How to Make a Yogurt Face Mask

homemade yogurt mask in glass container with hands coated in white mixture

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Overview
  • Working Time: 3 - 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 mask
  • Estimated Cost: $5.00

Yogurt face masks are wonderful at moisturizing and calming irritated skin, and they may even help fight acne. Its fatty, creamy consistency and characteristic probiotics—the same beneficial bacteria recommended for your digestive health—make yogurt an ideal ingredient for any face mask or even applied to your skin on its own.

Yogurt can contain a variety of "good bacteria"; specific formulations will vary, but to be considered probiotic they are all required to include Streptococcus thermophilus, which is helpful against acne.

Applying soothing face masks once or twice a week will help keep your skin at its best. And making your own clean beauty products helps you avoid harsh chemicals and preservatives, unnecessary packaging, and food waste.

How to Choose the Right Yogurt for Your Face Mask

bowl of lemons, quart of Greek yogurt, and essential oils are displayed on wooden table

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

You can use pretty much any type of yogurt to make a face mask (although it makes sense to avoid yogurt drinks as they are so liquidy). However, Greek and Icelandic-style yogurts, which are strained to remove water, are the best choices. This is simply because they are thicker yogurts, so they're easier to spread onto your skin and don't drip as much.

Importantly, opt for plain, unflavored yogurt for your face mask. You don't need fruit flavor, vanilla, or sweetened yogurt for your face, and in fact, you should avoid these for skin treatments. If you already have flavored yogurt in the fridge you want to use, you could try scooping some from the top of the container if it's a fruit-on-the-bottom type, but if it's pre-mixed, it's a no-go.

Also, avoid custard-style, squeezable, or more processed options. Your best choice is plain Greek yogurt, which shouldn't be too hard to find. If you don't like unflavored yogurt and want to eat the rest of the container that you don't use for your mask, simply mix in some jam, fresh fruit, or honey to make it more like what you usually enjoy.

Non-Dairy or Non-Cow's Milk Yogurts Are OK

If you're allergic to cow's milk, you may be able to substitute goat's milk or sheep's milk yogurt if your lactose allergy isn't too severe (but ask your doctor first). You can also use non-dairy yogurts for this mask, as they still include calming and moisturizing ingredients and should contain probiotics (check on the side of the container). If there is a thicker-style option for these yogurts (some coconut milk yogurts have extra-thick versions), opt for the thicker varieties.

What You'll Need

Tools

  • 1 Medium-sized mixing bowl
  • 1 Fork for mixing
  • 1 Headband or hair tie to keep hair off face
  • 1 Washcloth

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons thick yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 drops lavender oil

Instructions

  1. Measure Your Yogurt

    hand measures out tablespoons of yogurt from cup into white ceramic bowl

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    You won't need as much yogurt as comes even in a single-serve yogurt cup, so measure out the 4 tablespoons of yogurt you'll need into a bowl.

  2. Mix Ingredients

    hand squeezes half lemon into white ceramic bowl of Greek yogurt nestled in white towel

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Squeeze the juice of a 1/4 lemon (about 1 tablespoon), and 1-2 drops of lavender oil into the yogurt, mixing as you add them.

  3. Check Consistency

    hand dips wooden-handled spoon into homemade yogurt mask to show thick consistency

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together it should be the consistency of thick pancake batter, and it should smell tangy, lemony, and a bit floral.

  4. Clean Your Skin if Needed

    side profile of woman in lavender top using makeup remover wipe on cheek

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Skin should be relatively clean but you don't need to wash your face before doing a yogurt mask. However, if you wear makeup, definitely remove it first.

  5. Pull Hair Off Your Face

    woman in tank top pulls hair into messy back bun with black elastic hair band

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic


    Let your mask rest while you get all the hair off your face. Put it in a ponytail or wear a headband.

  6. Apply Face Mask

    side profile of woman applying homemade yogurt mask to cheek with two fingers

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Do a final mix of your face mask and gently apply it to your face using your fingers. Start with cheeks, then chin, then forehead last. Be sure it's not going to drip into your eyes easily. Leave plenty of space around your eyes and don't put any mixture under your eyebrows. If you do get it in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with cool water in the sink.

  7. Let the Mask Do Its Work

    woman rests and reads magazine while homemade yogurt mask dries on face

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Wait 10 to 15 minutes while the mask does its thing. Try your best to relax. You could put cucumber slices over your eyes and listen to music or meditate to create a more spa-like moment. Or you could read or do work if you don't have time to spare.

  8. Remove Mask

    side profile of woman wiping away homemade yogurt face mask with damp towel

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Your mask doesn't need to dry out to be removed. Use a washcloth dampened with warm water to remove it.

  9. Follow Up With Your Typical Routine

    ingredients shot of lemons, essential oils, yogurt mask, and jade face roller

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Pat dry and then tone, moisturize, or use whatever serums or creams you normally use after washing your face.

View Article Sources
  1. Kober, Mary-Margaret and Bowe, Whitney P. "The Effect of Probiotics on Immune Regulation, Acne, Photoaging." International Journal of Women's Dermatology, vol. 1, no. 2, 2015, pp. 85-89., doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2015.02.001