Probiotic Face Mask

DIY probiotic face mask

I recently posted the natural remedies for acne that helped me finally achieve and maintain clear skin. One thing I mentioned was the benefit of probiotics on the skin, and a probiotic face mask is one of my favorite inexpensive ways to get them on the skin naturally.

Why Probiotics on the Skin?

As I mentioned in my acne remedies post, we are just starting to understand the system of living organisms that exists on our skin. Just as we have a gut microbiome, researchers are finding that we have similar but different colonies of bacteria on our skin, in our mouths and other places as well.

I’m excited for the emerging research about the skin biome and for skin products that will take into account individual probiotic needs, but in the meantime, this is a simple at-home recipe that has been around for ages! (I read one time that Cleopatra used to bathe in yogurt to stay youthful).

Food on the Face?

I love this face mask because it is cooling and refreshing and just feels great on the skin too. Yogurt naturally has probiotics and beneficial fats and this is a very gentle mask. I typically do a yogurt mask every couple of weeks and alternate with a deep cleansing mud mask.

The best thing about this mask is how easy it is to do. You can use plain organic yogurt or add a capsule of probiotics for an extra boost. I typically add a capsule of a probiotic/prebiotic for an extra boost.

Yogurt contains zinc and lactic acid (a natural hydroxyl acid) that are great for the skin, and the beneficial fats in yogurt help to nourish skin. I found that adding 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder was great when I was fighting acne and that adding 1 teaspoon of olive oil helped with dry skin.

How to Make a Yogurt Mask


  • 1 tablespoon plain organic yogurt (full fat preferred)
  • 1 capsule of probiotics (optional)
  • For Oily Skin: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
  • For Dry Skin: 1 tsp olive oil (optional)


  1. Mix yogurt and any other optional ingredients you are using.
  2. Gently apply to face in small circles.
  3. Leave on for 10-30 minutes. 10 minutes will be more moisturizing and 30 minutes will be more deep cleansing.
  4. Wash off with warm water and pat dry.

 Ever put food on your face? How did it work?

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Reader Comments

  1. going to do this–sounds great–thank you!!

  2. I am definitely trying this! Thanks for the time and energy you put into researching your content. I am continually amazed at the awesome stuff I find on this blog!

    • Me too! ?? I seem to find all my answers here! Am about to make lotion bars…… have my probiotic drinks brewing all the time now & homemade beeswax candles next week when my wicks arrive…… my kitchen is evolving fast. Thanks wellness mama legend

  3. I have been making my own full fat yogurt for years, fermenting it for 24 hours……which not only digests all the lactose, but increases the lactic acid content for anyone who desires an alpha hydroxy acid product but doesn’t want to buy a facial crème with chemicals in it. Sometimes I will “drip” the yogurt to make it thicker, which helps it to stay on the face. I have added ascorbic acid powder, sometimes fruit to make a “facial smoothie”. I love the effect. Of course with lactic acid caution needs to be taken not to leave it on for too long. I eat it also, to get the benefits inside and out. Love it!

    • Can you use Greek yogurt?
      How do you ferment?

    • Thank you for this info. I just finished my 3rd batch of raw milk yogurt. I plan on using this on my recently sebaceous glands due to hormone cream. Gracias, Amiga!

  4. Hi!
    This is fascinating and something I’ve never even heard of before. Definitely excited to experiment and give this recipe a try… Thank you for all of your time, detailed research and ideas! You are helping people in a significant, accessible, healthy way and I am so grateful.
    I’m a little nervous to put turmeric on my face… Have you done it? I’ve known for a while about turmeric’s amazing anti-inflammatory properties, etc, but won’t my face be stained yellow??? (Basing this fear off of what happens to my hands when I cook with it).
    Thanks again for all of your help and info,

    • I’ve done a turmeric/milk (so really high turmeric concentration) mask before – just use it at night, then wash your face; it might just be a bit yellow. Then wash your face again the next morning when you would normally wash your face and it should all be gone. And with the low turmeric concentration in this, I think you’d hardly notice it!

  5. I make homemade Greek yogurt with Organic full fat milk. I will be using that for my mask. How often do you recommend doing this. I am 72 yr old with skin that is a bit dry. How necessary is adding the probiotic capsule Love your website.

