The Magic of Yogurt For Acne
Although acne shows up on the surface of your skin, it is essentially caused by what is inside your skin, and more particularly, by what you ingest on a daily basis. If you are battling acne, then the components of your diet are crucial to the development of your pimples. While you can lather yourself with all kinds of ointments and lotions in the hope of alleviating your breakouts, there is nothing more efficient in this battle than a healthy diet1. One such ingredient that you might want to incorporate into your eating habits is yogurt.
How can such a simple and cheap food help reduce your acne? Believe it or not, the white creamy product is actually full of vitamins. Moreover, you can apply yogurt topically so as to experience its full power on your skin.
The Ingredients Of Yogurt Which Benefit Your Complexion
If you are choosing to call on yogurt’s healing abilities in your battle with acne, you should be warned that although you may prefer to snack on the fruity variety, it is plain yogurt that can perform miracles for your skin2. Choose the normal kind or opt for Greek yogurt which contains more of the good type of bacteria.
The components of yogurt which help improve your skin are the Lactobacillus delbrueckii, the Lactobacillus acidophilus and the Bifidobacterium bifidum. These germs actively help your body fight any irritation, including the one present on your skin. Lactic acid in yogurt is also an antibiotic provided by nature, which stimulates your skin’s collagen and strengthens the bonds between your skin cells. The vitamin B and zinc in plain yogurt also feed your complexion. Last but not least, yogurt can excellently exfoliate your skin’s dead cells, when applied topically.
Ingesting Yogurt – Helpful Or Damaging To Your Skin?
There has been some evidence that dairy product serve to worsen the condition of your skin3. Certainly, products like cheese, milk and ice cream are not exactly beneficial for your face. Specialists point to dairy as a major culprit responsible for breakouts due to the raised insulin levels that occur from consuming things like milk. In fact, some doctors say that dairy can increase your insulin to the same glycemic index carbohydrates levels that are normally attributed to major offenders like sweets and soda. For these reasons, dairy is indeed often blasted for exasperating acne.
Nevertheless, yogurt, in particular, is rarely blamed to the same extent as other kinds of dairy. Indeed, the Greek kind of yogurt possesses a low glycemic index. So, how is yogurt different from other dairy products? Its secret is the high amount of probiotics that it sports due to the fermentation it undergoes before being ready for consumption. Probiotics are the good kind of germs, such as L. acidophilus, which not only generally improve your digestion4, but they also help fight irritation and any kind of skin inflammation, like rosacea and, especially, acne. Moreover, probiotics are able to essentially fully benefit your body by increasing your beneficial bacteria levels and even by positively affecting your psychological state.
Eat Some Yogurt For Better Skin
You can consume yogurt by ingesting it into your system or by applying it topically. Luckily, yogurt represents a tasty snack for many, so having some yogurt as a part of your daily diet can really boost your skin’s well-being5. Opt for some plain yogurt in the morning or add some detoxifying berries for an extra oomph. You are better off choosing the Greek kind of yogurt, as it not only carries higher levels of protein, but it is also tastier due to its more creamy texture (because the whey is sieved out during production). If you feel like getting creative, there is a variety of fruits and other ingredients you can make into a smoothie with a basis of yogurt.
If Yogurt Is Not Your Thing, Get Its Probiotics Elsewhere
Perhaps you don’t like yogurt, or you would already have been eating it on a regular basis. Even so, you do need yogurt’s aforementioned probiotics if you are to successfully alleviate your acne. Although it is certainly more beneficial to get your probiotics from the natural yogurt source, if you truly hate the taste of yogurt, your best option is to obtain them from specially designated pills. In fact, ingesting a mix of antibiotics and probiotics can significantly decrease the intensity of your breakouts.
Which kind of probiotic is right for you? If you happen to specifically be battling a more severe kind of acne, you should go for the probiotic with the most bacteria. Don’t worry – we are referring to the healthy kind of bacteria6, such as the Bifidobacterium or the Lactobacillus. If in doubt, opt for the Ultimate Probiotic Formula of Garden of Life. It presents you with an all-round remedy which encourages the activity of your immune and digestive systems.
Applying Yogurt Topically
If you happen to really not be able to stand the idea of anything yogurt-related entering your body, you can also make an easy yogurt-based mask for yourself. While you will not experience the same kind of boost to your internal organs, the lactic acid will still scrub off your old skin and the bacteria will still manage to stimulate your complexion. In fact, applying yogurt topically will beautifully hydrate your skin, while simultaneously battling irritation and dullness, and even minimizing scarification.
You will be especially happy to hear that this is probably the easiest mask you have ever made for yourself. That is because you don’t actually have to mix together any ingredients (unless you want to add some additional acne-fighting agents for an extra boost). For instance, adding baking soda could balance your skin’s acidity, honey would bring you additional hydration and lemon could work well if you are in need of a disinfectant. All you have to do is lather yogurt of the plain variety onto the affected area, after thoroughly cleansing it with your usual cosmetic product. Allow the mask to function for ten minutes or more, and remove it with cool water. Don’t hesitate to pat your skin dry, as the moisture will already be locked into your skin!
Although some people claim that yogurt can worsen their acne, just as other kinds of dairy do, many specialists have brought about various valid points countering these opinions7. The best thing you can do is give it a try yourself, as you should always remember that what works or doesn’t work for other people may not have the same effect on your particular skin type.
Regardless of whether you choose to go for a face mask, a pill or just for plain old edible yogurt, you should look for the Greek yogurt with the lowest fat component, so as to avoid its unhealthy, saturated fat. Additionally, even if you happen to be tempted by the fruity varieties of yogurt, try to avoid them so as to keep your insulin low. Enjoy the beneficial effects of this simple ingredient!
- Danby F.W. Nutrition and acne. Clinics in Dermatology. 2010;28(6):598-604.
- Vaughn A.R., Sivamani R.K. Effects of Fermented Dairy Products on Skin: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2015;21(7):380-5.
- Juhl C.R., Bergholdt H.K.M., Miller I.M., Jemec G.B.E., Kanters J.K., Ellervik C. Dairy Intake and Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 78,529 Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. Nutrients. 2018;10(8):1049.
- U.S. National Institutes of Health. Probiotics: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (Website). Accessed 2019.
- Erdman S.E., Poutahidis T. Probiotic ‘glow of health’: it’s more than skin deep. Beneficial Microbes. 2014 Jun 1;5(2):109-19.
- Kober M.M., Bowe W.P. The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 2015;1(2):85–89.
- Bowe W.P., Logan A.C. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis—back to the future? Gut Pathogens. 2011 Jan 31;3(1):1.
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