Move over, milk and honey! The age-defying combo made famous by Cleopatra is getting a modern upgrade as studies show that yogurt is the more powerful, skin- and hair-nourishing dairy! Here, the yogurt and honey treatments that reverse years.
The real magic behind yogurt: probiotics.
You may already know that eating yogurt’s probiotics (live bacteria) can improve health by promoting the balance of good bacteria in our gut. But studies now show that slathering the microorganisms onto skin can be just as effective at balancing the good and bad bacteria (the microbiome) on our skin’s outer layer to combat conditions like rosacea and eczema and to reduce inflammation and firm skin! That explains why they’re the hot new ingredient in anti-aging skin care! A cream to try: Pacifica Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream, $16, Amazon.com
Heal chapped lips with a hydrating scrub.
Yogurt’s vitamins and minerals repair cracked skin, while moisturizing honey hydrates it, says dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, M.D. Pair with flakesloughing oatmeal to speed results.
Try it: Mix 1 tsp. of ground oatmeal, 1 tsp. of honey and 3 tsp. of plain yogurt. Rub onto lips; rinse after 5 minutes.
Soothe rashy skin with a calming mask.
Yogurt’s probiotics help ward off redness-inducing skin flare-ups. And honey’s anti-inflammatory properties nix any resulting irritation.
Try It: Mix 2 Tbs. of plain yogurt and 2 tsp. of honey. Massage onto dry skin and let sit 10 minutes; rinse.
Fade dark spots with a lightening cream.
A unique enzyme found in honey has been shown to work wonders to lighten and brighten discolored skin—from freckles to age spots. What’s more, yogurt gently exfoliates dead surface skin cells to reveal an even, glowing complexion fast.
Try It: Combine 1 Tbs. of plain yogurt and 1 tsp. of honey. Rub onto areas with brown spots, such as the hands, face, chest and neck. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Soften skin with a moisturizing soak.
“The creamy fats in yogurt are perfect for hydrating the rough patches of skin on elbows, knees and heels,” says Dr. Nussbaum. And honey locks in all of that moisture for silky-smooth skin that lasts long after stepping out of the bath!
Try It: Add 1⁄2 cup of plain yogurt and 3 Tbs. of honey to warm, running bathwater, then relax and soak for up to 20 minutes.
Thicken thin hair with a volumizing conditioner.
Honey’s antioxidants strengthen hair follicles at the root to help thwart breakage, while emollient properties smooth cuticles to add shine. And the lactic acid in yogurt sloughs away follicle-clogging dead skin along the scalp to reduce shedding. The result? Full, lustrous hair in no time.
Try It: In a bowl, combine 3 Tbs. of plain yogurt and 3 tsp. of honey. Apply to damp hair from roots to ends; leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.