From ice cream to pizza and cheeseburgers, dairy is pervasive in most people's diets, considered both a staple and a necessary comfort food ingredient. Despite its widespread consumption, scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that dairy products in the diet can have adverse effects on skin health and can exacerbate certain conditions. Consuming dairy can exacerbate certain skin conditions such as Acne, Eczema, and Aging. So, understanding the ways dairy relates to the complexion and using or avoiding it accordingly can be a powerful tool for achieving healthy skin.
Despite the adverse effects of many dairy products when consumed internally, some types of dairy, particularly yogurt, can be an invaluable addition to skincare when applied externally. This can partially be attributed to the living cultures found in yogurt which act as pre- and probiotics, balancing the levels of bacteria found on the skin. However, using dairy topically like yogurt can benefit your complexion, here are a few examples:
When applied topically, antioxidants found in yogurt fight free-radicals which lead to premature aging and wrinkles. Dairy also contains lactic acid which acts as a gentle exfoliator while tightening pores to give the skin a more firm appearance.
- Brighten and Correct Blemishes
- Decrease Acne
Because of its ability to balance levels of good and bad bacteria on the facial biome, a yogurt face mask can help to clear skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. Although dairy is considered an inflammatory food, yogurt applied topically acts as an anti-inflammatory treatment, decreasing facial redness and minimizing the appearance of breakouts.
The best way to reap the benefits of dairy is to apply a layer of plain or Greek yogurt to the face and leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Yogurt sourced from organic, grass-fed dairies should be used to avoid contact with growth hormones, antibiotics, and other unwanted contaminants. While yogurt can be used alone, other ingredients can be added to boost results. Mix yogurt with a teaspoon of raw honey for extra moisture or the juice from half a lemon for added brightening power.
Essential oils such as lavender can be added to increase the calming effect on sensitive or inflamed skin. For best results, and to avoid irritating the skin, use a yogurt face mask before applying makeup, or after washing your face before bed, once or twice a week.
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