Sketchy Desi’s Brown Girl Face Marinade

Sketchy Desi

by Soni Satpathy 

So on a recent Skype date with my mom and mausi, they peered into their camera scrutinizing the screen and asked, like only brown moms/aunties can,

“What’s wrong with your face. Why you look so tired?” the other chiming in with “No look good. Face looking dull, draggy, saggy”

Awesome. What every woman wants her to face to look like – dull, draggy, saggy.

Much to my dismay, I knew they were right, I had long ignored my skin. In launching Sketchy Desi, I have—as most business newbies do—began welcoming longer days and late nights, you know, hustling! However my face doesn’t seem to bounce back from late nights, sleep deprivation and benders like it used to. Usually the more the merrier kinda gal, it appears this philosophy has unwittingly extended itself to my face as a guest list seemed to be growing of lines, creases and bags.

The cool part of me wants to say, ‘Hey Self! That’s OK!’ As a fun loving, hard working woman, I should welcome these little creases and lines because, they are after all, souvenirs of a lively, robust life. But the vain part of me misses experiencing life and working towards goals, and not having my face read like the morning paper from what I did the night before.

Through the hustle and bustle I had, unbeknownst to me, departed from a ritual which had once given my skin a natural, non-Sephora induced luster. That said ritual was a bi-weekly, homemade mask of yogurt and turmeric, which takes my brown skin from fab to drab. I readopted the ritual and if I dare toot my own horn, my skin is looking good again, ladies!

As a chef, following in the steps of my mom and many Indian cooks before me, I usually marinate my chicken in this combination as a way to tenderize the meat. I’m not going to explain why simply because I won’t bore you with the science of how enzymes break down, but I tell you this, I’m giving you two ancient Indian lessons in one: stock your kitchen with these two ingredients for a pretty curry and a pretty face!

Yogurt-turmeric imparts a beautiful golden hue to your curries while making chicken tender. That very same mixture will brighten your complexion and make your skin soft to the touch, too. Don’t worry, you won’t walk around looking like murgh kari. This combo has been used for centuries for beauty and health purposes in getting rid of impurities, inflammation, acne and age spots.

Stressed or forgotten skin can be marred with pockmarks, discoloration, and ashiness that can often plague us brown girls. I’ve passed this mask recipe to many brown girlfriends and no matter what combination skin they have or where they fall on the brown color spectrum, this works!

All you need is ¼ cup of yogurt and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.

Combine thoroughly, slather the mixture on your face and neck, and leave it on for 20-minutes or until the mask cracks when you smile.

Wash it off with warm water followed by a cold water rinse.

Pat dry, smile, and bid farewell to the draggy saggies!

It worked so well that my last Skype date with my mom had her telling me my skin was glowing and that I look pretty. Wow. A compliment from a brown mom. A rarity really. Tells me my skin must really be looking good!

Note from the author: Marinating your chicken in this mixture for at least 1-hour upwards to overnight will result in a succulent curry. Please ladies, don’t use residual chicken marinade on your face!

For more natural face masks click here or visit Brown Girl Magazine’s Beauty & Style page.


soni satpathy, sketchy desiSoni Satpathy-Singh is a recipe writer and developer who resides in Manhattan. She is either always cooking or eating be it for work or simply because she loves to! She is working on her own cookbook and also recently created “Sketchy Desi” which provides daily humor, greeting cards, and apparel that celebrate brown culture. To see more of Sketchy Desi’s work, visit or stay tuned to upcoming posts on Brown Girl Magazine.

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