Do not put turmeric on your face if you want to be pretty

I’ve had chronic insomnia on and off since 2004. It really sucks. During some of my worst nights, I’ve resorted to the following:

-vigorous kicking

-silent crying

-loud, audible crying

-reading old college course readers

-singing songs from my Lutheran elementary school days

-driving to the 24 hour Kinkos

One night around 4am, I decided to make the most of my waking hours. I was going to make myself super hot. Thanks to, I found this online gem:

Basic Turmeric facial mask
(For dry skin)

A typical basic turmeric face mask. The milk soothes and eases your skin, while the turmeric cleans and makes it glow.

What you need:

* 1 tablespoon of Milk powder
* 1 teaspoon Turmeric paste

How to do it:

Mix the milk powder and turmeric paste until it is a smooth paste. Spread the paste gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck; keep the eye area clear

Now lie down, relax and leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes, your skin should start to feel tight and dry

Then wash it off with cold water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel

Hm. Soothes and brightens dry skin. I didn’t have dry skin, but I was down with that.  I trotted down the hall to the kitchen and invaded my courtesy-of-Costco spice rack. Aha, turmeric.  Didn’t Cleopatra rub something similar on her face when she seduced Antony?

Finding milk powder proved to be a bigger challenge.  At one point in time during the early 90s my mom started feeding the family powdered milk. The chunky powder never fully dissolved into the room temperature water, and it made me want to throw up similar sized, colored chunks. That was the end of powdered milk’s stint in the Wong kitchen.

Being resourceful, I sought alternatives. Smart Balance butter? Too expensive, and I would be sad if I didn’t have enough for my breakfast toast. Cambozola cheese? I probably shouldn’t rub tasty fermented mold on my face. And then – sour cream. Sour cream is like milk right? They both come from cows. They’re both sold in the same section at Safeway. This would do.

I grabbed a bowl and started mixing heaping spoonfuls of turmeric into small mountains of sour cream. The bowl turned bright orange. ‘Wow,’ I thought. ‘My skin is going to be so radiant after this mask. People will think I slept 9 hours.’ Ignoring the pungent curry smell [now I know, turmeric is definitely one of the spices used in curry] combined with the aroma of grande nachos, I applied the mixture liberally to my face.

The aftermath went something like this: After a relaxing 15-20 minutes, I scrubbed the fragrant mixture off my face. I noticed that my face did look brighter. Success! But wait – that wasn’t just a glow. My face was yellow. Bright yellow, like the sun or daffodils or bananas. Using everything short of a steel wool Brillo pad, I scrubbed until around 6 am. My face was still yellow, and smelled like a curry taco, no less., how could you? I hope you get 1 million paper cuts and then jump into a giant vat of salt water.

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