Did you know that one of the foods that you have in your fridge right now has been around since about 9000 BC?
Yogurt, a modern day breakfast champion and probiotic wonder, has been eaten for thousands and thousands of years and it hasn’t changed much since.
Yogurt was once known as “the food of the gods” for its healing powers on the gut and its delicious, tangy flavor.
But did you know that aside from all of its godly-good benefits, yogurt can also make a great face mask?
In recent years, this age-old superfood has been making its way into the skincare and self-care routines and for good reason!
Here are 9 amazing benefits yogurt can have for your skin!
Benefits of a Yogurt Face Mask
Some form of yogurt has been found in almost every country which consumes dairy.
For thousands of years, this tangy probiotic-rich food has been making a killing as an easy and quick breakfast meal or decadent dessert option.
Americans spent over 8.2 billion dollars on yogurt alone in 2018!
Now, yogurt is making a comeback in the skincare industry.
At only $4-5 per pint, yogurt makes for a super affordable skin care addition and its benefits back it up!
No matter what your taste buds say, when it comes to face masks, plain greek yogurt should be your go-to (that is, if you don’t have a dairy allergy and are not vegan).
It’s also richer in many vitamins and minerals you often see in many store-bought skin products including zinc, Vitamin B, calcium, and lactic acid.
Greek yogurt is thicker than most yogurts, making it easy to apply on your whole face.
Not only does plain greek yogurt give you the most skin goodness in every pint, it’s a great base for adding other natural ingredients like honey and turmeric for a mask that’s targeted to your skincare needs.
Now, let’s get into the benefits you can expect from the humble yogurt face mask.
1. More moisture!
When applied to the skin, yogurt has been proven to increase and lock in moisture.
Calcium, which plays a critical role in your epidermis, is poured back into the skin through calcium-rich yogurt to help restore healthy and hydrated skin.
You also have lactic acid to thank!
Lactic acid contains humectants that help to attract moisture from the air by drawing in water vapor and absorbing it below the skin’s surface.
Keep reading to see the other benefits yogurt’s lactic acid has for your skin!
2. Fight fine lines!
Lactic acid is a popular ingredient in many anti-aging skin care products due to its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and restore elasticity to your skin.
It also contains potent antioxidants that fight off damaging free radicals from affecting your skin and causing signs of aging.
3. Get your glow on!
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that dissolves dead skin cells on the surface.
By removing the top layer of dull and dry cells, it stimulates the cells to renew faster, revealing brighter, younger skin underneath.
Vitamin B supports cell regeneration and helps to produce more healthy cellular fats keeping your skin looking fresh, plump, and glowy.
4. Turn up the brightness!
Yogurt can actually slow the production of melanin and brighten the skin overall.
This happens when the lactic acid found in yogurt inhibits the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that’s responsible for the production of melanin.
This has great promise for brightening under-eye bags and dark spots.
5. Even out skin tone!
Yogurt can be used to improve the appearance of dark circles, acne scars, and blemishes thanks to zinc (and, of course, lactic acid)!
These two ingredients work as a team to exfoliate and remove dead cells while encouraging cell reproduction and tissue growth.
By applying 2-3 times a week, yogurt can help to visibly reduce dark spots and skin tone unevenness.
6. Heal sunburn!
Yogurt is extremely cooling and relieving for sun-burnt skin, but it can actually help to heal it too!
Zinc has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe burning and itching.
When applied as a face mask or used to spot-treat especially sun-burnt areas of the body, yogurt can help to reduce redness and inflammation and provide much needed hydration to your skin (more on that below)!
You can also add in honey or aloe for extra hydration.
Here’s a tip: if your tan lines got a little wonky and uneven (thank you sunglasses and face masks!) you can use yogurt’s brightening powers to even out dark spots – yogurt can suppress the production of melanin!
7. Protect against skin damage!
While yogurt works wonders for painful sunburn, it can also help to prevent getting sunburn in the first place.
Yogurt, especially greek yogurt, is rich in probiotics.
Studies have shown that these probiotics may mitigate damage caused by UV rays when ingested and when applied topically.
This is because the yogurt creates a barrier on the skin to protect it from free radicals.
Try a yogurt mask the night before, froyo at the beach, then another yogurt mask the night after to help alleviate that sunburn!
8. Blemishes be gone!
Or rather, bacteria be gone.
Yogurt’s many probiotics help to bring down inflammation and soothe any acne you may already have.
At the same time, zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties work in tandem to alleviate the appearance of acne and regulate the skin’s sebum production, the oil that causes acne and plays host to bacteria.
