Skin Care Benefits of Curcumin

The cost of a skin care treatment should not be indicative of its value for the skin. In other words, just because a remedy or supplement is expensive doesn’t mean that it is good. Cheaper remedies can be very effective. A good example of this is the fact that regular exercise which can cost nothing or close to it can have very positive effects on your cardiovascular system. Eating less carbohydrates and cutting down on your caloric intake can have life lengthening effects that are cheap and easy to achieve. Curcumin is another good example of an inexpensive remedy that has a positive effect on anti-aging and disease prevention.

The yellow pigment found in turmeric (an Eastern spice found in curry) is actually curcumin. People have eaten it for thousands of years. It is cheap and easy to buy. Turmeric has generally been used as a spice but it also plays a role in natural healing as well. It has one of the best safety records on record, not drug can come close to it. What is interesting about curcumin is that it appears to have a wide range of health benefits, some of which have been studied more than others.

Among the positive effects that have been seen from using it as a supplement are antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-arnyloid, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer. This shows that this ingredient can be very beneficial in terms of both preventative and therapeutic use.

There have been fairly extensive studies on the use of curcumin as a neuroprotector. It has been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of senile dementia. Several tissue culture studies have proven the powerful neuro-protective effects that this ingredient can have. It is also interesting to note that the occurrence of senile dementia is much lower in countries where the diet is rich in curry. India is a good example of this. That occurrence of Alzheimer’s is less than 1% in people over 65 which is very low indeed. This chemical also has a positive effect on reducing multiple kinds of inflammation and may be useful in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory problems. Finally it has also been shown to have some use in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The next logical question is how the benefits of using curcumin can be used in prolonging the average lifespan. Unfortunately, comprehensive studies still need to be conducted. In one study that has been performs mice showed an increase of 10 to 15% in average and maximum lifespan when fed curcumin. More research needs to be done on its effect on human lifespan. All things considered, it is worth a try as a general preventative measure even before more research is done.

If you do not want to eat a lot of curry you can use a supplement of standardized turmeric extract that is made up of 95% curcuminoids. A does of up to 2,000 mg has been shown to be safe and without any serious side effects with the possible exception of an upset stomach. In order to avoid any stomach upset is is better to take it with food, as fats contained in food enhance the absorption of curcuminoids. In some studies doses of up to 8,000 mg of curcumin daily have been used but these increased dosages have often lead to diarrhea and their long term effect are still unknown.

The absorption level of the ingredient into the GI tract is unfortunately low, even if it is raised a bit by taking it with oily or fatty foods. There are some more recently released curcumin supplements which seem to provide a significantly increased absorption rate by using nanopartiulation (absorption enhancers).

Curcumin and your skin


The most sought after features in skin care ingredients are: the neutralizing of free radicals, the reduction of inflammation, and the modulation of abnormal cell growth, reduction of UV damage and the slowing of the accumulation of age related pigments in the skin. Curcumin is able to deal with most of these requirements. The skin is a lipid rich tissue (similar to that of the brain) which means that it may not be just a neuroprotector but provide skin protection as well.

Research into the uses of curcumin in skin care is lacking. There is a small amount of evidence that topically applied curcuminoids can help to lower the incidence of tumors on the skin of mice as well as being useful in the prevention (or at least partial prevention) of UV damage. Human studies are still needed in order to fully be able to understand the benefits of curcumin to the skin.

Bearing in mind the great safety record, you may not want to wait for further research studies to be carried out. You could just try using curcumin supplements to help improve health in general and whatever residual positive effects that it has on the skin. Another way of experimenting with this chemical would be to try using it topically. However, you should be aware that there are two potential issues related to topical application. First of all, there have been no scientific studies done on the topical use of curcumin. There are some skin creams on the market but it is still unknown what the optimal concentration, co-actives and vehicles are. Secondly, in order to gain any benefits from topically applied curcumin it is very likely that your skin will end up with a yellowish tint to it. The discoloration can be avoided by using tetrahydrocucumin. Tetrahydrocucumin has many of the same benefits itself although it is in unclear if it can take the place of curcumin completely. Tetrahydrocucumin has been shown to slow the synthesis of the skin pigmentation melanin which means that it could be used to lighten the skin. At this point in time it is equally as hard to find good skin care products made with either tetrahydrocucumin or curcumin itself.

In order to keep you skin looking healthy you need to maintain a diet that is well balanced nutritionally. While healthy eating may not produce striking results, not eating a healthy diet will cause your skin to age much faster.
Blood sugar levels have an important effect on the aging process. Glucose is not only a key fuel for cellular use but it is also a potentially damaging substance when it comes to tissues and cells.
The good health of every organ in the body is dependent on vitamins and minerals; the skin is one of those organs. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be particularly harmful to the skin and can result in accelerated aging or skin disease.
Non-essential nutrients are the ones that the body can do without or else are synthesized by the body productively. Essential nutrients are the ones that body cannot make itself and cannot do without either. The third type of nutrient are the conditionally essential ones, these can be synthesized by the body if it is working at optimal efficiency.
One of the major causes of aging is free radical damage. As has been discussed earlier, free radicals are the indiscriminate and highly reactive chemicals that have the ability to damage the structure of all living cells.
One of the main fat soluble antioxidant vitamins found in the body is vitamin E. It have protective functions within the cellular membrane, the lipoproteins and other structures that are oily in nature. Skin is particularly high in unsaturated fatty acids so using vitamin E (both topically and orally) is very beneficial.
When silicone is mentioned in terms of beauty the first thought that most have is break implants, most of which are done with silica gel implants. Interestingly that isn’t the only use for silicone in the beauty market. There is actually a safer and more natural use for it, that is in food supplements that are rich in bioavailable forms of silicone.