So what’s for breakfast? Decisions. Decisions. Hmmm, oatmeal or yogurt? Both will give your body healthy nutritious goodness, but if you want some seriously sumptuous skin, I’d eat the oatmeal and save that creamy yogurt to add to your collection of homemade beauty products for a super moisturizing yogurt face mask (not that oatmeal doesn’t have a place in skincare, too!).
Chock full of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics (the healthy bacteria that aid digestion), there’s no doubt yogurt provides delicious benefits for your insides. But it can also do beauty wonders for your outsides as well, namely for your skin.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, that dissolves dead skin cells. This gentle exfoliation not only helps to create a natural glow and prevent breakouts, but works to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
When topically applied to the skin, a velvety yogurt face mask will help moisturize, fight acne, prevent premature aging, relieve sunburn, and reduce discoloration. It’s an all-around beauty multitasker.
Experts agree. Dr. Judith Hellman, NYC Dermatologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital, says yogurt helps to rejuvenate and soften the skin. Dr. Hellman recommends applying a yogurt face mask often and liberally after excessive sun exposure to calm skin. It is also an effective treatment for Keratosis pilaris, and may be mixed with honey for more intensive exfoliation.
Licensed Esthetician, Amanda Holdredge of Island Medical Spa SunGate Medical Group, suggests adding a few drops of melaleuca oil to a handful of yogurt to treat sunburn or acne. Take care to avoid eyes, mouth, and other sensitive skin areas when using essential oils. The dairy staple can also help to ward off skin discoloration and premature aging. Holdredge combines the juice of half a lemon with a couple tablespoons of yogurt for a lightening/brightening mask that may be used 2-3 times per week.
Skincando creator and eco-facialist, Sara Damelio, uses local yogurt in her facials for a mildly exfoliating, anti-bacterial, hydrating skin treatment. Sara has shared her fabulous recipe with us.
Honey & Rose Yogurt Face Mask
6-7 fresh rose petals
2 tbsp organic rosewater
1 tbsp local yogurt
1 tsp manuka honey
Crush rose petals in a bowl and add rosewater, yogurt and honey and mix well. Apply to the skin and leave it for 10 minutes, then rinse.
Just be sure to use a plain, organic variety. You don’t want unnecessary additives and sugar anywhere near your body.
I’m sure you’re curious, so go ahead. Grab that tub of yogurt and test out these five skin-rejuvenating ways to use the creamy stuff—right now!
Revive dull skin on your face with only that tasty yogurt in your fridge. A simple yogurt face mask applied two or three times a week will leave you with soft, supple skin—and save you a load of cash on beauty products.
To indulge in a yogurt facial, follow these steps: First, wash your face. When you’re finished slathering and splashing, smooth some creamy, natural yogurt over your face and neck. The yogurt will lock in the moisture from washing your face. Let the mixture refresh your skin for about 10 minutes, and then rinse it off.
The lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, in the yogurt helps smooth and exfoliate skin. Make sure to use a thick kind with active cultures for the ultimate beauty benefits. Strain the mixture if it’s too runny.
Too much time spent basking in summer’s glow, you sun god or goddess? Nourish your achy sunburn naturally with yogurt. The zinc in yogurt helps cool the harsh bite of a sunburn.
Add a few drops of soothing chamomile essential oil to about a handful of organic yogurt. Rub the calming concoction over your sunburned skin and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
3. Fight acne
Beware, pimples! Yogurt contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. To get rid of those nasty blotches, rub a dab of the creamy stuff into acne-prone areas. Let the yogurt work its zit-zapping magic and then rinse it off after 30 minutes.
A regular beauty regime with a yogurt facial mask will help keep skin cleansed, which will also reduce irritating breakouts.
4. Reduce discoloration
When used regularly, yogurt has mild bleaching powers that can smooth out discoloration. Reduce blotches and age spots associated with sunburn by rubbing a few tablespoons of yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice onto skin for 30 minutes, and then rinsing off the mixture. Repeat three times a week.
5. Prevent premature aging
You know they’re coming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow fine lines and wrinkles down a bit. Naturally reduce fine lines and wrinkles from forming with an anti-aging yogurt face mask. The lactic acid in yogurt will help dissolve dead skin and tighten pores.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to three to four tablespoons of yogurt. Apply the mixture to your face for about 30 minutes, three times a week.
Not into DIY? Some organic skincare products contain yogurt. Try Amala Beauty Hydrating Yogurt Mask and MV Skincare Gentle Cleansing Bar. If you are vegan but looking to get in on the action, try products with plant-derived lactic acid. Pai Instant Calm Redness Serum Sea Aster & Wild Oat, Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, Copaiba AHA Deep Cleanse Mask, Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream all contain lactic acid from sugar beets.
Note: Watch out if your skin starts to break out or itch. Some people are allergic to yogurt. If your skin gets redness or breaks out, stop using the yogurt treatments. Don’t be too sad though. Try another natural beauty basic, such as baking soda, instead.
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Yogurt image via Shutterstock
This article was updated October 19, 2015.