Some of the latest buzz in the anti-aging product market focuses on a spice we usually ingest, not rub on our face. This isn't the first time we've heard about the amazing powers found in botanical ingredients -- Eggplant, caffeine, and citrus (just to name a few) are similar heroes in the battle against aging. So how does this "curry cream" stack up?

A recent study presented at the annual American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting showed that a cream containing turmeric extract -a spice often found in Indian cuisine was effective in reducing wrinkles and hyper pigmentation. The study showed that a cream containing niacinamide and turmeric extract was 15% better at reducing wrinkles and evening out skin tone as a product containing niacinamide alone.

Dermatologists have known about turmeric's anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for a long time, but they have not been able to figure out how to prevent its rusty color and strong odor from turning off consumers. While this study doesn't do anything to improve its sensory appeal, it does show that turmeric extract can work. Researchers were actually surprised at the degree of its effectiveness, especially on improving the appearance of wrinkles.  However, it remains to be seen if this treatment proves to be more effective than other topical options like retinoid creams or alpha-hydroxy acids.

Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging, especially if your skin has been exposed to a lot of sun or you smoked.  As we age, the collagen and elastin in our face weakens, we lose fat in our face, and gravity takes its toll. While the myriad wrinkle treatments available can help your skin, nothing will do as much for it as avoiding smoking, wearing sunscreen, and staying out of the sun in-between 10am and 3pm.



American Academy of Dermatology: "Mature Skin" Web. American Academy of Dermatology. 2010

Medscape: "Turmeric Cream Decreases Signs of Aging" Web. Medscape Medical News. March 16, 2010.