Can yogurt really be the solution to your skin troubles?
A few years ago I was watching a documentary on the body’s microbiome (aka the bacterial colonies covering every square inch of your body – how’s that for a gross out?) and they briefly mentioned something about putting probiotics on your face. They touted it as a means of curing nearly every skin problem you can think of from wrinkles to acne to rosacea.
I immediately ran to the kitchen, popped open a couple probiotic capsules, emptied them into a small bottle of olive oil, and started applying it to my skin religiously. Within a week, my skin was clearer, brighter, and smoother.
Since then I’ve moved on to other forms of probiotics. Mainly the fermented kind like yogurt, goat’s milk kefir, and water kefir. While a lot of cosmetics companies have started adding probiotics to their products, I find that it saves time and money if I just do it myself. And, in an odd way, I really just like the way yogurt makes me skin feel. The zinc and lactic acid in the yogurt are smoothing and nourishing, while the healthy fats are incredibly hydrating. You can even add an extra probiotic capsule or two to give it an extra boost.
Here’s why it works:
- Protective Shield – When there is in imbalance in the bacteria on your skin (which can be caused by a variety of factors such as antibiotics or harsh cleansers), your body naturally sees the bad bacteria as an invader and reacts by way of an immune response. Applying “good” bacteria topically balances the skin environment and prevents skin cells from sending the attack signal.
- Prevents Inflammation – Less immune response means less inflammation, which also means you’re less likely to see premature aging and wrinkles.
- Antimicrobial – Certain strains of good bacteria create substances that can essentially “kill” the bad bacteria, which in turn, lowers the amount of inflammation-triggering bacteria on your skin in the first place.
To make, simply combine 1/2 cup yogurt or kefir with 1 probiotic capsule and stir. Apply liberally to your face and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Psssst. After doing a little digging, I also found that you can get the same effect by rubbing sauerkraut, pickles, brined olives, or sourdough on your face. Just save those for a day when you’re home alone.