Turmeric for Acne: Does Eating Turmeric Really Help Acne?

Can turmeric help acne? If so, what's the best form to use?

Can turmeric help acne? If so, what’s the best form to use?

Good grief.

Turmeric teas. Turmeric sauces. Turmeric pills. Turmeric pastes. Turmeric masks??

Seems like the Web is chock-a-block with turmeric remedies for just about everything. If you can think of an ailment, the Web says (in its best Greek dad voice): “Put some turmeric on it!”

What gives?

Well, people have been eating turmeric as a spice, especially in India, and using it in Ayurvedic medicine, for thousands of years.

Give people a few millennia and they’ll figure out a thing or two.

And one of the really interesting historical uses for turmeric?

Skin disorders.

Aha!

That puts turmeric squarely on Clear Skin Forever’s radar, since we’re all about curing acne naturally, from the inside-out. We want to know more about this spice! Is it everything it’s cracked up to be?

As always, let’s see what the research has to say.

And there’s a ton of it.

Like a lot of herbs and spices in traditional medicine, turmeric is gaining growing recognition by researchers in the West. It’s so clinically successful, even compared to pharmaceuticals, it can no longer be dismissed as quack or “alternative” medicine.

This stuff really seems to work.

First off, let’s take a look at what turmeric is, then we’ll delve into some of the latest studies that show how it can help your acne.

Get rid of acne NOW with these diet and lifestyle changes.

Join 5,000+ readers. Detox your diet and lifestyle and get rid of acne for good, with Clear Skin Forever.

Tell Me More!

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a herbaceous root related to ginger, native to southwest India. It can be eaten fresh, or dried and ground to a yellow spice used in curries, condiments, and even dyes. If you’ve ever eaten a yellow curry, chances are you’ve eaten turmeric.

The primary ingredient in turmeric that gives it that distinctive yellow color—and, as we shall see, the healing properties—is curcumin (pronounced ker-KYOO-min).

In fact, since most of the studies we’ll be looking at isolate and study curcumin, that’ll be our focus for now. We’ll have some stuff to say about turmeric as a food source of curcumin afterwards.

The Magic of Curcumin

Okay, we’re letting our nerdiness show here, but… remember healing potions in Zelda? Or the kingsfoil plant in Lord of the Rings?

A panacea is supposed to be a thing of magic or fantasy, but curcumin comes pretty darn close in real life. By one count of the existing literature[1] , curcumin may have over six hundred therapeutic applications.

And that’s just the existing research. There’s probably a lot more coming!

Curcumin has antiseptic, anti-cancer, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even pain-relieving properties. It’s been shown to improve and even reverse brain damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s. It protects against heavy metal toxicity.

It’s one of those substances that seems to do a little bit of everything[2] —a fairy-tale cure-all, taking pain and disease (and acne?) away like a magic “health” potion.

Better Than Pharma!

Just how powerful is curcumin?

Very. Extremely.

A few studies[3] have shown curcumin to be more effective than pharmaceuticals for treating certain ailments. For instance, a common side effect of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy is radiodermatitis—essentially radiation burns on the skin. One study showed the topical application of a curcumin-based cream was more effective in preventing radiodermatitis than the pharmaceutical counterpart.[4]

So, if you’re one of those people who think natural remedies are “nice” but not as effective as pharmaceuticals, the research on curcumin says: Think again, bub.

Also, a substance that makes the skin stronger and more resistant to inflammation and damage? Sounds promising for us acne-sufferers…

…and it is! Read on.

Curcumin is Anti-inflammatory

We’ve talked about it before: reducing inflammation is a big deal for folks with acne. Acne would be bad enough by itself, but as Devin and Sonia put it in their comprehensive guide to clearing acne: “inflammation pours on gasoline and lights a match.”

Ouch.

Of course, the CSF approach emphasizes reducing your exposure to inflammatory foods in the first place, including dairy, sugar, vegetable oils, and processed foods.

But avoidance only goes so far. There’s no such thing as a damage-free life. Which is okay—the body is designed to handle a certain amount of physical stress. That’s why we have an inflammatory response to begin with – to repair damage. But we’re also keen on helping the body whenever we can by consuming naturally anti-inflammatory foods.

Does curcumin fit the bill?

A study[5] from earlier this year shows orally-administered curcumin leads to a dramatic reversal of arthritis symptoms in rats. Interestingly, the authors of the study believe curcumin works by inhibiting inflammation signals within the gut, suggesting that eating the stuff is the way to go.

