I have had a lot of questions from clients about whether or not eating yogurt is healthy for their skin. The whole dairy question seems to be where this started. Dairy products can be bad for skin that has a tendency to get clogged or break out. This is because most dairy cows are fed hormones to make them produce more milk. The hormones get into your system when ingested and that can increase skin inflammation (i.e. blemishes and sensitivities). Plus, the high fat content in dairy products can change the consistency of your oil (sebum) to become more viscous, sluggishly moving through the pores which increases the clogging.
Yogurt however, is different. It’s actually one of our most healthy food choices, but you have to know how to choose the right type of yogurt to benefit your skin. Your first consideration should be to make sure your yogurt is organic. Why, because organic yogurt comes from cows that are not fed those hormones I mentioned, so it is less sensitizing. Second, I would choose Greek Yogurt because it has a higher protein content (often double that of regular yogurt). Protein is the main component of skin cells. You need to eat enough protein to produce healthy new cells. Important cells include collagen and elastin in your skin which are responsible for giving skin firmness and support thus making your skin more resistant to lines and wrinkles. You should also consider the fat content of your yogurt. If you have skin that is oily or tends to get clogged pores you should stay away from high fat yogurts. Choose a low fat yogurt, fat free is even better. Stay away from added sugar. Sugar invites bacteria which increases the likelihood of breakouts. Plus, high amounts of sugar in your diet can lead to cross-linking of collagen fibers which ages your skin (see our post on Is Sugar Aging Your Skin?) Plain yogurt is best, then you can add your own fresh fruit and a few almonds (rich in essential fatty acids). Finally, the yogurt you choose should contain live active cultures or “good bacteria”. You will find higher amounts of probiotics and active cultures when you choose organic yogurt. These probiotic cultures help digestion, boost your immune system and makes your skin more resistant to bacteria that contributes to breakouts.
Interestingly enough, the same benefits you get from eating yogurt also benefit your skin when yogurt is applied directly to skin via a masque. The following ingredients found in Organic Greek Yogurt are great for your skin:
Lactic Acid: a mild AHA with great exfoliating properties. This means smoother skin and clearer pores. Lactic Acid is more hydrating than other alpha hydroxy acids which helps elevate dullness and dryness. After using lactic acid (also found in BOOST) your pores will appear smaller, giving your skin a younger appearance. Plus It has a skin brightening effects which are particularly good as a dark circle reducer under your eyes.
Live Yogurt Cultures: As mentioned above, these probiotics reduce acne bacteria but they also limit yeast on the skin contributes to breakouts in hot, humid weather.
Zinc: contained in yogurt also has antibacterial benefits which is particularly good for healing blemishes. Zinc also has mild skin bleaching qualities which helps reduce staining on the skin left over from old breakouts. Zinc is also very soothing for sensitive skin.
Calcium: helps the body regulate how fast it generates new skin cells which then replaces old worn out cells and helps regulate how quickly the skin sheds those old cells. Skin that does not have enough calcium may appear fragile, thin and dry.
I hope all this yogurt info has inspired you to try a yogurt masque at home. Or even better, visit Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Skincare Spa to experience a super soothing skin restorative treatment. Our Express Yogurt Facial is only offered during the month of July. This is the perfect time to fend off the effects of hot, humid summer weather. This facial includes tropical enzymes from papayas and pumpkin extracts to re-texturize and enhance yogurts skin smoothing exfoliating properties. We also include an ultra relaxing hydration massage which is then followed by our Organic Greek Yogurt Masque. This masque is ultra-customized for your unique skin type. Its prepared with the perfect blend of emollients, humectants and probiotics to fit your skin’s special needs. We top that with a soothing cucumber eye pack and finish with a vitamin enriched hydration spray that leaves skin moist, soothed, refreshed and balanced. This is the perfect antidote for summer stressed skin.