Using plain yogurt for treating acne is a time-honored tradition. It is a natural astringent and full of good vitamins, nourishing the skin both from the outside and within.
Why Use Yogurt for Treating Acne?
Pure, plain yogurt is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk. The process results in a product that is full of lactic acid, but absent the lactose sugars that can make milk indigestible for so many. The lactic acid, on the other hand, can kill some bacteria. This property, combined with nutrients such as zinc and vitamin B, goes a long way towards cleansing and nourishing your skin. Additionally, as yogurt kills some bacteria, it also restores the pH balance of your skin, thus not only treating acne, but keeping it at bay.
Yogurt works both as a mask and as an important ingredient in your diet. The live bacteria in yogurt strengthens your immune system, keeping bad bacteria at bay and assisting in good digestion - all crucial to maintaining good health and good skin.
The Yogurt Mask
When it comes to using yogurt for treating acne topically, it's all up to the individual skin. Some people find it works like a miracle, others find their skin is worsened. The thing to do is try it a few times and judge its effect upon your skin over the course of a few weeks. Initially, spread the yogurt evenly over your face and leave on for 15 minutes. You may experience some tingling or tightening. If after a few days you feel like your pores are smaller and skin overall improved, try keeping the mask on longer next time. Some people even keep it on overnight, although this could potentially make a mess.
The only yogurt for treating acne is plain - this cannot be emphasized enough. Even if the included fruit would be something you might add to a mask, it's best to just let the yogurt work on its own. More importantly, you don't want to risk putting sugars and additives on your face. Plain, organic yogurt is what you want. If your skin is oily, you might prefer a lower fat content, but whole milk yogurt (goat or sheep milk yogurt are said to be even more effective) will have the most nutrients.
Even if the yogurt mask does not improve your active acne, it can do other lovely things for the skin that can render it a worthwhile addition to your beauty routine. The lactic acid helps exfoliate and the fat moisturizes, making it excellent for dry, flaking skin. You can add some honey to further improve the moisturizing effect.
Yogurt can also work as a mild natural bleach. It's said that some models and actresses wash with yogurt to maintain a pale complexion. This may be an exaggeration, but many women find that yogurt can calm the skin and thus abate redness. It can even help fade brown marks and acne scars. If you don't have excessively dry skin, you can add some lemon juice to the yogurt to improve the lightening effect. In this instance, you definitely want to monitor the amount of time you wear the mask, as it could be drying or irritating.
Adding More Yogurt
The classic Mediterranean diet that is so good for heart and skin health is heavily based on yogurt, particularly goat and sheep's milk yogurt. Besides being less impactful upon the environment, goat and sheep's milk contain more protein and nutrients and fewer bad fats. Additionally, the animals tend to be raised more healthfully, with better feed, quality of life and fewer antibiotics and hormones. So although it is more expensive, the more of this yogurt you can incorporate into your diet, the healthier you will be.
You may also be concerned about plastic waste. Whole Foods Markets now recycle #5 plastics in which most yogurt is sold. However, if you want to save more money and have more fun, you should try making your own yogurt. It's very easy - simply follow the instructions at: Make Your Own Yogurt. Your skin and insides will thank you!