Another study[6] showed curcumin to be a far more potent anti-inflammatory than either aspirin or ibuprofen. (Not sure about you, but we found this shocking!) In fact, out of twelve compounds they measured, curcumin (along with resveratrol) was found to be near the most potent, and aspirin and ibuprofen the least (without any of the nasty cardiovascular side effects of either).

(Think about that next time you’re reaching for the Excedrin bottle: you’re opting for one of the least effective anti-inflammatories with the worst side effects. Hmmm…)

Honestly, we could list hundreds of similar studies.[7] [8] Name a part of the body, from the brain[9] , the cardiovascular system[10] , the digestive system[11] , the prostate[12] , even the teeth and gums[13] … if it shows markers for inflammation and oxidative stress, there’s a study showing how curcumin lowers or completely wipes them out.

Promising for sufferers of an inflammatory skin condition, for sure.

Speaking of oxidative stress…

Curcumin Fights Free Radicals Like a Champ

Studies[14] show that acne patients have higher levels of systemic oxidative stress. Researchers now believe it’s not the acne that’s driving the oxidative stress—it’s the reverse.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body is overwhelmed with unstable molecules called free radicals. Again, a certain amount of free radicals are unavoidable, and are even a normal waste product of your body’s metabolic processes. The body is equipped to handle them. But when the body is continually overwhelmed by free radicals, hello oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. And that oxidative stress and inflammation can show up on your skin in the form of acne. If this condition goes on long enough, it leads to cell and tissue damage, altered DNA, tumor growth and proliferation, and hardened arteries.

Not good!

At that point, damaged skin may seem like the least of your concerns, but (and we can’t stress this enough) pay attention to what your skin is telling you. Acne is a valuable indicator of the internal damage being wrought by free radicals.

Damaged skin is like your car’s check engine light coming on: it means there’s trouble under the hood, where you can’t see it.

Again, if you’re following the CSF approach, you’re avoiding the things that overexpose you to free radicals: processed food, vegetable oils, pharmaceuticals, stress, environmental toxins, smoke, etc.

You’re already way better off than most of the population when it comes to oxidative stress.

But why not help the body even further by consuming something naturally antioxidant?

Again, curcumin fits the bill nicely.

Not only does curcumin neutralize free radicals due to its own chemical structure[15] , it also boosts the body’s natural glutathione levels[16] —one of your body’s most powerful antioxidants.

It’s like curcumin’s your big brother, coming to your defense, fighting off the bullies, but also teaching you how to fend for yourself, too. Thanks, bro!

Curcumin Kills Acne Bacteria, Too!

Not to be outdone in anything, curcumin also boasts powerful antimicrobial properties.

(Seriously, curcumin… now you’re just showing off.)

For instance, in one study[17] researchers were able to reduce P. acnes bacteria growth in vitro by anywhere from 50% to 96%, depending on the concentration of curcumin used. (P. acnes bacteria lives on the skin and makes acne more inflamed.)

Wow.

However, before you run out and start rubbing turmeric paste all over your face, let’s think about a few things first.

Did you know P. acnes bacteria are present even on healthy, acne-free human skin? Just like inflammation and free radicals, they really only become a problem when they overwhelm your skin, like when the underlying conditions of acne (excess sebum and dead skin cells clogging your follicles) make it favorable for the bacteria to flourish and reproduce. When P. acnes flourish they start to produce even more follicle-plugging waste, damaging the protective fat layer of the follicle itself, which leads to even further inflammation… and so on.

Modern dermatology, ever-focused on effects rather than causes, tries to get rid of the problem by making the bacteria go away. This is why dermatologists give you things like benzoyl peroxide, triclosan, and azelaic acid, which yes, might kill off the surface bacteria for a time (as well as damage your skin even further, kill off beneficial bacteria, and compromise your health with side effects).

But why, Doc, did the bacteria flourish in the first place, hmm? What about the underlying causes?

“Never mind what’s under the hood,” your dermatologist says. “We’ll just get that light turned off. This hand grenade should do the trick…”

Hmm. Yeah, no thanks.

Now, turmeric/curcumin might seem like a safer, natural alternative, and we’d agree.

But switching to a natural bacteria-killer still isn’t attacking the root of the problem.

