Yogurt for Dry Skin
Milk is often praised for being nutritious and essential to having smooth skin. But what if you're lactose-intolerant and don't keep milk in the house? Use yogurt instead. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends yogurt as a low-fat, low-lactose alternative to milk. According to the "New England Journal of Medicine," the dairy-fermenting bacteria present in yogurt already creates lactase, which helps your body absorb lactose. But don't stop at just eating it with your favorite fruit. You can incorporate it into a homemade dry-skin regimen as well.
First, make sure you've got adequate nutrition and relaxation to fix your skin from the inside. Use yogurt as the base for a smoothie you can drink any time of the day in order to boost your power to deal with stress, which can make your skin look tired and dry. Yogurt is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps battle the physical effects of stress. Good Housekeeping Magazine's website suggests adding magnesium-rich fruits into the blender with the yogurt, such as bananas, oranges and raspberries.
Yogurt makes a good general hydrating mask that you can use on any part of your body afflicted with dry skin. Fitness Magazine's website gives such a recipe. Throw 1 banana, 1 tbsp. honey, 2 tbsp. rolled oats and 1 cup plain yogurt into the blender and puree the mixture until smooth. After your usual bath or shower, apply this as a mask over your clean and damp skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Why does it work? Yogurt's lactic acid is weak, with a natural water-binding characteristic gentle enough to be used as a natural preservative in commercial food preparations or on human skin.
Dry skin calls for special, gentle cleansing, especially on the face. Best Health Magazine's website says you can mix a tablespoon of plain yogurt with a dash or two of sesame oil and put that on your face for 15 minutes before rinsing off.
If you've got troublesome "combination" skin, you might prefer an occasional deeper cleansing. Good Housekeeping's recipe for a gentle yet deep-cleansing facial mask calls for oats, wheat bran, buttermilk, whipping cream, lemon juice, fresh cucumber, mint leaves and plain yogurt. While the bran, oats and juices exfoliate and tone, it's the yogurt and the other dairy products that clean and soften your skin.
Scalp and Hair
Don't forget your scalp; this can turn dry too. Yogurt can clean and soften both your scalp and your hair without over-drying. Good Housekeeping again gives instructions how to do this: Combine yogurt with an egg yolk and a tablespoon of honey. Shampoo your hair clean and towel it dry before applying. Apply the yogurt mixture onto your hair and scalp, and leave it on for no more than 20 minutes. Rinse it off afterward, and shampoo again to remove any residue.
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