Greek Yogurt: All-Purpose Beauty Cure
Use Greek yogurt to keep your skin glowing
At-home beauty remedies are inexpensive and it can be fun to try something unexpected, such as Greek yogurt, to make your skin and hair look their best.
Greek yogurt is one of the best natural ingredients to use to keep skin and hair healthy and glowing. Yogurt is full of protein, calcium, vitamin D and probiotics, so it's great to eat, but it's also provides beauty wonders for your skin. When topically applied to the skin, velvety yogurt will help moisturize, fight acne, prevent premature aging, relieve sunburn and even reduce discoloration. It’s an all-around beauty multitasker. Use it for an enriching face mask, or mix it with sea salt for a foot scrub, or mix with avocado and use as a moisturizer.
Just be sure to use a plain, organic variety. You don’t want unnecessary additives and sugar on your skin or hair.
Greek Yogurt and Lemon Exfoliating Face Mask
Nutritional consultants and health coaches Marra St. Clair and Lori Kenyon-Farley share this recipe from their book, The Juice Cleanse Reset Diet. They say, "This gently exfoliating treatment gives your skin a lift and firms it up instantly. Lemon juice sloughs away dead skin and Greek yogurt's antibacterial properties prevent skin breakouts. Lactic acid in the yogurt shrinks pores, leaving you with more youthful-looking skin. This skin tightener can be done two or three times a week or whenever your skin needs a lift."
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
Directions: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, and honey and stir until smooth. Apply to your cleansed face and neck. Allow it to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Leave it on until you feel the skin tighten or up to one hour. When ready, rinse with tepid water followed by a cold rinse.
Greek Yogurt Hair Masks
Chauniqua Major, owner of Project Pop in Orlando, Fla. shared her tip for keeping her natural hair moisturized. Major said she uses this recipe to deep condition her hair weekly.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsps organic coconut oil
- 2 Tbsps organic local honey
Directions: Combine ingredients and apply liberally to hair, focusing on the ends. Sit under hair steamer or apply hot towel for 25 minutes. Rinse with cold water and style.
Another hair mask recipe is simpler, including only Greek yogurt. Nicholas Penna Jr., owner and lead stylist at SalonCapri in Boston, Newton and Dedham, Mass. shared his tip.
Penna said, "If you can't get to the salon for a monthly reparative hair treatment, Greek yogurt is a great inexpensive, deep conditioning hair mask for hair that is brittle, dry and needs a light protein kick. Apply mask to hair in sections, using about 1 tablespoon of yogurt per 1-inch section of hair and making sure to coat hair from root to tip focusing on dry ends. To keep the mask active and moist, cover hair with a shower cap or damp towel. Let mask penetrate for 30 minutes to one hour and then rinse strands clean with cool or lukewarm water. Voila. A smoother, glossier and more moisturized mane."
Please note that this treatment can be used on dry hair prior to shampooing or on damp hair after a shampoo treatment and in place of your regular conditioner. Use full-fat Greek yogurt to receive the most moisturizing benefits.
Greek Yogurt Moisturizing, Oily Skin and Antioxidant Masks
Dr. Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and author of Skin Rules, said she prefers to use Greek yogurt as a skin mask.
"It is a great source of lactic acid which, as you know, is used in beauty products. It helps with the exfoliation process," Jaliman said.
Moisturizing Mask -
- 2 Tbsps Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp honey
Directions: Leave it on the face for 15 minutes and then wash off with a warm washcloth. Honey is very moisturizing.
Antioxidant Mask -
- 2 Tbsps Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp mashed blueberries
Directions: Leave it on the face for 15 minutes and then wash off with a warm washcloth. Blueberries are very high in antioxidants.
Oily Skin Mask -
- 2 Tbsps. Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. oatmeal
Directions: Leave it on the face for 15 minutes and then wash off with a warm washcloth. Oatmeal help draw oil out of the skin.