No one is quite as beautiful as a bride on her wedding day. Perhaps it’s the glow of love. Or maybe it’s the professionally applied makeup. Or, as in the case of Indian brides, it could be the pre-wedding skin-care routine that makes one appear absolutely radiant: Indian brides go through what’s called a haldi ceremony before a traditional Indian wedding.

At this time, a paste made of haldi (or turmeric) is applied to the face and body of the bride and groom in their respective homes. The spice is used as it symbolizes prosperity and fertility in Indian culture. Plus, it leaves the couple with fair, glowing skin!

But it looks like the haldi ceremony is more than just a ritual—science confirms the turmeric benefits and how it’s great for skin. Read on to find out how this yellow-orange spice can make you look hot and flawless!

Turmeric in Personal Care Products

Spicy Skin Care

You may know turmeric as the ingredient that lends spiciness as well as that deep yellow color to curry. Turmeric is a flowering plant in the ginger family and its rhizomes are boiled, dried, and ground into a fine yellow-orange powder.

One of the components of turmeric is called curcumin and it not only gives turmeric its distinctive hue but also imbues it with a number of health benefits. Studies have shown that it may improve oral health, boost free-radical-fighting antioxidant activity in the body, help manage arthritis, lower the risk of heart disease, and even treat cancer, among other impressive benefits.

A number of studies have looked into how to use turmeric for skin. Topical or ingested turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin has been shown as a promising treatment for various skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, facial photoaging, and radiodermatitis, and many others. The research so far has been promising and suggests that turmeric:

May be used to treat acne. Research published in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin noted that curcumin was found to inhibit bacteria that causes acne in vitro. In layman’s terms, turmeric may help clear your skin of pimples. If you’re prone to breakouts, a turmeric skin-care product is worth looking into.

May be used on oily skin. An oily face means your skin is overproducing sebum; it’s this oil, mixed with dirt and other irritants that clog your pores and cause all sorts of skin issues. If you’re tired of dealing with a greasy face, turmeric might be the solution you’re looking for. A study published in the Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research found that turmeric can be “used in skin preparations to regulate excessive sebum secretions in persons suffering from acne and related problems.”

May help heal wounds. As curcumin seems to reduce inflammation and oxidation, it may be an effective treatment for wounds. It seems to enhance tissue formation, collagen deposition, and tissue remodeling, which all means that it can help in the healing of injured skin. Studies have been promising but make sure to consult with your doctor before self-treating with turmeric.

May be used to treat psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common inflammatory disease characterized by red, itchy, scaly skin. It normally appears on elbows, knees, and the scalp, and sometimes on the legs and torso.

The U.S. National Psoriasis Foundation lists turmeric as one of the natural remedies for psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, based on a review by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The foundation recommends taking turmeric in pill or supplement form, or adding a generous amount to food, but adds that you should consult with an expert when it comes to the dosage that’s right for you.

Be inspired by Indian brides and try concocting your own turmeric face masks and skin treatments—just do a spot test first to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. And remember: Turmeric is a spice so don’t apply too much as you may feel a burning or stinging sensation. Also take care to avoid the eye area.

If you don’t want to make a DIY turmeric skin-care treatment or are iffy about the proper ratio and dosage, there are now many personal-care products that contain this skin-saving ingredient. Visit Healthy Options to check out some of the best turmeric skin-care products.