Unless you address the inner health issues that gave rise to the microbial imbalance, killing off the microbes won’t help you. The same symptoms (excess sebum, redness, swelling, inflammation) will just reappear in a few weeks, or even days, and you’ll be right back where you started.

Sound like a familiar cycle?

Having said that, curcumin does address an inner microbial issue: the imbalance of pathogenic versus beneficial bacteria in the gut.[18] [19] In other words, it’s good at killing bad bacteria in your gut, while preserving the good bacteria. And we know gut health is tightly linked to skin health – read more on that and how you can boost your gut health to get clear skin here.

So instead of slathering turmeric paste all over your face, use curcumin internally.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Fix problems on the inside before they ever show up on your skin. (Feeling smarter than your dermatologist, yet? It’s okay, go ahead. We do it all the time. :))

Is There Anything Not To Like?

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial.

Curcumin seems to have all the elements for a combination knockout of acne.

Promising, for sure.

But in the spirit of full scientific honesty, let’s also consider the…

Downsides of Curcumin

1. Curcumin is not very bioavailable.

It takes a ton of curcumin to have any noticeable clinical effect.

A lot of the studies we’ve looked at so far are either in vitro (meaning, using test tubes and petri dishes, not human subjects) or, where humans were used, they took massive clinical doses of isolated curcumin supplements, sometimes as much as 4000 mg at a time.

Just eating turmeric is not going to give you anywhere near these doses. Turmeric is about 2 percent curcumin by weight, so a tablespoon (7 grams) of turmeric contains a wee 136 mg of curcumin.[20] .

Those mega doses are needed to get big results because curcumin is not water soluble. On its own, it doesn’t dissolve in your system very easily. Generally speaking, your body breaks it down and poops it out before most of it can be properly absorbed.

However, there are a few ways to work around this little hitch:

Hack #1: You can slow things down by consuming curcumin with black pepper, which contains piperine. Piperine promotes intestinal absorption for many nutrients, and has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by a whopping 2,000%.[21]

For some people, black pepper can irritate the digestive tract – so if that’s you, combine your curcumin with ginger instead. (Gingerols, found in ginger, are considered “bioenhancers” just like piperine.)[22]

Hack #2: Simmer your turmeric. One study[23] showed that the solubility of curcumin can be increased twelve-fold by boiling it in water for ten minutes.

Hack #3: Finally, curcumin is fat-soluble. That means it’s far better absorbed by the body when mixed with healthy fats. You can try dissolving turmeric powder in coconut milk, for example, or in a tablespoon of olive oil, or sprinkling it on an avocado, to boost its absorption.

2. Curcumin supplements… hmm. Maybe, maybe not.

You may be thinking: OK, if curcumin is that hard to absorb just by eating turmeric, then wouldn’t it be easier just to take curcumin supplements?

Well, here we have to be a bit cautious.

When we chemically isolate things and consume them in supplemental form, sometimes bad things follow. Vitamin E, for example, is needed by the body. But when we chemically isolate alpha-tocopherol from vitamin E, and consume it in supplemental form, we get an insane overdose that leads to all kinds of problems: e.g., abdominal cramping, nausea, fatigue, gastric distress, and increased bleeding and hemorrhaging, to name a few.

Some reviews[23] suggest that curcumin seems to be safe even in large, clinical doses. But as a paper entitled “The Dark Side of Curcumin”[24] points out, the fact that no toxicity has been found in short-term studies is not proof that long-term supplementation is good idea. Nor is the fact that many people eat curcumin (as turmeric) as a regular part of their diets a proof of safety of long-term curcumin supplementation. Other dietary staple foods have been found toxic when consumed as isolates in massive supplemental quantities. What is needed is a long-term toxicity study of supplementary curcumin.

This is one of those cases where we should exercise a little healthy skepticism. The research on long-term curcumin supplementation is scant. We just don’t know if it’s safe to consume as an extract yet, and have some reason to believe otherwise.

There’s evidence, for example, that massive quantities of curcumin may lead to gastric irritation, stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, and (gulp)… allergic skin reaction.[24]

Who wants a rash on top of their acne? Not us, thanks…

If you think about it, the fact that the body is so quick to process curcumin could be a clue: a little is good, too much, bad. Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of thinking that if something is deemed “good for you” in the science and nutrition media then you should start scarfing it down in massive quantities.

As they say, the dose makes the poison.

