Ever since we watched our mother slather raw eggs and mayonnaise on her hair and smashed avocado on her face, the idea of using food as beauty treatment has held a certain appeal. So we were kind of excited to try Dairyface, a new line of skincare products that looks like cartons of yogurt (because they basically are cartons of yogurt) that you keep in the fridge.

The yogurt-based “skin refreshers” are mixed with various oils, herbs and pre- and pro-biotics. They contain no preservatives, additives or synthetics, and they come in five varieties: Lavender Lovely (lavender, citrus, olive, jasmine and blackcurrant oils and Mediterranean herbs), Peppermint Crème (peppermint oil), Glad Allover (dried orange peel and orange, chamomile, jasmine and grapefruit oils), Green Tea Magic (olive, almond, apricot and avocado oils and green tea) and Eye Caramba (olive and avocado oils and parsley).

“Milk is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin, vitamins A, D, E, C and B12, and offers amazing nutritional benefits for the skin,” explains Dairyface founder Oksana Panasenko, formerly a TV executive in Russia. “Also, the lactic acid found in dairy products helps to break down and remove dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production, and the low pH is anti-inflammatory.”

Panasenko, who is from Turkmenistan, says she got her first recipes as a teenager from an elderly Turkmen woman, who explained how to make concoctions with live milk cultures and local herbs. She later visited herbalists and herb markets in Russia and Central Asia and over time developed her own recipes.

Emigrating to North America in 2006, Panasenko consulted with a world-class dairy microbiologist and cosmetic chemists. She applied for patents for her formulas,

completed human safety trials and regulatory requirements and found dairy production partners. “Dairy is the perfect source of nutrients for every skin type — it's truly the best-kept beauty secret,” says Panasenko. She says her skincare line was motivated by the bad acne she suffered from as a teen and the skin problems she had later from the heavy makeup she wore as an on-air TV personality.

Each Dairyface package contains two containers for use on the face, neck and décolletage. Each container is good for four to five applications, and you can use it as often as you want. It lasts about two months in the fridge.

In case you're wondering if you'd get a similar benefit from slathering regular yogurt on your face, “Yes you would!” Panasenko says. “And not just from yogurt, but also from milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, butter too.” But she recommends her product because it is made especially for the skin, with dairy products sourced from a certified organic dairy in New York whose grass-fed cows are hormone- and antibiotic-free.

Panasenko says she plans to include these other dairy items in future skincare products. “Butter is one of my favorite dairy products, simply because of its high fat content, which is very beneficial for the skin. Butter also contains a wide range of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and vitamins A, D and E.”

So, don't feel bad if you're eating popcorn and get butter on your face. Just rub it in.

You can order the products at www.dairyface.com for $19.95 for a 10-ounce two-pack.

So, can you eat it? Even though Dairyface is made of 100% food-grade ingredients, “it doesn't taste as good as it smells,” Panasenko says. “It's good enough to eat, but don't.” However, if there is a guy living in your house, there is a 99% chance he will accidentally eat some, which will add a nice note of hilarity to the skin-nourishing goodness.

Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.

LA Weekly