Average Rating 4.5/5
Review by gingerrama
Marvellous stuff, on the lactose-tolerant, sensitive, fragile of skin. If you have issues with cow milk products, try goat or sheep milk yoghurt, or else goat/sheep milk powder mixed with water. Have tried them successfully; haven't tried using soy- or oat-milk products, but I suspect they'd be worth a go. That briefest of caveats aside: this stuff is so mild the worst that would probably happen - if your skin is tougher and needs something more potent - is nothing at all.
Here are three mask recipes, all using plain natural yoghurt (i.e. no added sugar, flavours, bits of fruit, etc.):
(1) Emergency: simply apply yoghurt to skin. Straight out of fridge or at room temperature. Indeed, if in a state of desperation, straight out of the yoghurt container, and using the hands. Good for calming irritation and sensitivity. Burns, rashes, bites - I first used this on sunburn when a child, before the dawning of the great age of modern sunscreens that actually work. Apply a layer to affected skin, and leave it for as long as possible. Some will absorb - nice and moisturising - and the rest will dry, then can be washed off very easily, with plain water.
A thicker yoghurt works best for this, simply because the texture makes it easier to apply and helps it stay on: e.gg. full-fat, and Greek-style (or Turkish or variously Balkan) yoghurt.
(2) Basic face mask: mix 1 teaspoonful of yoghurt + 1 teaspoonful of honey. Applied in a thin layer to face, neck, and bosom. Can be left on for as little as 5 min in shower (while washing hair and rest of self), or up to 30 min (till really dry and crumbly). Then rinsed off. Skin is soft and soothed afterwards. Excellent if skin's been misbehaving or upset. Being very mild, can be used daily if so desired. Takes seconds to prepare in kitchen beforehand: I recommend using a small container (ex. egg-cup) to transport the mask to the bathroom. Unless you're a luxurious person with an in-bathroom fridge ...
Works with any honey tried so far. Fine with a thinner yoghurt (and - see other reviews below - low-fat is recommended, for AHA reasons). The mask should be sufficiently non-liquid so as not to fall off the face: other than that practicality, texture is a matter of individual preference. I've had perfectly satisfactory results with many a yoghurt: though I do still prefer to use the same pot for eating and for skincare, being a lazy shopper (and a pedestrian, with at least a 30 min walk between shops/public transport and home).
OK, not technically a mask - more a speeded-up version of the in-shower mask - but a thin yoghurt or a drinking yoghurt (the plain drinking yoghurt you get in cartons in Europe) also makes a good simple cleansing milk. As does milk (the clue's in the name). Use as any other creamy non-foaming cleanser: dampen skin (ideally, using a facecloth and tepid water), apply a little yoghurt or milk (1 or 2 teaspoonfuls: again, best via the intermediary of an unbreakable container), rub in, rinse off. Common practice for generations, but just adding this use here in case anyone's not met the idea. No guarantees on heavy-duty make-up; it does remove lightweight sunscreen; above all, nice and refreshing in the morning.
(3) The complete face mask: add oatmeal. Best ground down a little, and soaked in warm water (as if making porridge), then mixed in. Quantities: for a good solid mask, a little more oatmeal than the total quantity of the other ingredients combined. This mask can be applied and left until it dries; it can also be used as a super-gentle scrub. As a mask, works well with cold teabags on closed eyes, as an eye-mask. Happy memories of many girls' nights in, over many years. (Not keeping the same mask on for all these years, I hasten to add.) Infinite variations exist: e.g. the addition of mashed banana and/or avocado on drier skin. The world's your oyster ... Same proportions again: at least 50% oatmeal. Easiest to make in a larger batch, and thus either for a bunch of people or for a weekend of twice-daily self-pampering.
Cheap. Makes you gorgeous. Smells lovely. Fully edible. And performs miracles on messed-up skin - on this particular one anyway, that's physically thin (gets scratched and bleeds with nearly all scrubs) and easily irritated (sometimes resulting in spots and rashes), slightly dry, occasional cystic pimpliciousness on chin (currently none, touch wood it's under control).
Recommended as part of a general leisurely - maybe even slow-motion - hung-over pampering: groaning gently to oneself feels like the perfect accompaniment. Mind you, so is humming happily.