As a general policy, we think it’s safest to take things in food form, the way nature intended. You can scarf fistfuls of supplements, but you can only eat so much food. The body naturally puts on the brakes when it’s had enough. With food you’re getting things in the right proportions your body can handle, with all of the synergistic nutrients alongside.

Curcumin is fantastic stuff, and has a lot of potential for helping acne, but get it the form it occurs in nature: as turmeric. See below for some recipes and suggestions. Try adding some heat (pepper or ginger) and some oils or fats to increase the bioavailability. Your body can handle this, and it’s consistent with traditional Indian cooking.

If you truly are keen on trying supplemental curcumin, try to find a whole food turmeric supplement (instead of a chemical isolate of curcumin). Here’s one by Organic India: Organic India Turmeric, 90-Count*. We haven’t tried it, so exercise caution. If you experience any stomach upset, don’t force it. Take the clue your body is giving you and back off the curcumin!

*Note: This is an affiliate link, which means we receive compensation if you purchase a product through this link. Visit our disclaimer page for more information.

Where To Find Turmeric, and How To Use It!

If you’re a cloistered Westerner (like me) who grew up eating bland, unspiced food, who hadn’t the faintest idea what a “turmeric” was before reading this article (nor where to find it even if you did)… you’re in the right place.

Should you buy fresh turmeric or powdered? Should you try to make curry (potentially daunting to a someone unversed in Asian cooking), or is there some other way to take it?

Fresh turmeric can be hard to find in some grocery stores. It’s usually found right next to the other “rooty” things like ginger. If you have a Whole Foods in your town they usually have some. You may have to try a natural foods store, or farmer’s market.

If You Have A Juicer…

One great thing we like to do with fresh turmeric is juice it with some ginger and lemon. The ginger gives it some hotness and the lemon adds a flavor punch. You won’t need much of this concoction: pour a shot in a juice glass, pound it back, and wait for the kick. It’s a nasal-cavity-burning, see-your-deity-for-a-brief-second doozy. Experiment with the proportions. We like more ginger in ours, but you might want to tone down the hotness and have more of the smoothness of turmeric. However you take it, it’s a great alternative to coffee for a quick pick me up! (And well worth the tears.)

If You Have a Blender…

Blend some fresh turmeric, ginger, and pepper into your bone broth. (You are regularly drinking bone broth, aren’t you? You should be—the health benefits abound.) This takes an already-nourishing, healthy drink and makes it doubly so. (And we defy you to find anything more delicious and satisfying on a cold winter day!)

Other Options for Using Turmeric

You can pretty much add fresh turmeric to any dish where you would normally use ginger (e.g., a stir fry), either instead of, or in addition to. Just peel it, then mince or grate the turmeric exactly as you would ginger, cook it up, and enjoy the subtle variation on flavor.

Of course, turmeric is much easier to find dried, and that’s fine too. There’s just as much healing power. You can add turmeric powder to all kinds of dishes. We make a pretty regular breakfast dish consisting of ground pork, shallots, mushrooms, avocado, and whatever spices we’re in the mood for. Turmeric makes a great addition, and maybe even steals the show a little bit.

Warning: turmeric will modify the color of your dish (and likely your cooking surface and clothing, too.) The yellow stain is a powerful one. But we’re happy to eat yellow food and walk around with weird, yellow smudges. It’s a badge of healthiness, alright? 😉

Try these easy and delicious recipes featuring turmeric: turmeric chicken drumsticks, Burmese chicken stew, and turmeric-cinnamon roasted cauliflower. (In the two recipes that use ghee, sub coconut oil or red palm oil to avoid the acne-provoking effects of dairy.)

If those recipes don’t whet your appetite for turmeric, nothing will.

And yes, turmeric really shines in a chicken curry.

Try turmeric for a few weeks, see if it makes a difference with your skin. And tell us what you think about all the research behind this seemingly-miraculous spice in the comments below. (We were pretty surprised by a few of the findings!)

And remember, trying one food ingredient in isolation is not going to miraculously solve your skin problems. This is just another small weapon in what should be a massive and growing arsenal in your fight against acne.

For details on the rest of that arsenal (shameless plug warning), be sure to check out Clear Skin Forever, the complete guide to curing acne with simple and powerful diet and lifestyle changes!

