Turmeric Face Scrub Recipe

by Linda Robison

I’m excited to share one of my favorite beauty DIYs: Turmeric Face Scrub Recipe.

I’ve been experimenting with turmeric masks for years, and I’m excited to share my favorite recipe with you.

Turmeric face scrub recipe.

As a former health advisor with a passion for the power of antioxidants, I love turmeric for the face and body.

Why turmeric?

Turmeric, a gorgeous yellow spice from the ginger family, boasts a rich history in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

Packed with curcumin, a powerful antioxidant, it's a secret weapon for both health and beauty.

Not just for cooking, it's fantastic for homemade skincare, smoothing and brightening your complexion with each use. That's why I love adding it to my beauty routine with face scrubs!

Used as a natural facial scrub, this simple, inexpensive spice can help improve your complexion by:

  • reducing inflammation
  • lighten dark spots
  • providing a healthy glow
  • softening the look of wrinkles

I'll show you how to make easy face scrub recipes, for all skin types, and share the best type of turmeric you should be using!

My go-to turmeric face scrub sugar recipe

Turmeric brightening scrub recipe.

This simple scrub comes together quickly and can be customized based on your complexion type.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. *

*Note: What kind of turmeric should I use on my face? That depends. You can open a capsule or use it from your spice rack. But, make sure it's free of additives or preservatives, which can irritate the skin. Check this out out before you try the recipe.

Optional: a few drops of essential oil (like lavender or tea tree oil).

How to Make It:

1. Mix the Ingredients: Combine everything and mix until you get a thick paste. If you want to add essential oil, just a few drops will do.

Note: If your complexion is sensitive, use less sugar and more oil.

2. Application: Gently massage in circular motions. Be careful around the eyes. The sugar will exfoliate, while the turmeric and coconut oil will nourish and brighten.

3. Rinse Off: Lightly scrub for a few minutes, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Follow up with an all natural face moisturizer.

Variations and tips:

You can switch up the ingredients based on your needs.

Turmeric for extra dry skin

Woman massaging a with turmeric scrub on her face.

If you have a sensitive, dry or wrinkled complexion, you need a mask that provides intense hydration.


  • 2 tablespoons brown, raw or turbinado sugar. These are gentler and retain more of the natural molasses, giving them a softer texture.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil (rich in moisturizing properties)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (for extra hydration)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

How to Make It:

1. Mix the Ingredients: Honey can get sticky. So it's best to combine the dry ingredients first. Then add the honey and then oil. Mix to form a paste.

2. Application: Apply the scrub in gentle circular motions. Focus on areas that are particularly dry or wrinkled.

3. Rinse Off: After a few minutes, rinse with lukewarm water (you might need a wash cloth) and pat dry. Apply a hydrating moisturizer to seal in the moisture.

Oily complexion scrub recipe

Homemade facial scrub made with yogurt, turmeric, and lemon for oily skin.

For oily skin, you need a scrub that helps control excess oil and reduces breakouts. Here’s a turmeric scrub recipe ideal for your type:


  • 2 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt (to balance oil production)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (for its astringent properties)
  •  1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

How to Make It:

1. Mix the Ingredients: Combine the dry ingredients first.  Then add yogurt and lemon juice. Mix into a smooth paste. 

2. Application: Gently massage, focusing on oily areas like the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).

3. Rinse Off: After a few minutes, rinse with cool water and pat dry. Follow up with a light, oil-free moisturizer.

How to make a facial mask

Turmeric face mask DIY mixed in a brown bowl.

If you're interested in a soothing mask, instead of a scrub, here’s a simple turmeric face mask recipe that you can easily make at home:


  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or milk (for a thicker consistency)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric powder


1. Mix the Ingredients: Mix the turmeric powder, yogurt (or milk), first. Then add honey.

2. Application: Apply the mask evenly, avoiding the eye area. You can use a brush or your fingers.

3. Let it Sit: Leave the mask on for about 10-15 minutes. You might feel a slight tingling sensation, which is normal.

4. Rinse Off: Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Moisturize afterward.

Personal anecdote

I remember the first time I tried a turmeric scrub and mask. I was skeptical about the yellow stain everyone warned me about.

To my surprise, my skin felt incredibly smooth and looked brighter after just one use.

A little tip from my experience: Use an old wash cloth and towel to dry to avoid any staining.

Side effects

Side Effects and Precautions:

While turmeric is generally safe for most people, it’s important to take some precautions to avoid any adverse reactions:

1. Staining: Turmeric can stain your skin and clothes. To prevent staining your hands, you can use a brush or wear gloves when applying the scrub or mask. Any temporary yellow tint on your skin can be removed with a gentle cleanser.

2. Allergic Reactions: Always do a patch test before using turmeric on your face to ensure you’re not allergic. Apply a small amount of the mixture on your inner wrist or behind your ear and wait for 24 hours. If you experience any redness, itching, or irritation, do not use it on your face.

3. Overuse: Using turmeric too frequently can lead to dryness or irritation. It’s best to use these treatments 1-2 times a week.

Note: Do a patch test first and avoid overdoing it. Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new ingredient to your routine, especially if you have underlying health issues or are taking medications.

Benefits of turmeric powder for skin: Studies

Turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and skincare. Here are some amazing benefits of turmeric for your skin:

Brightens Skin: Turmeric can help lighten dark spots and improve overall tone with a brighter complexion.

Anti-Inflammatory: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritation and reduce redness.

Antioxidant-Rich: Turmeric is packed with antioxidants that protect from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to premature aging.

Acne Treatment: Its antibacterial properties can help fight acne-causing bacteria, reduce breakouts.

Further research on benefits

Turmeric has curcumin, which fights inflammation and may help with issues like melanoma. And the research is still going on!

Some studies show applying turmeric on the skin can reduce dark spots and wrinkles. While the study looks promising, some say more research is need to be sure.

However, in this study, scientists studies how curcumin might help fade brown spots. They found curcumin can decrease melanin and slow down the proteins that make it, suggesting it could be a helpful way to fade brown spots on the skin.

What kind of turmeric should I use on my face?

Here is a pro tip:

When it comes to facial scrubs, masks, and other skincare applications, it's best to use organic, pure turmeric powder. I found that McCormick Ground Turmeric is 100% and does not contain additives.

Some brands sneak in anti-caking agents or other additives to keep their turmeric fresh and free-flowing. So, always check the ingredient!

Watch out for:

1. Silicon Dioxide: Keeps the powder from clumping.
2. Starch: Sometimes used as a filler.
3. Artificial Colors or Preservatives: Enhances color and shelf life.

Sensitive Issues?

If so, then opt for ones specifically labeled for cosmetic use. This type is often more finely ground and less likely to stain your skin.

Another great option is to use wild turmeric (also known as Kasturi turmeric), which is less likely to cause yellow stains on the skin and is commonly used in beauty treatments.


Turmeric is an antioxidant rich, healthy, and natural remedy for achieving glowing complexion.

Whether you use it as a face scrub or a mask, the benefits are clear: brighter complexion, reduced acne, and even skin tone.

The turmeric and sugar face scrub is perfect for exfoliating, while the turmeric face mask provides deep nourishment and brightening effects.

Custom scrubs for extra dry or oily skin ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of turmeric.

Give these turmeric recipes a try and enjoy the natural glow they bring to your skin. Happy scrubbing and masking!