Not so long ago bathtime for me meant scrubbing my kid’s little fingers and toes. Now that my kids are a little older I get to enjoy a long(ish) soak in the tub again. This silky milk bath recipe is a great way to unwind and nourish the skin, plus it makes a great gift!
What’s in a Milk Bath?
You might have heard of milk baths before or even tried one yourself. Just like it sounds, it involves adding milk to warm bath water. It’s rumored that everyone from the Romans to Victorians, to Cleopatra herself indulged in milk baths for healthy skin. While there isn’t much scientific evidence done on milk baths in particular, we do know that there are plenty of health benefits to using milk on the skin.
You can certainly just add a few cups of milk to the bathwater, but most milk bath recipes also include other skin-nourishing ingredients. Some popular ingredients to add include baking soda, honey, herbs, or even sea salt.
Benefits of a Milk Bath
Which kind of milk you choose plays a role in what it does for your skin. You can use either powdered milk or fresh milk, but powdered works best for longer-term storage. Some different types of milk to use include:
- Whole milk (cow’s milk)
- Goat milk
- Coconut milk
- Oat milk
Cow and goat milk have protein, fats, and lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to slough off dead skin cells. Soured milk, like buttermilk, does an even better job at exfoliating since it has higher levels of lactic acid. Coconut milk has healthy fats, including lauric acid, and minerals, like copper, iron, and magnesium.
Milk is moisturizing which makes it a great option to hydrate dry skin. It can also help soothe painful sunburns or itchy rashes (like poison ivy or skin conditions like psoriasis). It can be a gentle option for sensitive skin too. Just be sure to opt for non-dairy milk though if you’re sensitive to cow milk.
(Other) Milk Bath Ingredients
This recipe uses powdered coconut milk to leave skin feeling silky and hydrated. I’ve also included some other skin-loving ingredients. Plus since the ingredients are in powdered form it lasts longer on the shelf. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and why I chose them.
Colloidal oatmeal (really finely ground oats) has been used in home remedies for many years. They help soothe itchy skin, eczema, and sunburn when used topically. Even the FDA recognizes its use as an emollient to protect skin! Oats are high in starches and beta-glucans that help protect the skin. They also have phenols which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.
While colloidal oats are regulated as a drug by the FDA, you can achieve similar results by grinding oats yourself. I blitz a few tablespoons at a time in a coffee grinder until they turn into a fine powder.
I’ve used Epsom salts in many of my bath recipes, including for a detox bath. Their scientific name is magnesium sulfate which makes them great for topical pain relief when dealing with sore muscles. I even used it in the kid’s baths when they were little to help them relax and sleep better at night. I also find Epsom salts really relieving for sore skin if I get a sunburn.
Herbs and Essential Oils
These are optional but they make the milk bath look even prettier and more inviting. Plus they have their own health benefits for the skin. Lavender or rose petals add a pop of color, help soothe skin, and relax the senses. You could also use calendula petals or chamomile for their healing benefits. If you do choose to use herbs be sure to use a tub strainer before draining the tub.
I’ve also included a few drops of essential oils in my milk bath. You can choose your favorite, but opt for gentle and bath-safe oils like cedarwood, lavender, vetiver, or frankincense.
DIY Coconut Milk Bath Recipe
Add this nourishing milk bath to your weekly skincare routine to leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized.
More Bath Recipes
Here are some more bath recipes to give yourself some self-care. These also make great gifts for birthdays or holidays!
Have you ever tried a milk bath before? Leave a comment and let me know!
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