Key Takeaways:

  • Turmeric (and its powerful compound, curcumin) is far from “alternative” medicine these days: there are now hundreds of scientific papers and clinical studies on this fascinating spice.
  • The proof is in: curcumin has been shown to have far more potent therapeutic and healing properties than dozens of pharmaceuticals on the market (with none of the side effects). Tell your skeptical, pharma-touting friends to stick that in their pill box!
  • Curcumin has demonstrable and powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. All extremely promising for acne sufferers.
  • The research suggests eating curcumin is the way to go. Topical remedies don’t address the problems giving rise to acne in the first place. Find out what’s going wrong “under the hood” and fix the lifestyle problems that led you there.
  • Use supplemental curcumin with caution: not enough research exists on the long-term toxicity, and we know other chemical isolates lead to overdose symptoms. Better to take your curcumin as turmeric. It’s tastier to do so, anyway!
  • Experiment with juicing or cooking with turmeric, try some of the recipes we linked, and tell us if you notice any difference in your skin. This doesn’t mean forget everything else you should be doing, too: avoiding acne trigger foods, eating nutrient-dense foods that boost your skin health, avoiding toxicity, reducing stress, and getting good sleep. It’s just one more piece of the puzzle in your increasingly healthy lifestyle!
Sources (click to expand)

  1. Available at: [http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/600-reasons-turmeric-may-be-worlds-most-important-herb](http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/600-reasons-turmeric-may-be-worlds-most-important-herb). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^
  2. Nagpal M, Sood S. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013;4(1):3-7. ^
  3. Available at: [http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/science-confirms-turmeric-effective-14-drugs](http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/science-confirms-turmeric-effective-14-drugs). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^
  4. Palatty PL, Azmidah A, Rao S, et al. Topical application of a sandal wood oil and turmeric based cream prevents radiodermatitis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy: a pilot study. Br J Radiol. 2014;87(1038):20130490. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24694358)) ^
  5. Yang Y, Wu X, Wei Z, et al. Oral curcumin has anti-arthritic efficacy through somatostatin generation via cAMP/PKA and Ca(2+)/CaMKII signaling pathways in the small intestine. Pharmacol Res. 2015;95-96:71-81. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25836921)) ^
  6. Takada Y, Bhardwaj A, Potdar P, Aggarwal BB. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene. 2004;23(57):9247-58. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15489888)) ^
  7. Aggarwal BB, Sung B. Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(2):85-94. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19110321)) ^
  8. Chainani-wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003;9(1):161-8. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044)) ^
  9. Cox KH, Pipingas A, Scholey AB. Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population. J Psychopharmacol (Oxford). 2015;29(5):642-51. ^
  10. Chen R, Peng X, Du W, et al. Curcumin attenuates cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by high glucose and insulin via the PPARγ/Akt/NO signaling pathway. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2015;108(2):235-42. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25765666)) ^
  11. Prakash UN, Srinivasan K. Fat digestion and absorption in spice-pretreated rats. J Sci Food Agric. 2012;92(3):503-10. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21918995)) ^
  12. Nonn L, Duong D, Peehl DM. Chemopreventive anti-inflammatory activities of curcumin and other phytochemicals mediated by MAP kinase phosphatase-5 in prostate cells. Carcinogenesis. 2007;28(6):1188-96. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17151092)) ^
  13. Mali AM, Behal R, Gilda SS. Comparative evaluation of 0.1% turmeric mouthwash with 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate in prevention of plaque and gingivitis: A clinical and microbiological study. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2012;16(3):386-91. ^
  14. Available at: [http://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961612P0742X/1](http://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961612P0742X/1). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^
  15. Barclay LR, Vinqvist MR, Mukai K, et al. On the antioxidant mechanism of curcumin: classical methods are needed to determine antioxidant mechanism and activity. Org Lett. 2000;2(18):2841-3. ^
  16. Biswas SK, Mcclure D, Jimenez LA, Megson IL, Rahman I. Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005;7(1-2):32-41. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650394)) ^
  17. Liu CH, Huang HY. In vitro anti-propionibacterium activity by curcumin containing vesicle system. Chem Pharm Bull. 2013;61(4):419-25. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23546001)) ^
  18. Bereswill S, Muñoz M, Fischer A, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol, curcumin and simvastatin in acute small intestinal inflammation. PLoS ONE. 2010;5(12):e15099. ^
  19. Toyoda T, Shi L, Takasu S, et al. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Capsaicin and Piperine on Helicobacter pylori-Induced Chronic Gastritis in Mongolian Gerbils. Helicobacter. 2015; ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26140520)) ^
  20. Available at: [http://www.livestrong.com/article/543411-how-much-curcumin-is-there-in-powdered-turmeric/](http://www.livestrong.com/article/543411-how-much-curcumin-is-there-in-powdered-turmeric/). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^
  21. Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998;64(4):353-6. ([link](http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120)) ^
  22. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bioenhancer. Available at: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioenhancer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioenhancer). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^
  23. Kurien BT, Scofield RH. Heat-solubilized curcumin should be considered in clinical trials for increasing bioavailability. Clin Cancer Res. 2009;15(2):747. ^
  24. Available at: [http://personal.us.es/mlopezlazaro/2010. Int J Cancer. The dark side of curcumin](http://personal.us.es/mlopezlazaro/2010. Int J Cancer. The dark side of curcumin). Accessed January 25, 2016. ^

