The Australian model-turned-beauty entrepreneur’s advice on using the popular spice for healthy, glowing skin

Supermodel Miranda Kerr, the brains behind Kora Organics, a beauty company based in her native Australia and the US, is a huge advocate of turmeric. 

As well as being a wonderful addition to your morning latte and favourite curries, the powerful ingredient has been widely used for beauty and medicinal purposes for centuries, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to soothe irritation and improve skin tone, making it a popular addition to skincare products—including those in Kerr’s brand. 

“Throughout my studies of nutrition and health I discovered the powerful benefits of turmeric, I then knew that I had to incorporate it into my skincare range,” Kerr said. “I'm obsessed with our Turmeric 2:1 Brightening and Exfoliating Mask —this is my at-home instant facial! The super-fine granules deeply exfoliate, leaving my skin soft and glowing. I also suffer from pigmentation and this mask has made a dramatic difference in brightening my dark spots."

But how does something that’s spicy by nature work to calm skin? Is it worth adding it to our skincare routines, and are there any downsides? We ask the skincare entrepreneur for her insider tips.

Read more: Miranda Kerr on Kora Organics, Her Beauty Secrets and Why We Should Switch to Organic Skincare

What is turmeric?

Gold in colour and with an earthy scent, turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It has been used in cooking and Ayurveda medical practices for many years across Asia. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a compound known for its healing properties that can benefit people with inflammatory conditions such as skin redness and heart disease.  

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What are the benefits of turmeric for skin?

While studies on turmeric in skincare are fairly limited, there are still some promising data about the positive effects of turmeric on the skin. In a 2017 medical study, researchers found that curcumin, the yellow compound found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties to tackle an array of skin issues such as acne, irritation, hyperpigmentation, and even ageing.

Turmeric also works wonders at minimising pores, fighting breakouts and boosting brightness to keep the skin glowy and healthy. 

One of our best-selling products, the Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, is made with turmeric extract to help to calm and soothe skin while reviving skin to bring out a natural glow. The powerful 2-in-1 product can be used as an exfoliating scrub to polish the skin and as a leave-on mask for skin resurfacing and refining. 

We also use turmeric as a key ingredient in our Turmeric Glow Moisturiser, which is a super, rich hydrating cream that helps nourish, brighten and firm skin.

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Are there any side effects associated with using turmeric?

According to studies, turmeric has been known to be safe for centuries, whether that be in culinary, medicinal or beauty uses. The United States Food and Drug Administration has conducted clinical trials with turmeric and published a monograph on the use of the ingredient, declaring its active component, curcumin as "GRAS" (generally regarded as safe).

Like many other skincare ingredients, turmeric has the potential to be irritating for some people. If you have sensitive skin but still want to try it, you can patch-test a small amount of a turmeric-infused product on the skin (for example, your inner arm) and monitor it for a couple of days, observing the skin for any signs of irritation.  

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