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Plain yogurt has gained popularity in recent years for its key nutrients, especially in terms of digestive health. At the same time, yogurt has also made its way into skin care routines.

While blogs may tout plain yogurt as having certain skin care benefits, only certain ones are backed by science. These include moisturizing effects on the skin.

If you’re looking to try out a yogurt face mask at home, it’s important to understand all the properties and risks involved, as well as other ingredients you may want to try.

Talk to your dermatologist before attempting to treat any skin condition on your own.

When trying a yogurt face mask, you may consider trying different types of yogurt and ingredients based on the results you’re looking to achieve.

Consider the following options:

Different types of yogurt

It’s best to use plain, unflavored yogurt for a face mask, but not all types are created equal.

Regular cow’s milk yogurt contains more calcium than other varieties. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, has a thicker texture due to the absence of the amount of whey that other types have, making it easier to apply to the skin.

If you have a cow’s milk allergy, there are other options to consider. These include plant-based yogurts made from almond and coconut milk, as well as goat’s milk yogurt.

Honey

Research shows that honey is a natural source of certain nutrients and proteins that can help treat dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. It may also help prevent and treat wrinkles while restoring the upper layer of the skin, also called the epidermis.

Honey may also act as a potential wound healer, especially in the case of burns.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that’s gaining traction for its anti-inflammatory effects. While noted for such effects as a food or supplement, others are turning to turmeric as a topical treatment.

It’s perhaps best known for treating inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is perhaps best known as a sunburn remedy. However, its skin benefits extend beyond burn relief, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It may also help moisturize dry skin. Its ability to absorb quickly into the skin makes aloe vera a good option for oily skin.

All types of face masks have a few purposes in common: They’re designed to improve your skin texture, tone, and moisture balance. The exact benefits vary by ingredient, however.

Below are nine purported benefits of using a yogurt face mask.

1. Adds moisture

Yogurt’s creamy texture is thought to help lock in moisture in your skin. In-vitro and in-vivo studies from 2011 also back up such effects of a yogurt mask.

2. Brightens skin

That same research from 2011 also suggested that a yogurt mask can potentially brighten your skin.

3. Toning benefits

Whether you have acne scars or sun or age spots, an uneven skin tone is common. Yogurt is purported to help even out skin tone, perhaps with the help of naturally occurring probiotics, according to 2015 research.

4. UV ray protection

While research supports the potential of yogurt to help reverse age spots caused by sun damage, the 2015 research suggests that yogurt may help minimize the effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays in the first place.

It’s thought that yogurt may help create a free radical neutralizing barrier against the skin, which in turn reduces the risk of sun damage-induced age spots and wrinkles.

5. Increased elasticity

The 2011 research has also indicated that yogurt may support increased elasticity in the skin.

As you age, your skin naturally loses collagen, a type of protein that promotes elasticity. Face masks may help restore elasticity while improving overall skin appearance.

6. Reduced fine lines and wrinkles

Increased elasticity is also one way to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another method is to tweak the appearance of the epidermis, where fine lines are most prominent.

The 2015 research suggests that probiotics in yogurt may help protect against such signs of aging.

7. Fights acne

Probiotics are also thought to help fight P. acnes bacteria, a leading cause of inflammatory acne lesions. According to that same research from 2015, probiotics reduce overall inflammation, which may in turn soothe acne and help to prevent future breakouts.

8. Treats other inflammatory skin conditions

The same anti-inflammatory effects found in probiotics are thought to help treat other inflammatory skin conditions. These include rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.

9. Treats skin infections

It’s also purported that yogurt may have microbial properties that may treat skin infections. Still, yogurt mask shouldn’t be applied to infected or broken skin without a doctor’s approval first.

Yogurt can be used on its own as a face mask, but you can also combine it with other ingredients to address specific skin issues. Always wash your face first before applying a face mask, and leave it on for up to 15 minutes.

Consider the following DIY recipes:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tsp. honey, and 1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric for inflammatory or oily skin
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tbsp. honey, and 1 tbsp. aloe vera gel for irritated skin
  • 1 cup yogurt and a few drops of fresh lemon juice for hyperpigmentation

If you have a milk allergy, you should steer clear of traditional yogurt and opt for either goat’s milk or plant-based milk formulas instead.

You might also consider testing a small amount of your face mask on the inside of your elbow beforehand. This process is called a patch test, and it’s done at least 24 hours in advance to help ensure that you won’t develop any adverse reactions to the mask.

Another possible drawback is clogged pores from using yogurt. However, such effects haven’t been studied in clinical settings.

A yogurt face mask isn’t the only DIY option. Consider the following alternatives for specific skin care concerns:

  • turmeric face mask for inflammatory conditions, such as acne and psoriasis
  • avocado mask for dry skin
  • oatmeal face mask to soothe irritated skin
  • lemon juice and olive oil for oily skin
  • aloe vera for acne-prone, dry, or burnt skin
  • green tea mask for dry or aging skin

Yogurt is one of many ingredients used in DIY face masks. It has the potential to balance out your skin’s moisture while offering other more targeted benefits. In fact, some clinical research backs up a number of the purported benefits of a yogurt face mask.

Still, more research is needed to determine whether topical yogurt has widespread skin benefits.

Your dermatologist is another source of help, especially when trying to treat chronic skin conditions. Talk to your doctor if yogurt fails to produce the results you’re looking for in a face mask.