If you’ve never tried a milk bath, you’re missing out! An ancient remedy for soothing and moisturizing skin, milk baths have become increasingly popular as a natural skincare and anti-aging solution. You may be wondering – is dairy milk necessary? Are we talking gallons of milk per bath, or just a splash? Get the answers to these common questions, and learn how to take a milk bath, with this helpful guide.
What is a milk bath?
A milk bath is actually exactly what it sounds like – taking a bath in milk! To enjoy one, all you need to do is add either liquid or powdered milk to your hot bath water. Besides creating an overall soothing and relaxing experience, you’ll be submerging your skin in a nutrient-rich bath full of nourishing vitamins, minerals, protein and more. If you choose plant-based milk (such as coconut milk
or oat milk), you’ll reap the benefits of plant nutrients – like antioxidants – too.
What are some benefits of milk bath practices?
How do you know if a milk bath is right for you? Really, it’s an ideal practice for just about anyone. Although, if you have a milk allergy or any concerns about skin conditions, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider or dermatologist before hopping in a milk-filled tub.
The scientific research on milk baths is limited; however, thousands of years of anecdotal evidence can be persuasive. It’s said that Cleopatra took a daily milk bath to beautify her skin and preserve her youthful looks. Milk baths also have been shown to help with conditions like psoriasis, eczema, sunburn or skin that’s just dry or itchy for other environmental reasons.
So, whether you have a history of eczema or just need some extra moisture this dry winter season, a milk bath may be a good thing to add to your regimen.
Types of milk baths
Any type of milk can be used for a bath, such as cow’s milk, goat’s milk, almond milk
or oat milk. If you’re vegan, you’ll want to go with a plant-based milk, obviously. However historically, cow’s milk has been used due to optimal ratios of beneficial ingredients. The fat and lactic acid in dairy milk are true powerhouses, and they each provide unique benefits. The fat works by smoothing and softening your skin without any need for oil and unwanted grease. For this reason, choosing a higher fat milk will give you the best softening effects.
Cow’s milk also naturally contains lactic acid, which can be a great exfoliant. Lactic acid works to loosen dead skin cells. This allows the outer layer of cells to dissolve away, making room for the fresh layer of skin underneath. You might consider buttermilk, which contains high levels of lactic acid, making it a great natural exfoliant.
How to make a milk bath
Creating a milk bath requires only a few steps. Grab your bathrobe and get ready to go!
What you’ll need
Bathtub filled with warm water
½-1 cups high-fat milk or powdered milk (whole milk, buttermilk
, goat’s milk
, oat milk
Optional: essential oils
, bath salts
, rose petals
What to do
- Fill tub with warm to warm-hot water.
- Add milk or powdered milk and swirl until bath is a nice milky color.
- Add additional essential oils, salts or aesthetic pieces like rose petals or lavender buds and stir as necessary.
- Get comfortable and soak for up to 20 minutes.
- If using liquid milk you may need to use closer to 2 cups, so add accordingly until your bath has a nice milky appearance.
- Test different combinations of essential oils for added benefits.
- Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to your milk bath to promote cleansing and detoxifying.
- Soaking too long in the tub (>30 minutes) can lead to drying of the skin, so get comfortable but not too comfortable.
- A milk bath will not heal any skin conditions, so be sure to continue with your regular skincare regimen.