Indian and Indonesian Beauty Ingredient for Glowing Skin!

The ingredient loved by Indian, Indonesian and literally every beauty fan is turmeric. It  is an Ayurvedic beauty remedy used for more than 4000 years.  This multi-purpose ingredient is more than just a spice, in fact It is considered as the holy powder for its medicinal value. The compound that gives turmeric it’s signature hue is a critical antioxidant called Curcumin. Its list of healing properties includes antiviral, anti-fungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and much more.

Significance of Turmeric in Indonesian Culture

Let’s start with how significant turmeric is to Indians and Indonesians, like myself. Growing up in an Indian household in Indonesia, we got the best self-care practices of both worlds. I vividly remember my mom’s Indian champi-time (hair massage with coconut or amla oil) and DIY turmeric-yogurt masks while drinking ancient Indonesian Jamu (a natural drink containing powerful minerals and vitamins for optimal vitality and energy levels).

Nurmini, a ‘Jamu Lady’ who has been selling jamu out of a rattan bag for 14 years. 

In Indonesia, Javanese turmeric or locally famed as Kunyit, has been extensively utilized in Indonesia as a medicinal and nutritional plant for over a century. The root of this plant is an important ingredient for jamu formulation which is used to treat several illnesses, from lack of appetite to liver illness, and arthritis. Jamu is often brewed at home or bought ready-made from trendy millennials to street peddlers. 

Traditional lulur or body scrub with turmeric powder, cinnamon, Pandan leaves, cinnamon and other local ingredients.  

As for beauty secrets from the land of Eat, Pray, Love include treatments such as Lulur, a Javanese body exfoliation using a natural body scrub containing turmeric, pandan wangi leaves and rice powder) to royal facials with ginger, charcoal powder and of course, turmeric, for a golden glow.

Significance of Turmeric in Indian Culture

In Indian households like mine, turmeric or Haldi, is termed as a wonder spice that is a part of DIY beauty to food recipes. Ever since I was little, my mother and nani (grandmother) encouraged me to use natural masks made out of spices such as Turmeric, Rosewater, Gram flour and Curd. These golden beauty tricks are preserved and practiced all through your youth to your ‘big day’. 

Haldi being a holy-grail ingredient in India is also deeply connected to Hinduism. The Hindu religion sees turmeric as auspicious and sacred. Infact, there are many wedding day rituals that include turmeric. Aside from an entire ceremony called ‘Haldi’ which is considered a cleansing ceremony for the bride and groom, there is also a wedding day tradition in which a string, dyed yellow with turmeric paste, is tied around the bride’s neck by her groom. This necklace, known as a mangalsutra, indicates that the woman is officially married. 

A grandmother applies turmeric to her granddaughter during her Haldi ceremony

Benefits of Turmeric for Skin

The ingredient that makes turmeric so special is curcumin, which is the main active ingredient found in the spice. It holds powerful anti-inflammatory effects which heals your skin and body from within. Here are 5 benefits of turmeric for your skin

1.Brightening: Turmeric is considered one of the most crucial skin brightening  ingredients in Ayurveda. It is known to reduce dark patches and even out the skin tone. 

2. Bring out a natural glow: the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants present in it will help in reviving your skin by bringing out its natural glow

3. Reduce acne: Turmeric is one of the miracle spices that fight acne. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help in keeping the bacteria from spreading further. It reduces the redness and swelling of the blemish

4. Moisturizing: this magical ingredient nourishes the skin, deeply hydrates, and speeds up the process of removing dead cells from the skin. Treat yourself with a turmeric-infused mask to soften and hydrate your skin.

5. Reduces early signs of aging: The potent antioxidant properties of curcumin prevent free radical production, which in turn helps in controlling aging. These antioxidants also protect the skin cells from damage

How to Enjoy the Benefits of Turmeric:

Jamu drink with turmeric, ginger and other natural ingredients 
Source: 2020_04_21_93392_1587468692._large.jpg

Jamu: Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal drink made from roots, herbs, flowers, bark and spices. Drink at least 4 times a week to witness it’s extreme healing and skin glowing properties. 

Here is a simple and popular Jamu recipe which includes ginger, honey, lime and of course tuermierc. Drink it as an immunity and skin booster or simply, just because it’s delicious.


  • 1 cup cleaned and chopped fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 cup cleaned and chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, from 2-3 limes


  1. Blend the turmeric and ginger 
  2. Add lime juice and honey
  3. Strain and refrigerate the mixture
  4. Serve hot or with ice

Recipe by: 

DIY glowing skin turmeric face mask with oats, turmeric and honey

DIY Masks: if you enjoy pampering yourself, an Indian inspired turmeric-based face mask is a must try! This affordable yet luxurious experience will provide an instant glow and long-term skin boosting effects. Here is a simple, proven and extremely loved DIY mask recipe that you can try once a week! 


  • 2 tablespoons of flour. You can use regular flour, rice flour, or ground oats if your skin is dry.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons milk. You can also use yogurt to fight acne.
  • A few drops of honey (any kind will work, but manuka is especially good for acne).
  • Mix flour, turmeric, honey, and milk to make a paste.
  • Apply a thin layer to your face and let it dry for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off in the shower, scrubbing gently to remove.
  • Apply your favorite moisturizer

Skincare: the simplest way to reap the benefits of turmeric is carefully formulated skincare which feature natural ingredients that cater to your skin type. Stay tuned to see what’s coming your way! 

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