Yogurt can also be used to treat the symptoms of other inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema!
9. Fight infections!
Yogurt can also help to fight fungal infections with daily application.
Yogurt is filled with good-for-you bacteria that produce lactic acid.
This acid fights and kills fungus on the skin while enhancing the pH.
It can also help to relieve any itching or burning you experience as a side effect.
Get to the Fridge – DIY It!
How to Choose the Right Yogurt
We love this at-home DIY because it is so simple and so customizable!
I’m sure we could all use a little hydration boost, especially as the summer days drag on.
If you’re itching to try an at-home face mask, here are a few tips for picking the right yogurt next time you head to the grocery store.
1. Go for Organic
Look for organic, grass-fed yogurts that are made from goat’s or sheep’s milk.
Just like clean beauty products, you’ll want to shop for clean, simple yogurts that don’t contain any preservatives or additives to keep your skin and the rest of your body free to do its thing!
2. Look for Live Cultures
Choose yogurt with active or live probiotic cultures.
(Siggi’s claims to have 5 different strains and can be found in most grocery and health stores!)
3. Know your allergies
If you have a milk allergy, try a plant-based alternative like cashew-gurt that also contains plenty of free-radical fighting probiotics.
What to Add
Now that you’ve picked the right base, it’s time to customize.
With just a simple scoop of yogurt, these DIY face masks can be customized to add extra anti-aging, sunburn relieving, and hydrating benefits to your new self-care face mask routine.
If you’re a naturalist or have picked up your own kitchen-sink face masks that make you and your skin happy, you can easily incorporate them into a yogurt mask!
Here are a few of our favorite additions:
Honey does it all.
Honey is soothing, emollient, and humectant – meaning, it attracts and retains moisture like a dream!
It can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and sunburn.
Basically, it’s the perfect sidekick for a yogurt face mask (or parfait).
Add in another humble breakfast food staple – oats!
Oats and grains are rich in antioxidants and minerals and can work as an exfoliant when dry or a moisturizing agent when cooked.
For an extra acne-fighting boost, stir in some turmeric into your yogurt face mask.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial.
It helps to fight future acne while soothing irritation and redness.
Plus it brings out your natural glow!
4. Essential oils
If you’ve tested and tried your favorite essential oils, they can be a great addition to your face mask to add to the relaxing spa-like treatment.
Our favorites are lavender, chamomile, and rosemary.
Be careful not to rush into it.
Before you try any essential oils, keep in mind your allergies and test them out on a very small portion of your skin before diving in and adding them to a face mask.
Yogurt mask recipe and application
Here’s an easy DIY brightening yogurt face mask “recipe” that you can experiment with.
All you need is:
- ¼ cup of greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of oats.
You can keep it simple to start, then swap out any (or all) of the above ingredients for your perfect DIY mask!
- 1. Wash your face with your regular cleanser and pat dry.
- 2. Place a 1/4 cup of greek yogurt into a bowl. Mix in a tablespoon of dry oats and a tablespoon of honey.
- 3. Test the yogurt on a small portion of the skin. You can begin adding other ingredients in teaspoons (or drops for essential oils) until you get a consistency that you feel comfortable with.
- 4. Heap greek yogurt onto the back of a spoon and apply, being careful to avoid the skin around the eyes.
- 5. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
- 6. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. *It may feel heavy or oily at first, but try not to scrub it all off! It will soak in leaving you with fresh, hydrated, and happy skin.
Products Using Yogurt
If you want to save the good stuff for breakfast, here are some products that reap all the benefits of this probiotic-rich food/skincare superstar.
This Power Peel is exactly what it sounds like!
It can be applied to your face and body to exfoliate dead and dry skin off the body.
It will leave skin looking vibrant, youthful, and bright – but be careful.
It can be harsh for sensitive skin types.
Clay, yogurt, honey, oats – all in one pot!
What more could you ask?
These ingredients work together to exfoliate, tighten, and hydrate the skin while minimizing the look of pores.
It’ll feel a little tingly, so if you have sensitive skin but still want to try yogurt in your skincare routine, you’ll be better suited to try one of the other products listed below.
As if we couldn’t get more excited for fall, FarmHouse created this intensely purifying and moisturizing pumpkin face mask!
This mask contains active yogurt cultures to detoxify your skin while leaving it looking radiant and smooth.
PS it tingles too!
This product uses all the benefits of yogurt as a daily hydrating cleanser rather than a weekly indulgence.
It also uses marshmallow root, cucumber oil, and milk of magnesia to balance bacteria and stimulate collagen production.