How Kefir Can Benefit Skin Health
For skin health, kefir is good for you both inside and out. Let us explain…
Emerging research shows that our gut and skin have a two-way communication (gut-skin axis) to help keep our skin healthy. When our gut microbiome is in a state of imbalance or distress, an appropriate immune response may be affected, causing inflammation throughout the body, including to our skin. This has been shown to be synonymous with GI disorders such as Crohn’s, IBS, and Celiac and skin disorders such as rosacea and psoriasis, and treatments for acne. Feeding our gut microbiome with fiber and fermented foods containing probiotics, such as kefir, may balance the level of good bacteria in our microbiome, lower inflammation levels, and have a positive effect on the health of our skin. This includes a decrease in skin inflammation for relief of atopic dermatitis, acne, and other skin disorders, as well as encouraging hydration, strengthening the epidermal “barrier” and maintaining a healthy balance of skin cells and turnover.
How to Use Kefir as a Face Mask
Consuming kefir isn’t the only way to benefit our skin health. It also makes an effective, nourishing face mask for any skin type thanks to the probiotics and naturally occurring Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA).
AHAs are a group of chemical compounds naturally found in various foods, including fresh fruit, sugar cane, and cow’s milk, just to name a few. They’re the key ingredient in many skincare products and can help improve the condition of the skin by sloughing away dead surface cells and stimulating the production of collagen. But the skin-loving benefits don’t stop there. Ongoing research shows that topical probiotics might help restore the balance of “good bacteria” to your skin, help with exfoliation, and have an anti-inflammatory effect that can alleviate skin issues like acne and rosacea.
We put together a collection of our favorite DIY Kefir Face Masks, all made with easy-to-find, natural ingredients and our Plain Lowfat Kefir. Each mask is sorted by skin type, so choose which one feels right to you. For best results, start with a freshly-washed face and only use our plain kefir.
For Normal/Combination Skin
- 2 Tbsp. Kefir
- 1 small cucumber
Grate the cucumber into a small strainer over a bowl. Gently ress the grated cucumber into the strainer, collect the juice, and discard the pulp. Add the kefir to the cucumber juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to your face and let sit for about 20 minutes. Gently rinse off and enjoy softer skin.
For Oily Skin
- 2 Tbsp. Kefir
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
In a small bowl, combine the kefir, egg white, and honey. Mix together and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. The egg white helps tighten pores, while the antibacterial qualities of the honey help heal the skin.
For Dry Skin
- 2 Tbsp Kefir
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp olive oil
Combine the kefir, egg yolk, and olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Apply to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and gently pat dry. The olive oil and egg yolk can help restore your skin’s natural moisture.
For Acne-Prone Skin
- Kefir (yes, just kefir!)
If you have a breakout, your skin is likely inflamed so it’s best to stick to a simple mask without ingredients that may further irritate your skin. Apply a couple of tablespoons of kefir to your face, and let dry. For best results, you’ll want to keep the mask on overnight so either lay your head down on a towel or swap your pillowcase for one you don’t mind getting dirty. When you wake up, rinse the mask off and continue with your regular skincare routine.
For Skin that Needs Extra Moisture
- 1 Tbsp Kefir
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ½ ripe avocado
Mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork until creamy. Add the honey and mix well. Finally, stir in the kefir. Thinly apply the mask to your face and allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and act as a great moisturizer.