Seth’s Yogurt Mask

Regular readers might remember my post: What This Hideous Rash on my Face Taught Me. I talked about a rash–what I had thought was seborrheic dermatitis.

Taking steroids to treat that rash, I inadvertently created another problem: perioral dermatitis–an angry, hard-to-treat red rash seething around my nose and mouth. It lasted three months, and it seriously undermined my sense of self-confidence.

When faced with a health challenge, I read every bit of information available on-line and in print. (Hypochondria? Or supreme attentiveness?)

What I learned about POD, as it’s so referred to by the woman who suffer it (women suffer POD in much greater numbers than men), is that it’s often a result of skin sensitivities.

On my favored message board, Earth Clinic, many people suggested a simple cure for POD: Don’t do anything. Don’t use any soap. Don’t use anything. Maybe just a little apple cider vinegar. Or yogurt.

Now I had been using Mychelle Dermacueticals for years with great success. I trusted these plant-based products. (Still do). And yet, I spent about $25-$30 a month on my skin and I was still having major problems. So I stopped. I stopped washing my face. I stopped everything.

  I haven’t touched one skin-care product since. Except yogurt.

I now spend maybe $2 a week on skin care. I slather yogurt on my face everyday; sometimes, I slather it on my body. I believe anyone could benefit form this mask–it’s gentle, yet effective. Milk has been used for thousands of years as a skin softener and nourishing agent; and the good bacteria in yogurt fight the bad bacteria that cause blemishes. Simple, right?

Try it. I think you’ll love it!

Seth’s Yogurt Mask
I add probiotics to the yogurt to amplify the effects of the good bacteria. Full-fat yogurt is best. And Greek yogurt is a must–other, less thick yogurts, sort of just slide off your face. This recipe is good for a week’s supply.

1 7 oz. container Fage Total Yogurt (full fat Greek Yogurt is best)
1-2 probiotic capsules, such as Primal Defense Ultra

Place yogurt in a small bowl or Pyrex container. Empty probiotic capsules into yogurt and stir to combine. Refrigerate. Lasts about two weeks.

60 thoughts on “Seth’s Yogurt Mask”

  1. Do you take Primal Defense Ultra? I think I saw that shit at GNC the other day when I was picking up 'roids.

    Yesterday I surprised my wife with some tomato product. It was a facial moisturizer, not just a particularly surprising tomato. It was fucking expensive, and I bet we could make something more effective at home. Perhaps I will surprise her with Seth's Yogurt Mask next.

  2. LOVE! I'm going to buy the ingredients for your yogurt recipe b/c I have had skin problems since puberty. For years, I haven't used soap on my face (only a warm washcloth).
    Karen is one of the most beautiful women I've ever encountered and she always makes me smile and I love our laughs together. It makes me smile to think of you two trying to make each other laugh.
    Oh, I just loved seeing pics of Suzanne's enormous belly. I'm so happy to hear that her baby Julia was born. Kudos!!!
    Much love old friend!

  3. Bert: I have taken Primal Defense Ultra. Recently, though, I've graduated to the most potent probiotic imaginable: VSL#3.

    Jennifer: Thank you! And much love to you, too, old friend.

  4. Hello, Anonymous. I typically leave the masks on for about 30 minutes, although I think they can provide benefits if applied for a shorter amount of time–10 minutes.

  5. Thanks! I have been using ACV and yogurt masks for the past 4 days and have seen an improvement in my dermatitis. Have you used coconut oil at all? I have been reading great things.

  6. Yes, I've used coconut oil. I condition my hair with it. I've never used it on my face. That doesn't seem enjoyable to me: spreading oil on my face. I prefer to stick to enjoyable, yet effective, applications, like yogurt.

  7. I just started using yogurt masks this week and I can't be so sure yet, but I think its really helping my skin!! I really like your post….that's a nice little rant on vitamin D, which I might also add that a deficiency in vit D also causes depression! So yeah go out in the sun, don't burn, and be happy!

