matter how many remedies I’ve tried, I don’t see any difference. But the turmeric mask does, for many minutes does the mask need to stay on if you have oily to sensitive skin?

    1. Hi Angela, it is hard to say how many minutes as each one of us have a different skin. But this is what I would do – I will keep it for say 5 min. and see the result and and if I am not satisfied will increase the time by a minute or 2 next time. Just be careful to use a good quality turmeric powder and do a patch test first.

        1. Hi! it is really tough to answer this question. I get raw turmeric and we grind it to make powder. Where are you located? You can try Turmeric from Organic India. I have used it and it looks good. But if you get a chance to get raw turmeric use that rather than a product. Hope this was helpful!

    2. For it to really work you would have to do it daily for at least 30 days before seeing any results. Maybe use a kojic acid soap bar (don’t leave on too long in the shower). Kojic acid is a component found easily in Japan and helps prevent skin darkening. It will actively lighten it. I say use it as a base for before/after using turmuric masks to speed up lightening of scars and pimentation. Word of caution use sunsreen daily and do not leave kojic acid or lemon juice in the sun as it will reverse ligthening. Patience works wonders.

  17. if i take turmeric in the pill form will it help in any-way for my acne & hyperpigmentation?
    Can i break open the pill and use it on my face?
    (I have mild/moderate acne)

    1. Jojo, I cannot say for sure as I am not sure what all your supplement has apart from turmeric. If it is just pure turmeric why not!

  18. Once the desired mask is mixed, how long can it be stored? Curious if enough for a week’s worth of masks can be made at once and stored. Thank you.

    1. Interesting question! Deana, frankly speaking I have not tried it. But there should be no reason of a mask getting spoiled unless the ingredients themselves get spoiled. For example – a mask with curd will not last that long but one with Fuller’s earth and water will. Which mask you plan to store ?

    1. Hi there is no set time period of using turmeric and it depends a lot on skin type, type of acne and extent of it. I would suggest you try once a week first and see how your skin takes it and what are results. If all goes well keep increasing the frequency .. hope this helps

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