The notion of bathing a beauty queen in buttermilk the night before her big pageant may seem a little wacky, maybe even extreme. But folks in early Americana may have been on to something with that particular tradition. Buttermilk, and other dairy products, contain a gentle exfoliator called lactic acid. This mild acid can gently loosen, and even dissolve hardened sebum, and dead skin, allowing it to be gently buffed away with the help of a washcloth or body brush. It can also help to soothe irritation, and moisturize dry skin. This leaves skin with a fresh, healthy glow, so radiant that it just might win you that pink satin sash after all.
Milk Bath recipes are generally made up of two parts Milk Powder, one part Grain Powder, and a variety of optional Additives. They can also be scented with the help of Essential Oils, Fragrance Oil, Absolutes, or CO2 Extracts.
The heart of any Milk Bath recipe is, of course, the Milk Powder. Milk Powder comes in many varieties. Here is a little background info on each:
Whole Milk Powder
The classic, Whole Milk Powder provides a skin nourishing bounty of vitamins and minerals, with minimal dairy aroma. It pairs wonderfully with almost any aroma or fragrance. Whole Milk Powder now comes in an Organic Variety as well.
Buttermilk contains a higher portion of acids than Whole Milk Powder, boosting its exfoliative powers. It also has a slightly sour scent that can be covered up my most aromas and fragrances.
Goat's Milk Powder
The most pungent of Milk Powders, Goat's Milk Powder must be fragranced with its natural aroma in mind. Luckily, it pairs nicely with strong aromas, such as Lavender. It is very high in vitamins A, B, and E, boasting a beta carotene content that is three times higher than Whole Milk. Due to a complex blend of helpful acids, Goat's Milk Powder is by far the most superior of the Milk Powders when it comes to hydration, exfoliation, and nutrition.
Coconut Milk Powder
Coconut Milk Powder makes a delightful alternative for conventional Milk Powders in Milk Bath recipes. It's yummy Coconut Scent, and creamy consistency is a pleasure to use. Keep in mind, however, that this ingredient is not suitable as a vegan alternative, due to the presence of milk proteins in its ingredients.
Yogurt Powder posesses very similar properties to Whole Milk Powder, and can help to cleanse, moisturize and exfoliate the skin. Try pairing Yogurt Powder with fruity scents or ingredients to create Bath Smoothies!
Powdered Grains add soothing properties to Milk Baths, amping up their beauty boosting abilities, and making the bath more pleasant. While the classic ingredient is Oat Flour (or fine Oatmeal) there are a number of possible ingredients that could be used to create a unique Milk Bath recipe.
Oat Flour, Fine
A classic ingredient for skin care, Oat Flour lends soothing properties to Milk Baths. It has little to no aroma or color, making it perfect for inclusion in specialty recipes. Oat Flour is also available in an Organic variety.
Rice Powder, Fine
Finely milled White Rice Powder posesses natural starches that will help turn the bath into a milky white wonderland. In Milk Bath Recipes, it should be used in smaller proportions than Oat Flour, since its fine grain will not disperse as readily at Oat Flour, and can leave a grainy feeling on the bottom of the tub.
Nut Flours & Meals
Chickpea Flour or Almond Flour can add nutritive benefits to Milk Bath formulations, but should not be added directly to the tub. Since these Nut Ingredients will not disperse into the bath water well, they can leave the bottom of the tub scratchy, and unpleasant. To include these ingredients, pack them into a Tea Ball or a Tea Bag, allowing the properties, but not the texture of the Nut Ingredients into the bath water.
Many nutritive ingredients can be added to Milk Baths to enhance them. Other ingredients are added to help increase the slip or flow of the finished product.
Honey is an excellent natural cleanser, and a classic addition to Milk Bath recipes. Honey Powder makes it easy to include honey in your recipe. This spray dried powder is blended to make it free flowing, and easy to use. Honey Powder is also available in an Organic variety.
Finely powdered Herbs can be added to Milk Baths to enhance their properties, increase their beauty, or add scent. Since Herb Powders don't disperse fully into bath water, it may be a good idea to include them inside a Tea Ball or a Tea Bag to keep them from making the tub bottom scratchy or uncomfortable. If you are using a Tea Ball or Tea Bag, you can use whole herbs as well as powders.
Generally, Milk Baths are not Salt based, but sometimes Salts are included in the recipe. Some salts, such as Bolivian Pink, or Himalayan Pink, can add beauty and color. Others, such as Dead Sea Salt, can add rich mineral content. The most highly used in Milk Baths is Dendritic Salt, which is often used as a carrier for aromatics. We'll discuss that more when we talk about scenting Milk Baths.
Aloe Vera Spray Dried Powder
Spray Dried Aloe Vera Powder is dehydrated juice from the aloe plant. This soothing ingredient can be easily included in Milk Baths, as it dissolves readily in water.
Corn Starch is sometimes added to Milk Bath recipes to help thicken and soften the bath water, as well as ensure the free flowing nature of the finished powder.
Gentle Kaolin Clays are perfect for adding detoxifying properties to a Milk Bath. Due to their mild nature, Kaolin Clays don't tend to over dry most skin types. They come in a lovely variety of colors, which can add beauty to your Milk Bath as well.
Our responsibly harvested Coral Calcium contains a dizzying array of nutritive minerals. Add this powder to your Milk Bath to amp up its nutritive value.
Scenting Your Milk Bath
The best way to add a scent to your Milk Bath is with the help of a carrier ingredient. Dendritic Salt and Baking Soda both work quite well. Simply mix your aromatic with a few tablespoons of either Denritic Salt or Baking Soda until it has been fully absorbed. Then, add the mixture to the rest of your Milk Bath. You can use any type of skin safe aromatic you like in your Milk Bath, but be sure to go easy on the dosage when it comes to Essential Oils. The user will be soaking in a hot tub, both inhaling the fumes, and coming into contact with the Oils topically. A little will go a long, long way. For this purpose, we recommend adding no more than 2% Fragrance or Essential Oil to a Milk Bath's total weight or volume.
Use this simple base formula to create your own amazing Milk Bath recipes from scratch!
- 2 cups Milk Powder
- 1 cup Oat Flour or 1/4 cup Rice Powder, Fine
- Up to 1/2 cup Honey Powder, Kaolin Clay, Salt, or Corn Starch
- Up to 2 tablespoons Aloe Vera Spray Dried Powder, Coral Calcium, or Herbs
- 1/4 cup Dendritic Salt or Baking Soda with up to 2 teaspoons Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil mixed in
This recipe should be used at a rate of 2 to 4 tablespoons per bath.