{ 30 Comments }

  1. Anna Cesnjevar says

    So take out BHT 2015 and add paint thinner 2017? Who the hell cares if Cheerios is GMO if the 5th ingredient is Tripotassium phosphate!!!. The government doesn’t want this stuff in cleaning products to avoid containing our water because it is a known carcinogen. But the FDA says they can dump this poison in our children’s cereal.

  2. Brenda says

    Hi I’m a 40 year old woman , I just stopped the pill 3 months ago , I am not due for monthlies for another 2 or so weeks , I do suffer with anxiety and I think my hormones are out of Whack , I have 2 blind pimples on my lower part of mouth area and I really can’t stand it I dont want to go out in public , I’m going to try this turmeric I’m desperate otherwise I’ll have to go back on pill, help ?

    • Devin Mooers says

      Hey Brenda! Sorry to hear about this, that sounds really frustrating! What kind of foods are you eating right now? Are you drinking tap water? Are you taking any supplements? Turmeric can help, but it’s not really going to fix your acne if you have deeper root triggers going on (like most people do). That’s what our book is all about – fixing these root triggers, to end the vicious acne cycle for good!

  3. Adrienne says

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for addressing problems that occur when “active ingredients” are isolated from their native plant!! Not to mention our penchant for going overboard when something is “good” for you. Those two things are the root (pun intended) causes of the often unnecessary banning of many normally beneficial plants in the US. Products that have been used for THOUSANDS of years and are still being used successfully in other countries have been banned or restricted in the US. Just because some scientist wanted to get rich quick or a few people wanted to get thinner faster. This is a very sensitive topic for me. One that I believe to be dangerously overlooked and otherwise ignored for the most part. Especially by those in the medical profession!

    • Devin Mooers says

      Follow the money, right?? As soon as someone publishes a study on the beneficial effects of some plant extract, supplement companies jump all over it, and suddenly you see “aloe vera inner leaf extract” and “green coffee bean extract” and all kinds of other bizarre stuff. Can we get back to real foodz, thanks? :)

  4. Cat says

    Love turmeric! My mother puts a dash in almost everything she ever cooked and my teenage acne cleared up by using it! Also just go to your local south Asian store they have it and they sell it in different sizes. Even Walmart now carries it in those medium sized spice bottles.

    • Devin Mooers says

      Whoa, that’s amazing that turmeric had such a powerful effect on your acne! That’s awesome. We use it regularly. I love ginger/turmeric tea, and use turmeric in curries and other dishes frequently, as well as fresh turmeric root when I can find it!

  5. Ryan says

    Anyone used cinnemon before? Read its the highest in antioxidants like 20x more then blueberries dunno if its true tho but imer give that a go😋

      • Ryan James says

        I’m acne free now and just want to say a massive thanks. Really appreciate your comments it actually kept me motivated to keep doing csf …

        • Devin Mooers says

          Happy to help out, Ryan! I know what it’s like to have acne and want to help as many people as I can find a way through it. Holistic diet/lifestyle hacks have been the most effective method for me and many others – sounds like you’re in this group now too!

