Study Pinpoints Active Ingredient in Turmeric as Possible Sunscreen Filter

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According to a new study, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is showing promise as a sunscreen filter. As noted in a recent Dermatology Times article, the study’s findings could put it on the fast track to being the first sunscreen filter to be approved by the FDA in 20 years.

Using a nanoformulation of curcumin on mice, study authors found that the turmeric decreased UV-induced cellular damage, oxidative stress and inflammation.

What It Is

“Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and our first key element in fighting skin cancer,” explains New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD. “It is derived from the plant Curcuma longa and is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian and Chinese medicine.”

What It Does

According to Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD, curcumin has come into the forefront in recent years and this study helps confirm its efficacy: “This recent dermatology study demonstrates that it can also be beneficial as a sunscreen filter, so helping with sun protection to reduce skin damage. So, whether you sprinkle it on your food or incorporate it in your skin care, it will enhance the wellbeing of your body and skin.”

“We now know it allows for skin cancer metastasis and specifically increased cell potential for UV induced DNA repair,” adds Dr. Russak. “It has also been shown to have similar effects as some of the very well know drugs which are used in dermatology and rheumatology.”

Potential Uses

Dr. Russak adds that this wonder drug found in nature is a great hero ingredient to look for in your skin care. “It will help our own body give us the ability to repair and improve our cellular mechanism of repair so we can withstand the effects of internal and external aging.”

As for its popularity, West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD says just like CBD, he thinks we will see more products containing curcumin for its anti-inflammatory properties. “I don’t think it will make a huge dent in the market because there are so many existing products that are better anti-inflammatory molecules, like vitamin C for instance, and I do not think that clinical trials will show much difference before and after its use.”

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