  8. I'm trying to get my pale skin (which I have naturally) back, since dark hair and tan skin is no longer the look I'm going for. I heard lemon can help and I heard that milk and yogurt can too. Can I make a mask with all three of them that is still effective?

  9. Hey All,
    Just a note that I was diagnoised with Dermititis and having a HELL of a time so this is what I started..Yogurt Facial daily I leave on until it is dry followed bu coconut oil on my face, Zinc 50 mg 2 times day for 1 week, potent probiotic daily, Vit B, I stopped using ALL facial cleaners, lotions and soaps, Changed my toothpaste as well to an ALL natural NO floride and NO cinnimon Changed my make-up to all mineral and I check to make sure anything I put on or near my face dosn't have ANY of the following PABANS, SULFER, SLS or Phenoxythanol…This has worked for me..The best is the coconut oil it's the ONLY lotion I use now PLU it works great as a "personal" lubricant..Trust me I have SPENT $1000 on facials, lotions, peels..My skin looks the best with just yogert and coconut oil 🙂 Go figure! Hope this helps 🙂

  10. Seth,
    I had to create a post in your Comments section to send you a gigantic heart-felt 'thank you' for posting about your yogurt masks and the success you've had with them. I'm a 42-year old guy who has struggled with seborrheic dermatitis for the past 9+ years. Several commercial treatments have helped to minimize the redness and scales, but nothing I've tried has been able to get rid of the symptoms completely… until now.

    Since finding your blog and reading about the success you've had with yogurt masks, I have been duplicating your method and the results have me dumbfounded and giddy. After only the second application of your mask recipe I was symptom-free for the first time since I can remember. I'm finding that a daily 30-minute mask is enough to prevent the redness and skin flakes from appearing altogether. You have no idea of the weight you have lifted off my mind. For the first time in nearly a decade I am free from the Seb Derm monster that has crushed my spirit and caused me to retract into a world of introversion. Your blog post has honestly had a life-changing effect on me. So again, thank you for sharing your experiences.

  11. Cary,

    Thank you for your heart-felt comment. I am so happy to read about your success with the yogurt masks. Thank you for sharing. Honestly, this is the best blog comment I've ever received. 🙂

  12. Hi Seth, I'm from South Africa, and I love your blog. I've also noticed you put yogurt on the sensitive area around the eye… is that ok? Always heard stories about protecting that area though. I'm excited to know something as simple as plain yogurt will do the trick. I've a low self esteem becasue of the blemishes and marks on my face and jawline. I have no confidence and I'm always covering up with heavy base make-up. I never leave home without painting the Monalisa. I've spend thousands of R's over the years… I'm so tired of that and going to try your yogurt mask for this week and hopefully it will help!!! I'l keep you posted. V

  13. Hi Seth/All,

    I also suffer from PD and am on anti-biotics, Minocycline, for 2 & 1/2 month course. All info I've come across for PD suggests it is a bacterial and fungal condition, and treatment plans are conflicting in that antibiotics kill bacteria but kill the got flora, so causes fungal infections in body. Natural yogurt would assist in killing fungal infection, and so would (diluted) apple cider vinegar; but this would not be recommended during a course of antibiotics as they could interfer with this treatment. I have now had 3 outbreaks of PD – after taking antibiotics for 1 month for each outbreak; and as mentioned am now on a longer antibiotics treatment with strongest antibiotics possible.
    As a female, (aged 40 FYI), I have ditched all chemicals in make-up and only use mineral make-up sparingly, only use shampoo and conditioner with organic natural ingredients, as well as natural oraganic facial cleanser and natural organic tooth-paste, as well as oragnic food diet as much as possible… all this to no avail as I am still suffering from PD!
    Just thought I'd put my experience in for all it's worth. Best of luck to you all who suffer from PD – more research needs to be done on this condition, for sure.

