Turmeric/Curcuminiod-related Topical Ingredients that DO NOT Promote Skin Whitening?

Are there any Turmeric/Curcuminiod-related (derived from Curcuma longa or similar species that show anti-inflammatory action) ingredients for topical use that DO NOT promote skin whitening?

Ideally, such an ingredient would act as a topical anti-inflammatory without any skin whitening effects.

All suggestions, comments and discussion are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited August 2019
    I don't think any tumeric/curcuminiod extracts have been proven to significantly lighten skin.  For example, the data published here is pretty weak in that regard.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited August 2019
    Ginger is a related species and it is anti-inflammatory (wrote my PhD thesis about that ;) ).
    On Sri Lanka they tried to sell us turmeric oil for hair removal... I wouldn't know why curcumin should result in a lighter skin, yellow for sure but lighter??? BTW curcumin is so extremely lipophilic that it literally sticks to the uppermost 1-2 cell layers. Even oral bioavailability is close to zero. The only in vivo effects you get from curcumin are on the mucosa (= intestinal tract).
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    If I read the published study correctly, I think you can conclude that Tumeric may make your skin lighter if you are a mushroom and it's safe to use if you're a mouse.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • In India there is a event before  marriage, the groom and bride applied curcumin +milk paste on full body. It beliefs that it .Make skin glowing.
    Curcumin is now great food supplement.

  • All,
    when your wound is healing, turmeric (raw) is applied to the wound to prevent the scar. This is for sure. 

  • I use turmeric extract on my facial cream. It has wonderful benefits. Do not use it too much because its yellow color. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    If there is a perfect drug/medicinal plant, then it would be curcumin/turmeric. It literally does everything beneficial and nothing harmful, no matter which in vitro test you run and we are talking thousands of different tests and hundreds of publications (I know a guy who probably read all of them, though it was about 10 years ago). Whatever has been done, all and really all was positive, it's close to a miracle (if you ignore the fact about it colouring everything yellow)!
    Since there aren't too many miracles these days, curcumin is not one of these ;( . There is a slight drawback to its fairytale story: Curcumin only affects the uppermost cell layers and is hence only useful on contact (like wounds) and more than 99% of all in vitro studies show zip effect in vivo. It's super safe though and, as a fun fact, has the E number 100.
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