  6. Dan says

    I have very oily skin, im asian i consider myself as a somewhat athletic person so i sweat alot, and my parents had lots of acne when they where young. I have zits on my face, body and scalp. Ive been drinking water latley, exercising more and fixing my diets, trying to balance them. In the showers i use Dove, i try to rub gently on my skin but they just wont go away. For my scalp acne should i shampoo and condionter everyday? (I shampoo every 2 days, and i condition evryday) i have very wavy/curly hair anout 4-5 inches on the top kind of like an undercut . Thats about it, hopefully you can help me and give me some tips, thanks

    • Sonia Carlson says

      Hey Dan! How often you shampoo and condition is much less important for scalp acne than what you eat and how you keep up your overall health, so I wouldn’t focus too much on that. (Maybe switching to a natural shampoo / conditioner would be a good idea, though.) That’s great to hear that you’re focusing more on diet, hydration, and exercise lately. Keep up the good work!

      • t.s. Linzey says

        First, I would like to commend you two for an informative, inspirational and warm website. I was moved by the fact that Devin changed his ‘product development’ path to health education. With so many injurious dietary regimens and toxic products misleading largely-unaware Americans, we need more concerned health pedagogues such as you and Sonia.
        Oui, permanently kicking dairy, processed white bread/carbohydrates and junk food to the curb makes our largest organ (and the rest) much healthier; BUT, we cannot down-play external assailants. MOST standard/commercial hair and skin products pumped out of our American corporations destroy our over skin over time (some can take it more years than others before intolerance/allergy of some kind erupt, but it will eventually catch all of us…). Not only do ‘soaps’ such as Old Spice, Coast, Dial, Dove and the rest of their vile ilk strip-off the protective skin barrier over time, they are linked to cancer and are forced on and INTO poor laboratory animals until they are blind, deaf, mutilated and/or contract cancer. This repugnant trend goes too for body washes, toothpaste (Aqua Fresh, Colgate, Crest….), deodorants, feminine care and more. For the record, I have not utilized ‘soap’ for years now and my skin has finally repaired itself. The allergic skin reactions never occur anymore and the eczema is nearly gone! The only ‘soap’ I use is one I just found two weeks ago to battle the remaining eczema is colloidal silver soap with olive and coconut oils–AMAAAAAZING! This unscented non-soap has also helped my wife with her ‘incurable’ and angry rosacea!).
        Fact: with ‘personal care’ ‘products’, we Americans have been sold a bill-of-bad-goods, and for what? Simply to fill the pockets of the rapacious few that own those ecologically and-health-degrading corporations. We really need to be OUR own best nutritionists and doctors. Regularly perusing helpful websites such as this promises a great start for those truly interested in taking back their own health and saying “NO” to the chemical pushers by not spending a dime on their insidious products.
        I have been a ‘health nut’ all of my adult life and, now at 50, my grand experiment has proven itself to work wonders in my life and countless others that I have assisted. Funny too, the proof is in-the-pudding in another, ironic way. When I commenced my alternative health quest at 19 (after having suffered dreadful acne and watched smoking, boozing, drugging people around me fall ill and some die), most of my friends and even family said I was either ‘too extreme’ with this ‘health kick’ or poked fun at me. Now, those very folks are beat-down with wrinkles, cancer, bad skin, ill-health and appear decades older than I do. They no longer think I was extreme nor do they ridicule my efforts. Funny how educating oneself and intense dedication to being the best one can be in mind AND body prevails over the nay-sayer, lackadaisical folks and self-destructives. The first step is to WANT to be the best we can be. The next is to LEARN and assiduously employ what we have learned. As a beautiful and planet-saving result, we have refused to be part of the toxic corporate machine. If enough of us refuse their junk, they can go the way of the dinosaur. As a huge bonus, we save TONS of money by not purchasing crap we do not need and that harms us. =)
        I wish all of you taking the time and interest to be here the best. YOU are the hope for future generations, our animal friends, and an over-all healthy planet. Peace, love, and more authentic humans on our fragile, yet wondrous little rock in space/time,

        –t.s. Linzey

        • Devin Mooers says

          Hey!! Sorry for the epic delay in getting back to you on this comment. I really appreciate your kind and warm words here, and I resonate a lot with your experiences going against the grain and how tough that can be, how much resistance you can get from friends/family/society, that kind of thing. Doing the best we can to help reform folks’ health and relationship to their bodies, food, and this green Earth! :)

  7. Claire says

    Hi, I am a seventeen year old girl, and i have been struggling with mild to moderate body acne on my upper back for several years now. I have never had any problems with my face or chest, as many people with body acne do, and I have no clue how to get rid of it! I have all but completely eliminated dairy and sugar from my diet, and I wash the affected areas every day and apply aloe vera as a moisturizer. I am also taking vitamin D as a supplement. I am at my wits end trying to find a solution! it seems like every time I see results, something new crops up. Is there anything else I can try, or am I just going to have to try and grow out of it? Thank you!

