Turmeric is experiencing a big surge in popularity. The traditional Indian spice, which you may have only seen in your takeout tikka masala, is being used to treat skin issues like acne and dullness. DIY recipes
containing it have made the rounds online. Some people are even using the ingredient to whiten their teeth
, and golden milk (a blend of turmeric and nut milk) is a latte stand-in.
But writing the spice off as a fad is a disservice to the years it's been used in South Asian medicine and cooking. In fact, according to Mary Schook
, licensed aesthetician and founder of M.S. Apothecary
, it's a profoundly effective medicinal herb in Ayurveda, a system of holistic medicine that originated in India.
"Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory," says Schook. "It's also antibacterial, which is why you can even find it in toothpaste in India." Stateside, the orangey powder is used in everything from masks to serums to brighten the skin, clear the complexion, and even treat wounds.
The only downside? Raw turmeric has a vibrant marigold hue, which means it can stain your clothes, bedsheets, and even your skin (lookin' at you, Daisy Ridley
). That's why Schook prefers investing in skin-care products infused with turmeric. We've rounded up the best, ahead.