Sometimes the best ingredients for your skin are the easiest to find. We've all seen commercials about how the probiotics in yogurt are good for our tummies. But those good bacteria are doing more than just improving your gut health. Find out how probiotic masks can help you win the battle against breakouts—and get 8 recipes to try at home.
Doctors are now using probiotic supplements and yogurt to treat acne and rosacea [source]. And those live active cultures are not just showing promise on the inside. When the digestive tract gets out of balance, the immune system responds, creating internal inflammation that can break down collagen and trigger skin eruptions.
Research is beginning to substantiate a connection between the bacteria living on the skin and chronic skin conditions like acne [source]. When used topically, some probiotic strains have been shown to kill the acne-causing bacteria hiding in your pores [source].
8 Yogurt Mask Recipes for Face, Body, and Scalp
A yogurt mask can be as simple as one or two ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand in your kitchen! The best part? If you have any left over—as in, some of the mask that didn’t touch your face—then you’ve got a snack ready to go. How’s that for convenience?
1. Simple One-Ingredient Yogurt Mask
This is perfect for reactive skin that needs a basic, no-nonsense mask. By just keeping it simple with all the natural goodness of yogurt, your skin will look and feel refreshed.
- A few tablespoons of plain organic yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt
Using just plain yogurt with live cultures and no preservatives, apply a thin layer to your face and neck and leave on for 15–20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
2. Brightening Yogurt Facial Mask
Blueberries are incredibly rich in vitamin C [source], an ingredient that appears in a lot of commercial serums to brighten dull skin and even out skin tone. They also have more of the powerful antioxidant anthocyanins than any other fruit [source]. Why shell out money for serums when you can get the real deal straight from blueberries?
Lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C and adds a little exfoliating boost to the yogurt to refine and smooth skin. Honey is a hero skincare ingredient—it's a humectant, drawing moisture into the skin for a radiant boost. It has healing anti-inflammatory properties when used on the skin [source].
- 2 tablespoons of plain organic yogurt
- 1–2 teaspoons of honey
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Small handful of organic blueberries
Blend the ingredients together until you get a creamy paste, then liberally apply to your face and neck with a silicone brush or your fingers. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
This mask should be applied at nighttime since the lemon will make you photosensitive to the sun—or you can leave the lemon juice out.
3. Anti-Aging Berry Yogurt Mask
It's no secret that berries are rich in all things good for us, and a mix of berries is perfect for getting an all-around, effective mask. It's also a great way to customize what you want in your mask.
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and folate [source], two essentials for healthy skin. Blackberries have a potent antioxidant combination of vitamin C and anthocyanin [source] that leave skin absolutely glowing.
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- ¼ cup mixed berries
Combine in a blender and pulse until smooth. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 10–20 minutes before rinsing off.
4. Yogurt and Cranberry Facial Mask
Cranberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, the molecules that defend your skin from harmful free radicals and environmental stressors [source]. Free radicals are responsible for the premature signs of aging—wrinkles, pigmentation, and uneven-looking skin.
Antioxidants fight these off and work both to protect skin from further damage and correct any damage that's already occurred. Combined with the super-soothing and skin refining power of yogurt, these two are a match made in heaven!
- A handful of fresh cranberries (7–9 should be plenty)
- 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon plain organic yogurt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Apply with fingertips to your face and neck, and leave on for 15 minutes before washing off with warm water. Follow with moisturizer or serum.
5. Soothing Yogurt Mask for Sensitive Skin
Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory that soothes basically any kind of skin irritation—eczema, sunburn, and rashes, just to name a few [source]. Combined with the antioxidant properties of the milk proteins in yogurt [source], this mask is a great way to calm down irritated and inflamed skin.
It doesn't just have to be used on your face either! This blend can be a cooling treatment for sunburned shoulders and backs—anywhere it's needed.
- ⅓ cup cooked oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Mix together ⅓ cup cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons plain yogurt. Apply with fingertips in a thick layer, leave on for 10 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.
6. Calming Cucumber Yogurt Mask
This recipe calms skin with naturally anti-inflammatory cucumbers and additional probiotics to nourish your skin microbiome [source]. According to dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler, the high levels of caffeic acid in cucumbers reduces swelling and inflammation. This mask feels especially good after a day spent in the sun.
- ½ cucumber, pureed
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- 1 probiotic capsule
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and apply to a clean face with clean hands. Avoid the eye area. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Follow with toner and moisturizer.
7. Probiotic Body Polish
Brown sugar granules gently exfoliate while the lactic acid in yogurt [source] dissolves dead skin. Olive oil and honey soothe and moisturize skin. You can use this scrub on your body as well as your face if you go easy on the scrubbing.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
Combine these ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Use fingers to apply to clean skin. Massage into skin using circular motions and then rinse.
8. Protein Hair Mask
The lactic acid in this yogurt mask cleanses the scalp, while the yogurt proteins nourish and strengthen the hair. Honey and olive oil both lock in moisture and prevent dryness.
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1-½ tablespoons raw, organic honey
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Massage into your scalp and work through to the ends, leaving the mask on for at least 15 minutes before shampooing.
What's your favorite probiotic yogurt mask?
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.94