I love learning how to do things myself, and one of the first things I started learning, was how to make my own beauty products. (My interest in that, actually goes way back to high school when a good buddy of mine and I, terrified a poor pizza delivery guy with our green facial masks!) That being said, I never did much with turmeric except use it to color soap on occasion. I’d been reading article after article about the benefits of turmeric, both internally and externally. I’d read about using it to whiten teeth, color hair, “brighten” your skin with a turmeric facial mask, and many other things. Naturally, I had to try some of these things! I used it for my teeth, and while it looked absolutely hideous on them, it did’t stain them. It also didn’t noticeably whiten them either. I suppose I should’ve tried it several times to see if that helped or not, but I moved on to something else. The turmeric face mask!
I had some plain yogurt on hand, and mixed in a bit of what I now think of as my “nemesis spice”, and proceeded to smear this mixture all over my face. What could possibly go wrong? Never mind that I already know how badly turmeric can stain things like clothes, my counters, and the floor. I was sure it would be fine on my skin, because the articles I read never mentioned trouble with facial staining. I left the bright yellow mixture on my face while my family and I got ready for church. After a bit, it was time to wash it off. Sure enough, there was no strange, yellow tone to my face! My skin felt great, and after I followed with toner & moisturizer, I threw on a bit of powder and got ready to head out the door.
Once we were outside and on our way to the truck, my husband looked at me with concern, and proceeded to tell me “Awe, Sweetie! You can’t go to church like that!” Apparently, none of us noticed a problem with my face while inside, because we had pretty bad lighting. Outside in the daylight, my face was a lovely greenish, yellow! I couldn’t fix it. My husband couldn’t fix it. (He actually tried washing my face outside with soap & water for me, presumably because the light was better out there. Or maybe he thought it would be funny if one of the neighbors saw. I’m not really sure, now that I think about it.) We were running late, and I was expected to be helping with the kids at church, so that’s how I showed up. Good times!
Now, you might think that would’ve been lesson enough for me to stick to using it in cooking only. Nope! I often have to learn the hard way. A year or so later, after our first move away from the city, I read about people using spices like turmeric and paprika, to color hair. Because I’m not especially bright at times, I tried it. I figured the yellow from the turmeric would highlight the silver strands and look sort of blond. Given what I already experienced, this was not a good hypothesis. My hair turned out brown (My natural color), with highlighter yellow colored streaks, instead of silver. I took one look in the mirror, and laughed so hard at my poor judgment that I actually had tears streaming down my face!
I tried to fix it, of course, but everything seemed to either be ineffective, or actually make it worse. (All I had on hand to cover it with was henna, which kind of worked, until I was out in natural light. Then it was just plain weird looking!) When my sweet husband came home and saw my hair, he chuckled and suggested that maybe turmeric just wasn’t my spice. I agreed whole heartedly with him! Yep, I finally learned that lesson.