Skin benefits of topical turmeric

Q I’ve been thinking about purchasing your turmeric. Previously I bought some bulk turmeric root powder which I put in 00 capsules. I noticed almost immediately that it was turning the skin of my hands yellow. Is this a common, nontoxic side effect, or is it something to be concerned about?

LORAN, Seattle WA

A Turmeric is a rhizomatus (rhizomes are stems usually found underground) plant of the ginger family native to tropical South Asia. There and elsewhere, ground turmeric has been used as a dye, thus it will yellow your hands through contact. It is safe and nontoxic and the color will wear off. Of further interest, topically prepared turmeric has been found to offer photoprotective benefits when formulated with hydrant, moisturizing lipid components that are microencapsulated in nano-vesicles for better skin penetration.1 In addition to preventing damage from the sun, such topical formulas can result in skin improvement by enhancing properties like skin hydration and sebum content.


  1. Kaur CD, Saraf S. Topical vesicular formulations of Curcuma longa extract on recuperating the ultraviolet radiation-damaged skin. J Cosmet Dermatol 2011 Dec;10(4):260-5.

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