Actress and do-it-yourself skincare sorceress, Anita Majumdar, shares her recipe for a classic haldi face mask.

Anita Majumdar as Emerald in Midnight's Children

Story by Anita Majumdar; Photograph by Ronit Roy/ From the film Midnight’s Children


A belated Happy Diwali, Thanksgiving and Eid Mubarak to you all! It’s that colourful time of year that comes just before the gloom and doom of winter.

I’m a die hard astrology follower so this time of year also marks Scorpio season, which is that time of year when the days get shorter and darker and we submerge into the underworld as the cold weather descends upon us. There’s just something in the cosmos at this time of year that really bums me out.

And along with Scorpio season, the weather brings on excess dead skin cells. I have tragically dry skin in cold weather, so dry skin cells flake off and clog my pores and I break out more than usual. What can I say, my skin thrives in desi climates! And more breakouts mean an even more bummed out Anita.


Enter The Haldi Mask.

tumeric face maskIndian brides apply turmeric paste to make their skin glow as well as deter any blemishes for their special day. Turmeric has anti-bacterial qualities that are great at combatting acne, hyperpigmentation, eczema and dark marks. There’s a reason why we’ve been told to drink turmeric in hot tea when we feel a cold coming on. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant. It gives the face and skin an overall brightness and glow, which we miss in the winter months because of the absence of sunshine and vitamin D.

Plus this mask’s bright yellow colour makes your face literally look like sunshine when you have it on!


Here’s what you’ll need for Anita’s Haldi Mask:

2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour (you can use Besan, I can’t because I’m allergic)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Heaping Tsp of Almond Oil (or Olive Oil if you’re allergic)
Milk to moisten

  1. Add the flour, turmeric and almond oil together in a bowl and mix together.
  2. Start adding a little milk to the mixture at first (maybe a tbsp to begin with) and mix with a spoon. Add a little more milk if it’s too dry. It should create a thick, moist paste (it shouldn’t be runny)
  3. Once mixed, apply the turmeric paste to your freshly washed face (avoiding the eyes and nostrils, which can sting).
  4. Store left over haldi mix in the fridge. The mixture should stay good for a week.
  5. After 20 minutes, the mask should be hard. It’s easiest to take a shower so the steam and water soften the mask so you can rub it off and pat your face dry with a towel.
  6. Moisturize as per your skincare routine.

An important note to mention is that the Haldi Mask can stain your skin (and clothes). Because the skin regenerates itself every 3-4 days, the yellow hue goes away in about 12-24 hours, but I find the mask is actually most effective if you don’t try and soap off the yellow. I do this mask just before bed then wash it off and then put down a towel down so it doesn’t stain my pillow as I sleep. Then in the morning I wash my face with cleanser and toner, which takes off any excess turmeric left from the mask. This just gives the turmeric more time to clean out my pores and fight off acne.

Do this mask twice a week for glowing skin through the winter months! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Try Anita’s other marvellous DIY beauty fixes:

Shaving Oil
Oil-cleansing Method


Anita Majumdar is an award-winning actress, playwright and choreographer and best known for her roles in Midnight’s Children, Murder Unveiled and her self-written solo show, Fish Eyes. As this year’s Governor General Protegé Prize recipient in Playwriting, she premieres her upcoming Bollywood musical, Same Same But Different, in Toronto and Calgary in Spring 2014. Anita is also a judge on Bollywood Star, a new docu-series for Omni/CityTV which follows the search for Canada’s next big Bollywood actor.