  14. Hi Seth, I have suffered from seborrheic dermatitis since late adolescence and dealt with it more or less successfully in various ways for twenty years. I would like to try yogurt masks. How do you remove the yogurt mask from your face?

  15. Hi anonymous,

    The yogurt mask and ACV treatments are topical, and relatively benign. Of course I'm not a dermatologist or doctor but I can say with confidence that both of these treatments will not interfere with the action of antibiotics. Part of the point of my post was to say that the treatment that worked for me (and many others) was to use the LEAST intervention: I stopped all face washes and similar products, organic or not, and simply applied yogurt masks. I do believe diet also plays a crucial role, and gut flora is crucial (I suggest taking Inner Eco probiotics), but the first thing to do, in my opinion, is STOP everything, including the antibiotics. I wish you luck on your journey.

  16. I have personally noticed no ill-effects from putting the yogurt on the sensitive area around my eye; yogurt is relatively benign, after all, and great for sensitive skin. You might also try probiotics (internally)–which I personally find essential for skin health. Good luck!

  17. I've been suffering from a cross of rosacea and seb derm for about 7 years now. I've taken everything from steroids to accutane to drastically changing my diet.

    Your post, Seth, and your comment, Cary, give me hope. I'm sitting here with a yogurt mask on and hoping this will be the successful treatment I've been seeking.

    I love the sun and I hope someday soon I can get wonderfully brown like I did before all of this. Thanks for this and good luck to everyone else looking for a treatment.

  18. Hi Matthew,

    I sincerely hope the yogurt masks work for you. I've found that avoiding all other treatments, in concert with 1-3 yogurt masks applications/day, can, indeed, dramatically improve skin health. Just stick with it!

    You might also think about taking supplemental probiotics, like Inner Eco Coconut Water Kefir. Finally, avoiding gluten, or at the very least wheat, might also inspire dramatic results.

    Keep us updated!

  19. Hi seth,
    So do you wash your face with anything? Or do you only do the yogurt masks and nothing else? I have rosacea and some dermatitis and have been trying the masks for the last few days. Seems good so far, but I feel maybe adding face washing is where it doesn't work fully for me. I could understand just doing the yogurt and nothing else, seems like it would work.. thanks!

  20. Hi Dominic,

    I only wash my face with water. I've been doing so for three years now–to great effect. I splash my face with water before applying the mask, then I simply "wash" the mask off with water. I think this is the best approach for someone with skin sensitivities. I hope this helps.

  21. Thanks for the resonse Seth, one last thing.. Do you use any kind of moisturizer after rinsing off the yogurt?
    Thanks again!

  22. Hi Seth,

    I started doing the yogurt masks last night and both times I have had reactions to it especially on the parts of my face that have the dermatitis.The reactions have only lasted about an hour. I was wondering if this happened to you at first? I don't know if I am having an allergic reaction to the yogurt or if the dermatitis is dying off? I don't want to give up on it too early if it is just dying off but I don't want to make things worse.
    Thought I would check and see if you experienced this at the beginning.

  23. Hi Dominic,

    I do not use moisturizer. I'm not a big fan of the word "moist", and I try to avoid the word and all its derivations. Also, I believe the yogurt is quite moisturizing. Finally, I believe the best way to deal with skin sensitivities like dermatitis is a minimalist approach: the less product used the better. Hope this helps!

  24. Hi Anonymous,

    What exactly do you mean by "reaction"? Redness? Burning? When I first started using the yogurt masks I did experience sensitivity, but not necessarily redness or burning.

    Of course I'm not a dermatologist, but my advice would be to continue the yogurt masks for five days, and then assess, for yourself, if they are harming or helping your condition.

    Often when beginning new treatments, sensitivity, or even "die off," as you say, might occur.

