Beauty products can be expensive. Making them at home can be fun and save you money. Yogurt masks are particularly budget-friendly and yogurt may deliver many of the same benefits when you apply it to your skin as it does when you eat it.

Scientific evidence on the effects of yogurt masks is scant, but anecdotal evidence abounds on beauty review websites. As a matter of fact, yogurt gets better ratings from consumers than expensive creams and skin treatments.

According to many reviews, using a yogurt mask can provide many benefits, including:

  • brightening
  • moisturizing
  • treating acne
  • exfoliating
  • soothing

However, it’s important to note that different people experience different results.

The good stuff in yogurt that makes it nutritious is the same stuff that makes it worthwhile as a mask.

People with acne often take zinc as a dietary supplement. Applied topically, it may have anti-inflammatory benefits and could help regulate oil production. Zinc also has wound healing properties, which may account for some reduction in redness, swelling, and acne when used in a yogurt mask.

Selenium, also present in yogurt, may be good for reducing sun damage when applied topically.

Lactic acid is naturally present in all dairy products, but is particularly concentrated in yogurt. (The fermentation process converts lactose to lactic acid with the help of water and good bacteria.) It’s a proven exfoliator and is often found in skin care products for exactly that reason. You may know it better as an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) in cosmetics. While lactic acid can make your skin susceptible to burning, the low amount present in yogurt isn’t likely to have this effect.

These ingredients, along with the moisture of the yogurt, are largely responsible for the benefits you might receive with a yogurt mask.

Some say all you need do to reap the beautifying rewards of yogurt is to simply slather it on to your skin, but adding other components could deliver additional benefits.

Honey & Spices

Spice up your yogurt mask. According to this recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee, adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey to plain yogurt will brighten and smooth your skin. Honey also demonstrates anti-bacterial activity, which may help prevent and/or treat facial bacterial imbalances.


Soothe and moisturize your skin with oats. One of several recipes at I Love Natural Skincare suggests warming the honey before stirring it into yogurt and oats. Not only do the oats calm irritated skin, but the warm honey will add an indulgent effect.

Go Greek

Greek yogurt yields greater moisturizing effects, according to Hello Natural. This recipe uses plain Greek yogurt, and the writer suggests using the full fat variety to get even more moisture. Optional add-ins include lemon for extra brightening and berries for their antioxidant properties.