Skin Care

Turmeric Sensitive Skin

By now, you have probably heard about the claimed health benefits of turmeric. It is touted as a naturally powerful painkiller, anti-inflammatory, even an anti-depressant. According to an article on “there are at least 200 compounds in turmeric, but there’s one that scientists are …interested in …curcumin” (BBC Article).

Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric it’s bright, staining colour. It is also, it is claimed, to be a key compound in the fight against cancer. Top medical academics at Tufts, UCLA etc … are fans of the compound due to it being a “powerful antioxidant that is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial” (Cancer Active). It goes beyond cancer though, “researchers [suggest that] the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may contribute to …a 65% lower chance of heart attack among bypass patients” (Huffington Post).

With its highly regarded status as a natural health supplement, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that turmeric should find it’s way into the skincare industry.


In 2018, Dermalogica launched several new products in it’s powerfully soothing UltraCalming range. One of these products, the amazing Barrier Defense Booster, contains tetrahydrocurcuminoids, alongside lavender and oat kernel oil, to help nourish and moisturise sensitive skin. For the majority of consumers this long, scientific name does not mean much. Some may actually be wary of ingredients that sounds alien. While it is often good practice to steer clear of consumerables with lots of ingredients, it is also worth pointing out that scientific breakthroughs are not necessarily a bad thing.

So what are tetrahydrocurcuminoids?

Simply put, the International Dermal Institute has been working hard over recent years to extract the curcumin compound from turmeric and apply it to skincare without the colour staining properties. The result is tetrahydrocurcuminoids. If you look up tetrahydrocurcumin on the open chemistry database you will discover it is “a product of bacterial or intestinal metabolism of curcumin” (Open Chemistry Database). Now, while that doesn’t sound particularly appetising, it is due to the enzyme breakdown of curcumin that produces tetrahydrocurcuminoids, a natural process in living organisms. What is particularly note worthy is the suggestion that this enzymatic activity results in a compound that “exhibits many of the same physiologic and pharmacological activities as curcumin and in some systems may exert greater antioxidant activity than curcumin” (Open Chemistry Database).

Basically, tetrahydrocurcuminoids provide all the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin (turmeric) without the colour. This means that new possibilities have opened up to add the ingredient to skincare.


Enter Dermalogica’s new hero for sensitive skin.

This amazing, powerful oil booster soothes, nourishes and moisturises your skin to restore balance. Sensitive skin is the result of an impaired barrier and the skin’s defensive wall looses it’s oil/water framework. To rectify this, Barrier Defense Booster contains key ingredients: Triple Defense Complex, Squalane, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil AND Tetrahydrocurcuminoids to reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier. It is great protection against environmental assault, and soothes irritation (Dermalogica UltraCalming 2.0).

Do you suffer with sensitive skin? Why not contact the salon and come in for a ProSkin 30 so we can analyse your skin, and talk you through the Dermalogica products.