  25. Hi Seth,
    I'm so glad I found your blog and with your recommendation on yogurt masks. I recently developed SB few months ago out of the blue. I finally got rid of most of it from applying grapeseed oil extract and then aveeno baby lotion for eczema on top. The rash on my nose is more stubborn and has kinda stuck around all these months but fluctuating from really light pink to darker pink, but no peeling..itchy though. I definitely will try your mask. You said the virgin coconut oil got rid of the SB in 2 days. Do you still recommend using that for SB? and did it clog your pores? I want to try that also. How long did you leave on the coconut oil on your face for? and did you just rinse it off w/water after? sorry for the many questions.

  26. Hi Anonymous,

    Yes, I still do believe the extra virgin coconut oil can be helpful. Wash your face with warm (not hot) water and apply a thin layer of extra virgin coconut oil with your fingertips. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes, if possible, then rinse with water. The key is simplifying your regime, only using very natural essentials that you make at home. The yogurt mask is indispensable. I'd make sure to try that as well…

    Hope this helps!

  27. Thanks Seth, I tried the mask, but without the added capsules cause I bought the wrong kind…bought the caplets form. My face felt a little irritated when the mask was on cause of the coldness of the yogurt…I'm assuming you put it on cold also. But my face did feel very moisturized afterwards. I still did add moisturizer on top of it afterwards cause I have a few trouble spots at the moment. I wish I could do all yogurt only for facewash but since I wear makeup, I'm afraid it's not going to be enough to wash it off. I also applied the extra virgin coconut oil afterwards and left it on all night on those spots. I'm not sure if it got better the next morning but I will try your method next time of leaving on for 30 min. and wash off. I wanted to know if you have had anymore SB spots since you've been only on the yogurt masks and what do you use for sunscreen? Thanks for your reply!

  28. Will the yogurt mask get rid of the SB spots or do you think it works better when used as a prevention for SB? thanks!

  29. Hi Anonymous,

    The reason I'm such an advocate for yogurt masks is that I have not had any spots at all–from any skin condition–since I started using the masks 1-3 times/week. It's been three years since I wrote this post. Today I wash my face with water and apply the yogurt masks 1-3 times/month. I've also discovered a tremendously beneficial supplement: With the yogurt and that supplement, I'm enjoying flawless skin for the first time in my adult life.

  30. Hi, thank you for telling the world what has worked for you, and congrats on your success!

    I was wondering if you did anything in particular for the smell? You mention that you simply rinse the yogurt mask off your face. In my experience, dairy products tend to smell pretty bad if you don't wash thoroughly.

    Also cold or warm water for the rinsing? Thanks a lot, I hope this works for me too!

  31. Yes, indeed, I have noticed the yogurt smell. I believe it's inevitable, if short-lived. I do simply use water to rinse the yogurt off my face. I think that's the best approach, especially when skin sensitivity is part of the issue. And you definitely want to use lukewarm water for rinsing–too hot and you might even break your capillaries. Cooler water might be fine, too, but lukewarm is probably more comfortable, right? I hope this helps!

  32. Hi Seth,

    I posted many months ago (Matthew) and quickly found success using the yoghurt masks. My skin cleared up completely and I was able to bask in the sun again!

    The only problem is, I'm having a relapse. I've started going to the gym again and my skin has gotten bad again. I wonder if you have any experience exercising intensely and if you've experienced any flare-ups because of it.

    Also, I noticed in your comments that you're only using the mask 1-3 times a week now. I'm still using it 1-2 times daily, do you think this might be the source of the problem? Maybe my body is building yogurt-resistant bacteria!

    Any help would be appreciated.

  33. Hi Matthew,

    I'm happy to hear about your success with the yogurt masks–and I'm sorry to hear about your relapse. In my opinion, seborrheic dermatitis is auto-immune related. So, yes, perhaps intense exercise, coupled with copious sweat, has shifted the balance for your autoimmune system and your skin.

    A few suggestions: If possible, avoid gluten entirely. Consume more raw, fermented vegetables or probiotics (this is my preferred probiotic: Try to rinse your face immediately after exercising–with lukewarm water. And if you're exercising intensely, make sure you allow yourself plenty of recovery time (a day or more).

