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Effet curcuma sur acné.

Acne: Is Turmeric a Solution?

Acne is a common skin condition that can significantly impact self-confidence and quality of life. In addition to treatments prescribed by dermatologists, some people like to use natural ingredients, such as turmeric. Does it have an effect against acne?

Published February 19, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

What are the causes of acne?

Acne is a skin inflammatory disease , often linked to an excessive production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. This sebum flows along the hair follicle through the pores and primarily serves to protect the skin against external aggressions and dryness. It happens that hormonal changes (adolescence, pregnancy...) can cause an overactivity of the sebaceous glands. The sebum can then no longer evacuate properly and clogs the pores, promoting the appearance of imperfections.

On the other hand, this oily environment is conducive to the proliferation of a bacterium called Cutibacterium acnes. This is a microorganism naturally present in hair follicles. Cutibacterium acnes functions primarily by digesting the triglycerides found in sebum. This leads to the production of free fatty acids that heighten the inflammation of the sebaceous glands.

Furthermore, the epidermis of acne-prone skin does not exfoliate as well as it should, leading to an accumulation of dead cells on the skin's surface, which can also clog the pores. Indeed, this follicular hyperkeratosis forms a keratinous plug that hinders the normal flow of sebum.

The effects of turmeric on acne.

The turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant whose rhizome is used as a spice. In addition to its taste qualities, the root of turmeric is also renowned for its various virtues. In the form of powder, it has been used for centuries for its antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and healing properties. This is why it is frequently found in skincare products. Turmeric thus helps to alleviate certain skin infections, such as acne.

  • Turmeric limits bacterial proliferation.

    Turmeric is an ingredient capable of inhibiting the synthesis of certain bacteria, notably Cutibacterium acnes. This property has been highlighted in several scientific studies that have shown that curcumin, a component of turmeric, limits the growth and proliferation of bacteria by interfering with the fluidity of their cellular membrane, which results in a leakage of their cellular components and their death. Specifically, curcumin inhibits the FtsZ protein, which plays a crucial role in bacterial cytokinesis, corresponding to the final stage of cell division. This protein typically assembles into a ring (Z-ring) at the center of the bacterial cell before it divides. By inhibiting this process, curcumin prevents the bacteria from multiplying.

  • Turmeric alleviates acne inflammation.

    Curcumin can also act to reduce inflammation of the sebaceous glands caused by acne. This molecule is indeed capable of inhibiting the induction of the COX-2 membrane protein, which is at the origin of several inflammatory processes and notably releases prostaglandins, playing a pathological role. Turmeric thus constitutes an ally for acne-prone skin.

Skincare products containing turmeric can only alleviate mild forms of acne. If you suffer from severe acne, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist who can prescribe an appropriate treatment.


  • TALREJA N. & al. Clinical trials of ayurvedic formulations in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2001).

  • SUDHEER A. & al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (2007).

  • RAHIMI R. & al. Promising plant-derived secondary metabolites for treatment of acne vulgaris: a mechanistic review. Archives of Dermatological Research (2020).


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