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Toutes les informations à connaître sur le curcuma.

All the information you need to know about turmeric.

Beyond its culinary qualities that make it a favoured spice among chefs, turmeric is also an ingredient used in the cosmetic and therapeutic fields. Benefits for the skin, biochemical composition, extraction methods... Discover everything you need to know about turmeric.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a perennial plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, flourishing particularly in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Madagascar. From its rhizomes, we obtain a powder of yellow-orange colour with a spicy aroma, rich in benefits for the skin. Turmeric has been used for centuries by traditional medicines in China and India. However, its uses were only discovered in the West from the 17th century onwards. The various properties of the turmeric powder come from its biochemical composition, particularly from the curcumin it contains, its active principle.

Turmeric is linked to numerous traditions and cultural beliefs worldwide. In Indian culture, turmeric holds a special place during wedding celebrations. In Indian weddings, it is common to observe the haldi ritual. Before the wedding, a ceremony called "haldi" is held, where a turmeric paste is applied to the face, hands, and feet of the soon-to-be-married couple. This is done by their loved ones to beautify their skin and make them radiant before the big day. It is also a token of future happiness and helps to ward off the evil eye.

Turmeric powder in cosmetic care: how is it produced?

The turmeric powder is obtained from the mechanical grinding of its roots. These are typically harvested in March, after 7 to 9 months of growth. After being peeled and washed, the roots are cleaned and then boiled for 45 to 60 minutes to eliminate bacteria and fungi. They are then dried and ground. The resulting turmeric powder is finally sieved to remove the larger particles.

The turmeric powder used in the formulation of our skincare products originates from India or Madagascar.

Turmeric: What is its biochemical composition?

Turmeric is a natural ingredient abundant in molecules that are beneficial for the skin, responsible for the various advantages it provides to the skin and hair. The table below shows these different active principles found in turmeric, along with the main properties associated with them.

Active IngredientPercentageProperty(ies)
Carbohydrates≈ 65 %Nutritional Value
Lipids≈ 10 %Anti-inflammatory
Curcuminoids≈ 8 to 10%Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, healing
Minerals≈ 5 %Nutritional Value
Terpenes≈ 1 % Anti-inflammatory
VitaminsLess than 1%Nutritional Value

What are the properties and benefits of turmeric?

The turmeric is a coveted ingredient in cosmetics, due to the numerous benefits it brings to the skin.

  • Antioxidant.

    Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has a protective effect on cellular organelles and defends the skin against the action of free radicals due to its chemical structure composed of double bonds. This allows it to donate an electron to these reactive and unstable molecules and prevent the genetic mutations and oxidative damage they can cause. Thus, turmeric has a photoprotective potential and is an excellent ally for preventing the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Antibacterial.

    Curcumin has been studied for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Scientists have demonstrated its effectiveness against several strains of bacteria such as Cutibacterium acnes and certain dermatophytes, contributing respectively to the development of acne and eczema. Notably, curcumin inhibits FtsZ, a protein necessary for bacterial cytokinesis, the final stage of cell division. By preventing it from performing its role, curcumin inhibits bacterial multiplication.

  • Stimulates microcirculation of blood.

    This property of turmeric powder is once again due to curcumin. Studies have shown that this molecule is capable of stimulating microcirculation of the blood. This property is beneficial in combating several issues, particularly certain types of dark circles and bags under the eyes, but also in cases of heavy legs.

  • Healing.

    Curcumin also acts on the TGF-β1 growth factor and increases its expression. This results in improved tissue epithelialisation and promotes angiogenesis, the process of synthesising new blood vessels. Thus, curcumin accelerates the skin healing process, including in areas affected by acne lesions or psoriasis.

  • Anti-inflammatory.

    Curcumin influences various inflammation mechanisms within the body. It firstly inhibits the induction of the COX-2 membrane protein, a protein that releases prostaglandins, which play a pathological role. Curcumin is also capable of preventing the synthesis of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukins 1α and 6 (IL-1α and IL-6) as well as the tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α). These various actions of curcumin make turmeric powder a valuable ally in cases of redness, pain or itching.

  • Brightening.

    Turmeric is sometimes incorporated into treatments targeting pigmentation spots, as it contains several active ingredients that act on melanogenesis. These include curcumin, which has an inhibitory effect on the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme that allows the conversion of tyrosine into melanin, and alpha-turmerone. The latter prevents the synthesis of the hormone α-MSH (α-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone), a hormone that activates certain melanocortin receptors. These receptors trigger the production of melanin.

Turmeric: Are there any contraindications?

The turmeric is a natural ingredient whose topical application presents almost no contraindications. For example, it is suitable for pregnant women, as well as young children. Caution is only necessary if you have a food allergy to turmeric. This does not necessarily lead to a cosmetic allergy, but it is still recommended to apply a precautionary principle and seek advice from a doctor if in doubt.

Turmeric: In which treatments can you find turmeric?

The turmeric is a popular natural ingredient that is used in various skincare and haircare products. Gels, creams, shampoos... the possible uses are numerous. At Typology, we have chosen to formulate a radiance mask with turmeric (INCI: Curcuma Longa Root Extract). This treatment also containslemon verbena hydrosol (INCI: Lippia Citriodora Leaf Water) and yellow clay (INCI: Kaolin), making it an essential ally for restoring the radiance of your complexion. The synergy of these ingredients revitalises the epidermis and protects it from the effects of oxidative stress, by neutralising free radicals. Moreover, this mask leaves the complexion even and luminous after application. It also has a "purifying" activity and helps to refine the skin's texture.

Sources

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

  • LEE S. J. & al. Aromatic-turmerone inhibits α-MSH and IBMX-induced melanogenesis by inactivating CREB and MITF signaling pathways. Archives of Dermatological Research (2011).

  • 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).

  • 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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