    Have you added any soaps, detergents, or anything out-of-the-ordinary to your routine? Try to make an inventory of how your lifestyle has changed recently. You might find that something is aggravating the condition.

    I hope this helps!

  34. Seth,

    I'm not big on leaving Internet comments, but I had to find a way to thank you for your posts.
    After several months of having it under control, my SD suddenly got as bad as ever.
    I tried just about everything with no success…It wasn't until I saw your coconut oil post that things turned around. I'm now using the oil and yogurt masks. Still a bit red but the improvements are literally amazing. Cannot thank you enough.

  35. Hi Seth,

    Thanks again for the reply. I hadn't been using any new soaps, detergents, etc. I also, cut out wheat and other grains a couple years ago. I'm assuming it might have had something to do with either the sweating or the supplementing I was doing while exercising.

    Still, I have found a really excellent way to clear it up. I have combined the occasional yoghurt mask with nightly applications of an essential oil mixture. I combine a variety of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial essential oils with jojoba, neem and coconut oil then put that over my trouble areas at night. I live in Canada and it's recently gotten quite cold, so I'm assuming that had something to do with the flare-up too. So, I use straight jojoba oil as a skin moisturizer. It is essentially a second skin, melting away sebum and protecting my skin from the harsh elements.

    I'd highly recommend it.

  36. Hi Matthew,

    I'm happy to hear that you've found success with your mixture. I really like that idea–combining oils to cover all the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial bases. I think I'll try that if I happen to experience another flare (I haven't since adopting the no soap/yogurt mask regime, but you never know). Cheers. And Happy New Year!

  37. Hi Seth

    Thanks for your post! I've been struggling with rosacea/perioral dermatitis for about a month now. I'm trying a regime of apple cider vinegar was twice a day and a yogurt mask once a day. How often do you use your yogurt mask? I'm on day 2 and can feel the dermatitis starting to dry off. thanks!

  38. Sorry to hear that you've been struggling with skin problems, Kim. I really do believe the yogurt masks are an effective cure for perioral dermatitis. When I first started using the masks, I applied them three times a day for about 30 minutes. Over the years, as my skin has improved, I've used them less frequently. Now my skin is blemish-free and I use the masks about once a month, if that. Keep me posted on your progress!

  39. Is there a particular Fage Total Yogurt flavor that should be used. I have had seb derm for many years and would love to try this to see if it help controls it.

  40. also forgot to mention for the Fage Total yogurt, should it be the Classic, 2% or 0% type. I know there are different types so didn't know which one would work best and if there is a particular flavor that should be used. Sorry for the double post, I meant to be more specific in the initial one.

  41. Hi Anonymous,

    Sorry for my tardy reply. I use Fage Total Yogurt Classic. I believe the more fat the better. Definitely do not use any flavor. Plain is best. Good luck with your yogurt regime. I help you find some relief.

  42. damn it just wrote a novel of a comment – and lost it ….anywho im trying this Jeff from California (43yrs old) been looking for a solution for the last 20 yrs ……

  43. This is a wonderful thread and I appreciate all the tips! I went to the Derm 4 months ago after developing a sandpaperlike rash on my face (which I still have). She gave me a "cream" which I slathered myself in for 2 weeks. My skin was smooth, but then I noticed weird lines on my cheek. I read the details on the cream and discovered it was STEROIDS. I stopped immediately, but the damage was done. I've had outrageously reactive skin ever since and have been diagnosed with Rosacea, Perioral Dermatitis,and Seborrheac Dermatitis. I literally can't use anything and fear permanent damage. I am contemplating a Goat Milk yogurt mask since I have a cow milk intolerance. So here are my questions….Could yogurt cure all three of these things? What do you think about Goat Milk yogurt?

  44. Hi Kathleen,

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the dermatologist–and the steroids. It seems strange to me how often dermatologists manage to make problems worse. First, I wouldn't fear permanent damage–or really, anything at all. Fear inhibits healing. Have confidence that your skin will recover and thrive. It can definitely happen.

