The Newest Face Superfood? Turmeric.
By Gigi Anders
If you thought turmeric was strictly an herb used in savory Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, think again. This ginger family plant, a.k.a. Indian saffron, has been scientifically proven to contain significant beauty properties that are, well, face-changing. It contains brightening properties and its antioxidants reduce irritation and improve the overall complexion of all skin types.
Case in point, Epionce’s new ($99) MelanoLyte Pigment Perfection Serum, whose key ingredient is turmeric extract. Along with apricot kernel oil, these other extracts -- pea, meadowfoam, lemon balm leaf, apple fruit, peppermint leaf, date fruit, bamboo, paper mulberry root – combine to soothe, smooth, moisturize and calm the skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This formula is also clinically proven to brighten and correct irregular pigmentation and dark spots, and works best applied at night.
Founded by practicing dermatologist Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, Epionce means medically-proven skincare with real results. I recently caught up with Dr. Thornfeldt to discuss the role of turmeric in skin improvement.
Gigi Anders: Turmeric has been used for centuries across India for facial remedies, correct? If so, how come we’re just learning about it in American formulations?
Carl Thornfeldt: The herb is turmeric, but the major component of the extract is curcumin, which is also the key component of curry powder. One reason we’re only recently more aware of this pungent, bright yellow pigment is that it is difficult to formulate into topical products. Also, interest by the public in natural products, coupled with scientific discoveries proving curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and immune-stimulating properties has recently brought increasing publicity and appreciation.
GA: How did Epionce become involved?
CT: With my research background in the use of botanicals in skin care, I was aware the herb had a protective effect on skin, provides brightening properties and helps reduce visible irritation.
GA: How is turmeric turned into an essence?
CT: It’s a process of ethanol extraction for the essential oils.
GA: What specific properties does this herb (or is it a spice?) offer that similar botanicals don’t or can’t?
CT: It is one of only a few known herbs to have highly potent anti-inflammatory properties while also having potent antitumor properties.
GA: How would you respond to a potential client who is skeptical about its benefits and may consider its use a fad?
CT: There is a growing number of published science reports in journals, textbooks, and scientific meetings that continue to support its efficacy.
GA: Anything else I haven’t asked that you’d like me to emphasize or that you consider important?
CT: Curcumin is very unstable, so proper sophisticated formulation science is necessary to incorporate it into a product. The only proof of a formulation’s activity is efficacy in blinded clinical trials of the finished product.