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Dangers et précautions d'emploi curcuma en application topique.

What are the dangers and precautions of using turmeric for the skin?

Turmeric powder is an ingredient used in the formulation of various cosmetic products. But can it pose a risk to the skin? And what precautions should be taken before using it? Here, we provide some answers to these questions.

Published February 19, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

The essentials to know about turmeric.

The turmeric powder (INCI: Curcuma Longa Rhizome Powder) is obtained by mechanically grinding the rhizomes of the plant. It has a spicy scent and a yellow-orange coloration. It is included in the formulation of numerous skincare products due to its numerous benefits.

  • Anti-inflammatory : Thanks to curcumin, turmeric powder has anti-inflammatory properties. This molecule indeed has a regulatory activity on certain inflammation processes. This botanical extract can thus be used to soothe itching or certain redness.

  • Antioxidant : this property of turmeric also comes from the curcumin it contains. It thus has a protective effect on cellular organelles and defends the skin against the action of free radicals. These reactive and unstable molecules can notably cause genetic mutations and are responsible for the premature aging of the skin. The turmeric thus constitutes an ally of choice to prevent the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Antibacterial : Curcumin has been studied for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Scientists have demonstrated that it is effective against several strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Cutibacterium acnes, contributing to the development of acne. It inhibits 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.

  • Healing : by promoting the epithelialization of tissues and angiogenesis, as well as ensuring better thermostability of collagen, curcumin accelerates the skin healing process, including at the level of lesions due to eczema or psoriasis. This molecule notably acts by increasing the expression of the growth factor TGF-β1.

  • Stimulates microcirculation of blood : studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to stimulate blood microcirculation. This property is beneficial in combating several issues, including certain types of dark circles and bags under the eyes, but also in cases of heavy legs.

Are there any contraindications to the use of turmeric?

When applied topically, turmeric powder poses very few risks. This botanical extract is even suitable for pregnant or nursing women and young children. However, it's good to know that it can be slightly drying for the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a moisturizing treatment or to ensure that the product containing turmeric powder also includes hygroscopic active ingredients (aloe vera, glycerin, mango butter, etc.). As is often the case in cosmetics, everything is a matter of proportion. A product formulated with a drying ingredient will not necessarily be drying.

However, it is recommended for individuals with a food allergy to turmeric to exercise caution if they wish to use a cosmetic containing it. Indeed, although a food allergy does not necessarily lead to a cosmetic allergy, it is better to apply the principle of precaution. We advise you to consult with your primary care physician before applying a product containing turmeric if you are allergic to it.

Precautions to take before using turmeric powder.

Except for individuals allergic to turmeric, the topical application of a skincare product containing this ingredient is safe. However, if it's your first time applying a turmeric-based product on your skin, it's advisable to conduct a tolerance test. Indeed, although this extract is usually very well tolerated, some people may react to its contact and develop redness. To ensure this is not the case for you, apply a small amount of the product in the crook of your elbow or behind your ear and wait 24 hours. If you observe no reaction, you can continue to use the product.


  • MAHESHWARI K. & al. Beneficial role of curcumin in skin diseases. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (2007).

  • CAO D. & al. Screening of active fractions from Curcuma longa Radix isolated by HPLC and GC-MS for promotion of blood circulation and relief of pain. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2019).


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