    I, too, have a cow's milk intolerance, yet I'm fine with topical cow's milk (in the form of yogurt). That said, I think goat milk yogurt could work, too. The key, in my opinion, is the beneficial bacteria, so whatever you use, try to add additional probiotics to enhance the effect. Of course, I'm only offering my opinion here, but I do feel well-informed on the subject, and I have spoken to many people who have experienced complete recoveries with yogurt masks–so, yes, I do think avoiding everything but yogurt can heal your conditions. Have confidence! Be strong!

  45. Thanks so much, Seth. This has been a nightmare and your encouragement really means a lot. So here's where I'm at. I've done two yogurt masks using the Fage, but had some dryness after the second (it's also 20 degrees in Chicago right now). Is this dryness normal at first? My skin is super fragile right now, so I'm wondering if this is just a beginner's side effect or I need to go every other day. I'd love any thoughts. Thanks again!

  46. Hi Kathleen: I, too, experienced "dryness" after my first yogurt masks; I even noticed flaking around my problem areas, which seemed like a good sign to me. After the yogurt masks, my face generally feels taut, smooth, and somewhat dry. So, just to say, I wouldn't let the dryness discourage you at all.

  47. Hi Seth,

    I want to thank you for your blog, and in particular your posts about your struggles and successes with treating dermatitis. Something about your writing has made me smile even on my worst days, and I'm grateful to you for that.

    I have a question for you about the yogurt treatments. I'm wondering how long it took to heal the rash once you began this in earnest? I guess I'm wondering if your healing was a steady progression or if you had some days where it would backslide a bit? I began with the yogurt and water on Sunday and have noticed general improvement, but today I was a bit bummed when I saw more redness and inflammation creep in. That's what is SO frustrating about this rash – it morphs almost hour to hour! I've had PD since November, and thus far have been trying only natural treatments. I've eliminated all sugar, dairy, and gluten, no caffeine, etc. Four months of this thing, and I'm struggling just to control it. I'm really scared of taking antibiotics.

    Thank you again, really. You've given me hope.


  48. Hi Jennifer,

    Sorry for my tardy reply! For some reason, the comments have been disabled on my blog–until today! Thank you for your kind words about my writing.

    My rash showed improvement after a week or so of three-a-day yogurt mask treatments. It is the nature of healing to experience improvements and setbacks, and I certainly experienced this for a few weeks. My suggestion? Stick to this treatment. As much as possible, try NOT to think about the day-to-day changes. Focus on the long-term. I hope this helps.

  49. Good day Seth ,

    I got a question, I got s.dermaftitis and I am going to try your mask but i
    would need to know if capsules are liquid or not liquid.

    Many thanks for share your experience I hope that this and the virgin coconut
    oil help

    Today my girl went to the parapharmacy to get the coconut oil and the stores
    person when indicated that it was intended for the face, she asked ¨is it for
    dermatitis¨? my girlfriend told her yes, and the stores person said ¨this the best
    thing you can use¨,

    This is a good signal will see .:)

    I will follow the advice that if you try you must believe that is healing.and you are going to make it.

    Thanks and best regards,

  50. Hi Jorge: Good luck with the mask! The purpose of the additional probiotics is simply to add more beneficial bacteria to the yogurt. So you can use either liquid or you can empty proboitic capsules into the yogurt. I've used both.

    When I use capsules I typically use Primal Defense by Garden of Life, which is made of soil organisms and is rather textured, which makes the mask somewhat exfoliating.

  51. Hi Selma. Thanks for the recommendation. I drink a powerful coconut water kefir each morning: I love that stuff. I experimented with kefir yogurt masks, but I just couldn't get the consistency right. The advantage Greek yogurt: it's thick enough to stay on your face. When I tried kefir, the solution just sort of slipped away. Thanks for reading!

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