Growing up, I was plagued by acne. From the time puberty hit, my face was characterized by the number of angry, red zits that popped up. Back then, I used to rely on honey, cinnamon, astringent toners, besan, haldi, rosewater, and multani mitti—amongst other things—to purge my skin. I wish I could tell you that they helped—but they didn’t!
Acne, the friend I really didn’t want!
As acne became my constant companion and attended college with me, my peers suggested I try over-the-counter treatments. I diligently did, changing my skincare routine every semester only to get—as you may have guessed it—zero results. Zilch. Nada! I guess, Babita and Savita’s pimples weren’t as stubborn as mine.
When I started working and realized that my teenage acne had now become adult acne, I decided to visit a dermatologist. Two sessions later, I got diagnosed with PCOD and within a year my acne was gone—all thanks to retinoids and birth-control pills! However, the clear and luminous skin that I so desperately wanted was still a pipe dream.
Dry and dull skin, aka adulthood
You see, harsh topical treatments had rendered my skin dry and dull. Convinced that hydration was key, I invested in serums, facial essences, moisturizers, and sleeping masques. Did they make my skin soft and supple? Absolutely! Was my skin finally glowing? Sadly, no!
Just like in Bollywood films, the hero always swoops in to save the heroine when all seems lost, coffee and yogurt came to my rescue.
The benefits of DIY coffee scrubs in magazines, so when I chanced upon coarsely-ground coffee beans (thank you, oh mighty coffee maker), I thought: what’s the worst that could happen?
Coffee + yogurt = radiant skin
A common ingredient in eye creams, coffee is known for its anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, and skin-calming benefits. Plus, the slight coarseness of the coffee grounds was perfect to gently slough off dead skin. To complement these qualities of trusted caffeine, I decided to throw in some curd into the mix.
Bursting with lactic acid, yogurt or dahi for us desi kids, also combats dead skin by dissolving it—thus offering a luscious glow. Moreover, it also thoroughly moisturizes the skin. Not only that, both coffee and yogurt keep fine lines and wrinkles away and soften the skin.
The elixir that changed my skin
Once every week now, I make a yogurt-coffee (one tablespoon of dahi for every teaspoon of coffee) masque and apply it liberally on my cleansed face. After letting it dry, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes, I gently massage the paste with a little bit of water for about two to three minutes. Next, I wash it off with cold water (chilled water helps tame redness and shrinks pores). I follow it up with a toner (100% pure rosewater FTW), serum (fresh aloe vera gel), and regular-Joe moisturizer.
Since this masque came into my life six months ago, my skin is perpetually soft, bright, and mostly problem free. This masque also minimally helps with active acne, and you can add a pinch of turmeric for an extra shot of radiance. For a woman who’s been battling one skin concern or the other for over 13 years, this all-natural masque has given me results that the most revered bottled concoctions couldn’t.