DIY Beauty: Plain Yogurt

Plain Yogurt image from

Sometimes I think the idea of using food to care for our skin is so incredibly simple, that we just fail to make the connection.  People seem genuinely surprised to learn that everyday food items can be amazing additions to our beauty routines.  If you’re just getting used to the idea, then add plain yogurt to your list of must have kitchen beauty products.

Plain, low-fat or whole milk yogurt, offers skin three major benefits.

  •  It contains lactic acid which is a non-abrasive exfoliant that gently breaks up layers of dead skin.
  • The acids in yogurt are also antibacterial which makes yogurt masks an effective treatment for acne.
  • The fat in yogurt provides moisture allowing the yogurt to soften skin while it cleans and exfoliates.

In addition to those three benefits, plain yogurt masks can help to balance out uneven skin tone with gentle lightening.  I’ve found plain yogurt to be an effective remedy for the baby blackheads that always appear on and around my nose area.  You can also mix yogurt with other foods and clays to give your skin even better results.  And it’s pennies per use!

How to Use Your Plain Yogurt

First – make sure your yogurt is room temperature.  The shock of cold yogurt on warm skin is something you want to avoid, trust me.

One tablespoon is more than enough for a mask.  Place it in a dish and put it aside.  For a nice snack while you’re waiting, add some walnuts, a teaspoon of honey, and some cinnamon to a half cup of yogurt and enjoy.  Once the chill has left it, your yogurt is ready to use.

It’s best to apply your mask to clean skin but if you can’t be bothered that’s okay too, the mask will still work.  The best technique for application is the ‘pat’.  Scoop a bit of the yogurt with your fingers and gently pat all over your face and neck.  Remember the yogurt will be runny so trying to rub it in will just create more mess and the coverage will be uneven.  Keep patting and adding layers until the mask is the thickness you want.  Clean your hands and find something to do that doesn’t require talking or putting your face near anything.

The thicker your mask the more time it will need to dry, but I don’t recommend letting the mask dry completely as that can be irritating for skin.  Ten minutes should be enough. Use your own judgement based on how your skin feels.  If the mask starts to sting then it should be washed off immediately.  Rinse your mask off and use a washcloth with circular strokes all over the face to thoroughly cleanse the loosened dead skin.  Once your face is clean, tone and moisturize as usual.

Remember you don’t have to use yogurt alone.  Mix it with honey for more moisture, ground oatmeal for a gentler mask, or clay for a deeper clean.  Don’t use non-fat yogurt as it won’t have the same moisturizing benefits as low or full fat.  Flavored yogurt is off limits too because of all the added sugar and coloring.  If you never buy plain yogurt, now you’ve got a reason.  Not only is it tastier and healthier with your own added flavors, but you’ll have an instant beauty treatment any time you want one.


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