    • Sonia Carlson says

      Hey Claire! Welcome to our site :). Yes, there are lots more things you can try! There’s an entire diet-and-lifestyle-based program in our book, Clear Skin Forever, which I encourage you to check out! It comes with access to the CSF Forum so you can get all your questions answered and help when you need it, too.

  8. Shwetha says

    These articles are super awesome! One thing I would like to add- (Since I live in the south west side of India) turmeric is good when it is put on the face too. I have severe cystic acne and it really helps to bring down the inflammation. But as you suggested, underlying problems are solved only if its eaten. But the problem with the normal tumeric is the yellowish tint so you would end up like a yellow version of Shrek or something if you put it on the face. There is another variety of turmeric which is the wild turmeric – curcuma aromatica, called “kasthuri manjal” in our native language and it smells good and does not give yellow stains. So we put this on our face instead. Wouldnt suggest the tumeric on face for men because facial hair would be bleached/removed.

  9. LInda Miles says

    I make a tumeric paste and try to have a teaspoon -or more every day

    1/2 c organic tumeric powder
    2 c water
    1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    70 g organic virgin coconut oil

    Put water and tumeric in stainless steal pan and simmer on low heat stirring all the time with wooden spoon to stop burning for 10-20 minutes till really thick. Add coconut oil and b pepper and stir well. When cold enough spoon into glass jars and keep in fridge where it will set. It’s good both internally (smoothies, cooking ,straight) and externally -as a poutlice, on infections, styes, bites etc etc

  10. Isabel says

    Hi! Turmeric is amazing! I´ve been eating it for several months now and I can feel the difference. Although, my face is still very inflamed and red. I am eating very healthy, using eveyrhing you´ve recommended for several months and although I do see a small improvement, my face still has many infected pimples. I try not to touch them but sometimes they cause so much pain and anxiety, that i can´t resist taking them out. What do you recommend? What can I do? Im desperate, I need help!

    • Sonia Carlson says

      Hey Isabel,

      If you’ve tried most of the recommendations on our site and seen some improvement, that’s a great sign – though I can definitely hear your frustration and anxiety at the breakouts you’re still seeing. My suggestion at this point would be to check out our book – it’s the guide to our complete program to getting clear with diet and lifestyle changes. It also comes with access to the CSF Forum, which is an invaluable resource for getting help and troubleshooting as you continue to make changes. Devin and I are both active on the forum, too, and can help you there! I hope you can check it out.

  11. Rui says

    You guys are the best, thanks for another great article, I’ll give it a try definitly, you changed my self esteem, lifestyle and diet, you changed my face since the dairy article, you changed my life! continue with the good work!

  12. Stamatia says

    Hello, I’ve never really had a problem with acne until a little more than a year ago. I was going through great stress at the time and started taking whey protein after my workouts. It got so bad(especially on my right cheek) that no prescription helped! I’ve read a few of your posts and decided to stop taking the whey protein and cut off dairy all together and fried foods, only to see great results! It’s fading slowly, but I still have inflammation. Any idea on how to calm it down? Thank you!

    • Sonia Carlson says

      Hey Stamatia! Really glad you found are site, and are making some positive (and successful!) changes for your skin! Good for you :). Inflammation – cutting down on dairy and fried foods should help that some; using turmeric and drinking green tea can also help reduce inflammation. Have you tried either of those yet? If those (and time) don’t help, then there’s probably something in your diet or lifestyle that’s still triggering the inflammation. Our book might be a good resource for you to check out!

      • Stamatia says

        I eat a Mediterranean diet, and rarely ever go out to eat, so I don’t think it’s my diet really.(except the dairy and fried food) I don’t eat any junk food either. And yes, I’m going to get your book cuz my dermatologist doesn’t seem to know anything except waist my time and money! I will try the turmeric and green tea! Thank you :)

        • Sonia Carlson says

          Yay Stamatia! Be sure to visit us on the CSF Forum (comes with your book purchase) to get help from us or troubleshoot as needed along the way!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need to get rid of acne ASAP?

Get instant access to our comprehensive guide to getting rid of acne permanently, through intelligent diet and lifestyle changes. Learn how to get clear skin ASAP, by getting a copy of our e-book.

Get our complete solution