Milk used in skin care is one of the most well-documented natural ingredients throughout history. Most of us associate it with Cleopatra, who's beauty secret for radiant, even-toned skin was allegedly bathing in milk. Milk was highly regarded in Ancient Egypt and Greece, and throughout the 1700s as a topical aid for smoother, clearer skin. Today, we better understand the active ingredients in milk that give it its skin-enhancing qualities.
Because milk contains the required nutrients for the growth and development of babies, it's nutrient dense and rich in proteins, essential fatty acids, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
The main bioactive proteins in milk are casein and whey, which are found to give it antimicrobial, antioxidant, and immunomodulating properties. Scientists have studied these proteins regarding their potential in skin care formulations for wound healing, acne treatment, eczema and psoriasis treatment, and anti-aging.
Milk also contains lactic acid, also known as lactate, or you might know it as Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). AHA is commonly found in skincare products for its exfoliation (acid helps remove dead skin cells), toning, and hydrating properties.
The essential fatty acids in milk can help balance the oil on the skin, repair the skin's barrier, and act as an emollient, softening the skin.
Rich in vitamin A, milk also has the potential to enhance the skin's immune response and may help prevent acne.
Cow's Milk Vs. Goat's Milk
Animal-based milk is similar in its nutrient makeup, but each species' composition varies. Goat milk has the closest composition to human milk. Its PH balance is so similar to human skin that it's an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin, as the body will be less likely to mount an immune response to it.
More clinical trials are needed to prove the effectiveness of milk as a raw material for skincare, but the few that have been done (the majority have mainly studied cow's milk) show very promising potential for treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, the antibacterial effects when used in soap form, its wound healing potential, and anti-aging properties.
It's evident from traditional use throughout centuries that milk is a favorite and effective natural ingredient added to soaps, compresses, face masks, and ointments. Many, including us here at SallyeAnder, swear by it for healthy, supple skin. Our best-selling soaps that customers have kept coming back for in our 40+ years in business are:
Milk & Mint Soap, is made with high-quality fresh cow's milk and Almond Goat Milk Soap is made with the milk of happy goats in the Hudson Valley. Our Organic Rose Soap bar also has a touch of cow's milk.
These customer-favorite soaps are creamy, super moisturizing, and feel so silky and nourishing on your skin.