  6. Would milk kefir in place of the yogurt provide the same benefits?

  7. This sounds great! I have oily skin, and am interested in the turmeric additive— but will it turn my skin yellow???

    • I have never had a problem with it, and some people use it alone on their faces, but try a skin patch test on your inner arm first to make sure.

    • Not your face, but it will probably turn your washcloth yellow, if you use a cloth to scrub it off.

      I don’t know if this is commonly known, but sunlight fades turmeric stains incredibly well!! When I make a curry or a soup with a lot of turmeric, the wooden spoon and especially my handheld blender are always bright yellow afterwards. It doesn’t wash off, but leave any turmeric-stained items on a sunny windowsill for a couple of hours and the transformation is amazing!

      So if you get a yellow facecloth, try drying it in the sunshine 🙂

  8. we need to try this!! we have done yogurt on our face in the past but never as a mask

  9. Can’t wait to try this one. Should it be used more often if experiencing a breakout.

  10. Do you use probiotic lotion? Have a recipe for that that you enjoy?

  11. Any thoughts for those that struggle with acne but are sensitive to dairy?

    • How about sheep or goats yoghurt instead?

  12. If you are allergic to milk, almond yogurt?

  13. I have horrible problems with cystic acne and it is getting worse. I’ve tried sulfur soap, aztec mud masks, tea tree oil, clove oil, proactiv, an azelaic acid ointment. I’ve just given up at this point but it keeps getting worse. It’s painful and embarrassing. I’ve contemplated trying Lerosett, but I can’t afford it right now. The only thing my insurance will cover is Accutane, which I would not touch with a ten foot pole. Do you think this mask may help? Or have any suggestions?

    • Hi Beth,
      I’m not sure what type of diet you follow, cystic acne can be involved with gluten intolerance. My son also suffered with cystic acne and had a gluten intolerance. Changed his diet he has clear skin now with an occasional pimple.

      • I am not gluten-free. My dermatologist says that my acne seems to be hormonal. I may try that though. I think I may have a hormone imbalance.

        • Hi Beth, I’ve recently developed cysctic acne due to illness and have started bodyunburdened’s method for washing with oils and moisturizing with oils, specifically tamanu and jojoba and frankincense and I’ve seen a lot of improvement! I can’t wear make up with it though. It only takes a couple of drops, so the oils may seem expensive at first but are really not that much in the long run. Hope that helps. Also have you ever tried a liver cleanse- that’s a great way to help your body flush toxins through you liver instead of your skin.

          • Jocelyn,

            Thanks, I will definitely try the oil cleansing. I found one a long time ago but misplaced it and couldn’t find it again. I’ve not tried a liver cleanse yet, I’ll have to look into that some more.

          • Joycelyn,

            I use Tamanu oil on my skin under mineral make up all of the time – it works fabulous. I’m using Tamanu with lavender, helichrysium, and chamomile for rosacea. I have dry skin so I put the plain Tamanu everywhere and the Tamanu plus E.O. just where I have issues. The mineral makeup goes on top and it leaves me looking fresh and dewy all day long but not greasy. I get the perfection of the minerals but the moisturized look of a liquid makeup.

    • Hi Beth, I have also been dealing with cystic acne for more years than I can count. I have had some success with removing some dietary triggers but it never completely took care of it. And I have had periods of clearer skin without really changing the diet. I keep to a decent diet for other health reasons though. So I am grain free and sugar free. The one thing that has seemed to have helped a lot is using oils. I know it sounds odd but it works. I mainly relied on Benzoyl peroxide over the years to keep some control over my acne. I wanted to get off it and go all natural so I switched to using a combination of tea tree, and clove. They worked well. I am using a mixed of these now from company I found, Just Natural. They have a nice mix using manuka oil (they claim its better than tea tree). Its not cheep but I think its worth it. I do a clay mask, salt spray (recipe from Katie) and now I will add this probiotic one as well. Don’t give up. I am 50 and still in the fight. One good thing is I hardly look 40 (so I’m told). Oily skin has some benefits 🙂

      • Thank you. I have the Aztec clay, maybe in combination with the oil cleanse I can get some results. : )

    • Beth, it sounds as if you may need to do a parasite cleanse and/or heal your gut to remedy the cystic acne. It worked wonders!!! You will be amazed at the transformation. People forget that they need to heal from the inside out (myself included)Best of health to you!

