How To Create The Perfect Milk Bath

If you've been scrolling through Instagram, you might have seen aesthetically-pleasing pictures of cloudy milk-infused bath water with rose petals. Milk baths aren't a new phenomenon though; they have roots in ancient beauty rituals (per Aveeno). Legend has it that Cleopatra would take donkey milk baths for soft, dewy skin. And now, you can get beautiful skin too by taking a milk bath as well.

There are various types of dairy and non-dairy milk that can be used in a milk bath including whole milk, buttermilk, coconut milk, goat milk, powdered milk, rice milk, or soy milk (via Healthline). They all provide unique benefits to the skin. Skim milk doesn't provide any benefits to the skin, though, as it lacks the nourishing fats that would hydrate your skin. While you can find prepared milk bath mixes online, Healthline suggests just DIY-ing your own bath with milk you can find at the grocery store or already in your fridge. Sometimes, prepared mixes contain extra ingredients that could trigger irritation or an allergic reaction.

Lactose-intolerant people shouldn't have any issues taking milk baths, but those with a milk allergy shouldn't take a milk bath (via Very Well Health). Milk can cause itching, rashes, and/or hives in people with a milk allergy. The lactic acid in milk can also trigger irritation in people with sensitive skin, per Healthline. Consult your dermatologist before trying milk baths. Now, if you're ready to treat yourself to a spa-like experience, keep scrolling for the perfect DIY milk bath.

Preparing a decadent milk bath

A basic milk bath recipe you can follow is adding one to two cups of powdered milk to a tub of warm water, via Healthline. Use your arm or foot to blend the mixture and soak in the milk bath for 20 to 30 minutes. Additionally, you can even add honey or baking soda for a more luxurious bath. You can also replace the powdered milk with your milk of choice. Adding sea salt will moisturize the skin and help protect the skin barrier, while colloidal oatmeal can soothe irritated skin (per Aveeno). If you have extra dry skin, adding honey to a milk bath can provide deep moisture to the skin.

For a foaming milk bath that will pamper you the way a bubble bath would, you can try this recipe from Yahoo! Style: Add 2 cups powdered milk (goat, cow, or buttermilk), 3 teaspoons essential oil of your favorite scent, 1 cup epsom salt, and 1 cup sea salt to warm bathwater. According to Byrdie, epsom salt can help alleviate joint pain and muscle tightness. Aveeno also recommends lavender oil as it can help calm your mind and help restore balance, while gently refreshing and reinvigorating the skin. If you want to target certain areas of your body, you can soak a washcloth in a milk bath mixture and apply the towel. However, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to avoid essential oils as they can cause contact allergies.

The benefits of various types of milk

Whole cow milk contains fats that soothe the skin and relieve inflammation, irritation, and/or sunburn (per Aveeno). As a naturally-occurring alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA), the lactic acid in milk also acts as a gentle exfoliator that sloughs off dead skin cells and smoothes dry patches. Buttermilk has a higher concentration of lactic acid, which makes it especially great for those looking to brighten and even out the skin-tone, along with reducing the appearance of skin discoloration. 

Dermatologists point to whole milk or buttermilk because of lactic acid's beneficial effects, per Byrdie. Especially rich in vitamin A, goat milk is an effective anti-aging ingredient for a milk bath. The vitamin A will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while reversing signs of sun damage. Goat milk can also help with acne-prone skin.

Coconut milk contains vitamin C which can brighten the skin and repair sun damage. The coconut milk also offers a cooling sensation and a light, hydrating feeling. Rice milk is a gentle ingredient that will help provide a glow to the skin, while soy milk packs a punch. The phytochemicals in soy milk tackle free radical damage that can cause premature aging. Also, soy milk is the ultimate ingredient to ameliorate redness, smoothen skin texture, and decrease the appearance of wrinkles. 

Now that you know how to make the perfect milk bath, go ahead and pour yourself one. It's guaranteed you won't be crying over this spilled milk.