I’m not gonna lie–as an Italian-American woman, the selling point that really hooked me on this Turmeric Facial Scrub from YLLO Beauty was this: “Turmeric reduces blemishes & redness, lightens facial hair…” Skkkrt. You mean to tell me that there’s a totally natural, abundantly available ingredient that I’ve been sprinkling on chicken and tossing into my morning smoothie for months that will actually bleach my mustache with none of the irritation of Jolene Bleach, waxing, or lasering? I’m in, baby.
Turmeric is a plant that’s been used in the Indian tradition of Ayurveda for centuries as medicine–it has extremely high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and (maybe) even prevent and cure cancer, and has been used as a treatment for indigestion, colds, sore throats, and liver problems. Topically, it’s an Ayurvedic go-to for treating sores and wounds.
For skincare junkies, the word that should trigger a double-dose of heart-eyes is “anti-inflammatory,” since breakouts, redness, flakiness, and irritation of any kind are signs of inflammation. An anti-inflammatory will, you guessed it, treat those symptoms and help calm irritated skin. The best thing about turmeric is that you can ingest it or apply it topically to reap those anti-inflammatory benefits–but only a topical treatment will (apparently) bleach your facial hair.
This particular turmeric mask from YLLO is a dry mixture of turmeric, flour, sugar, and a few other natural ingredients. To use, you mix a tablespoon of the powder with a tablespoon of water, rosewater, or diluted apple cider vinegar, massage it into your face, and let it sit for 15 minutes before you rinse off. In addition to the benefits of turmeric, the powder mix works as an exfoliant, leaving you with baby-soft skin (and no signs of inflammation).
WARNING: This masking experience is intense. When I mixed it in with apple cider vinegar, my eyes watered for about two minutes after applying it (I think more from the ACV than the turmeric). As it dries, the mask almost seems to become one with your skin; there’s not a lot of crumbling/flaking, like there is with clay masks–it just looks like you’ve magically morphed into a Simpsons character. It takes a while to wash all the yellow off, too, and you’ll probably have to reach for a gentle cleanser to get the job done (I like Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser).
I’ve used this mask twice so far, and I love it. Afterwards, my skin is noticeably less red, any active acne looks calmer, and my face is so, so soft. I feel like the turmeric does lighten my peach fuzz a bit, but so far it just seems like that’s due to the yellow dye that eventually washes off. I plan on using this mask continuously, though, so I’ll report back on any long-term results!
I definitely recommend grabbing some for yourself here. At best, it’ll naturally bleach your ‘stache over time as it heals your acne and evens out any discoloration. At worst, it’ll be an effective treatment for the inflammation you experience after your next wax!