Milk bath sounds luxurious and for some, bathing in milk may seem weird but it actually has benefits for your skin. This post will be tackling the history of milk bath, what types of milk you should use in your bath, and how to make your own milk bath at home.
First, let us know how milk bath originated. There were legends that stated Cleopatra used donkey’s milk to bathe in daily to help her complexion look glowing and wrinkle free, since donkey’s milk is rich in lactic acid and gentle to your skin. Although these legends were not confirmed, some historians believed that Nero’s wife the Roman Empress Poppea set this bathing fashion after Cleopatra’s death. There was even a satire written by Juvenal that Poppea would bring her donkeys to the end of the world even in exile just to make sure she had milk in her baths. Bathing in milk was also used by Elizabeth I and Elizabeth of Bavaria to make their skin appear more youthful and pale. They were not the only royalties to have use milk in their baths. Charles II enjoyed milk bath and this was popular among nobles in England. Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of French King Henry II, also loved taking milk bath because it gave her skin a youthful glow. In the 17th century, milk bath has also spread around Middle East and all over Europe but only the elite can afford having milk in their baths. Just like with everything, milk bath has become accessible even to lower class.
There were some cases that people thought that milk bath would heal them. For instance, in pre-Revolutionary France, there was a story about the governor of Avignon, Marquis de Rochechouart, whose doctor said that he should bathe in women’s milk to save his life. Nursing women around the city volunteered to give him their milk to help with his health. It was not stated in history if bathing in women’s milk did in fact cure his life-threatening illness. In modern times, some practitioners of homeopathic remedies claim that bathing in goats' milk is beneficial for arthritis sufferers
Now, milk bath is making a comeback. A lot of celebrities and influencers use it to make their skin youthful and glowing.
There are a lot of benefits from taking a milk bath although, there were not any specific studies on the effect of milk bath to your skin. There is a lot of evidence that using milk in your bath and/ or in your skincare, gives benefits to your skin.
Milk can make your skin feel softer and smoother because fats in the milk cling to the skin. You'll notice a silky, but not oily, feeling over your skin. Bathing in milk can also gently exfoliate your skin. Soured milk like Buttermilk contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid commonly used in skin care products. It helps dissolve the intercellular “glue” that holds dead skin cells together, thus making more room to brighter cells for your skin to be smoother. Milk bath does not have the same potency as lactic acid lotions and moisturizing creams so do not expect fast results from it.
There are many types of milk that you can use in your milk bath. You can actually use the milk you drink. Just always remember to dilute your milk with warm water since milk tends to be sticky and very costly. Cows’ milk is the most common to use in milk baths because it is accessible to everyone. Goats’ milk is another common milk to use; the difference is goats’ milk makes your milk bath creamier. Buttermilk has lactic acid than the common milk thus making it a better exfoliator, and a buttermilk bath sounds fancier than milk bath. Breast milk or women’s milk can also be used in bathing, though there are no scientific studies that states it has benefits to your skin, it is better than dumping the unused breast milk. If you are a vegan, nut milk and/ or soy milk are your options. They do not have the same effects as common milk but it can give you the same relaxing feeling.
Many beauty shops sell milk bath but sometimes they can be very expensive. So here are some steps on how to make your own milk bath at home. Add 1 or 2 cups of liquid milk to your bath, use fresh milk or unsweetened and put some honey, lavender bud and Rose petals. If you prefer powdered milk, add 1/3 to 2/3 cup of milk.Remember the rinse after taking a milk bath to prevent irritation.