      • Thanks Samantha,

        I am actually starting to drink kombucha and am going to experiment with using a probiotic face mask made with kombucha. I thought it would help with my gut and with my skin. I’m glad I’m on the right track : )

    • Try Frankinscense and/or Lavender essential oil on the trouble spots. That’s worked for me when I get breakouts – dries them up in a few days and prevents those red acne scars that can be left behind.

  14. I would also like thoughts on using kefir on skin. I think I will try it.

  15. Would this be good for facial dermatitis? I think that is what my daughter suffers from. Do you have any suggestions of other natural remedies for dermatitis?
    Thank you, love your site!

    • Hi Cari,

      Look at pictures of perioral dermatitis and see if you think that is what your daughter has. If she does it is a form of rosacea. I have this and what has been helping me is a Tamanu oil blend with essential oils (the stuff the dermatologist has given me so far has made it worse). The dermatitis is caused by a yeast though so a probiotic mask or crème should really help too. I am going to add this to my regimen. The recipe for the Tamanu oil blend that helps me is 1 teaspoon Tamanu oil, 3 drops chamomile (the recipe called for German but all I had was Roman and it is working well), 1 drop lavender, and 2 drops helichrysum. The trick is that when your skin is irritated you have to find something that won’t irritate it more but still is a good anti-inflammatory. A less strong recipe is 1 teaspoon Tamanu oil, 1 drop chamomile, and 1 drop helichrysum. I went straight to the first recipe I listed and it was fine for me and my skin was really irritated because the topical medication the dermatologist gave me burned my skin and made it break out even more. The frequency is three times a day for the first week, then two times a day for the next week, and then once a day. I still use it three times a day for areas that are flaring up and just once or twice a day for calm areas (almost all of it).

  16. Can I use a liquid probiotic instead of the capsule? Thanks so much!!!

  17. Would combining yogurt and honey be good ? Because I saw the honey mask as well and maybe mixing the two would gain some time. What do you think ?

  18. Thanks for sharing! Katie, how often do you use this face mask and how long did it take you to see a change in your acne from use?

  19. We are completely off dairy. Wonder if pouring the liquid from fermented veggies on my face would do the trick! I’m only half joking, by the way!

  20. This sounds really interesting! I’ve been thinking recently of trying something similar, only with my sinuses… doing a netti-pot rinse with added probiotics to help with my persistent allergies. Your post gives me hope – thank you!

    • Samantha, I had terrible allergies growing up. In my first pregnancy my Dr told me I was lactose intolerant, so I gave up all dairy & my allergies totally went away! Good luck with your netti pot. There is also an oral probiotic lozenge that is supposed to help your sinuses by Dr David Williams, called Oral/Sinus. My son is using it to heal some cavities.

  21. You have some some interesting and well-researched content here! Great to learn stuff.

    • Aren’t many of her recipes great? I’m learning so much from the W Mama all the time! Besides the yummy yogurt and applesauce muffins, I’ve made the lip balm with my own bees’ wax and am looking forward to the lotion and shampoo bars. I hate chemicals, so thank you for helping all of us find natural and healthier ways to live!

  22. Question: will using the whey from strained homemade yoghurt have the same effect? It contains the probiotics and i have so much in my fridge it would be awesome if i can feed my face bacteria with it 🙂

  23. This method really works. I have put food before on my face. My mom never allowed me to use chemicals on face. Instead she gives me food like yogurt, honey, tomato, papaya, banana etc.. It really works. And the best part is that there are little or no side effects.

  24. How often should we use this mask?

  25. I have bought a bottle of 100% pure virgin steam distilled frankincense oil that I was going to use in my oil burner but wondered if their was anything else I could use it for and how do I use it. ??

  26. I’ve definitely put food on my face — I use raw honey to cleanse in the morning and coconut oil to cleanse and moisturize in the evening. I’ve never thought about using turmeric topically. I’d like to learn more about why that’s beneficial. I know it’s anti-inflammatory, but didn’t know it could help oily skin. Why does it help with oil?