Treat yourself to a milk bath

I find that one of life’s finer, simple pleasures is a nice hot bath.  Soothing, warming, relaxing… (dreamy sigh).  At the end of a long day, or on a brisk, cool night, it can’t be beat.

When it comes to baths, most people will put the plug in the tub, run the water and call it good.  Which is perfectly fine, and I do it on many occasions as well.  But often I like to be creative and get some added benefits from my soak.  My all time favorite bath is a milk bath.  It’s simple, quick, and for just a few dollars can turn your regular bathtub into an all out spa treatment.

Why milk?  Milk contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, which aids in exfoliation.  It helps soften and break up the ‘glue’ that holds rough, dead skin cells together.  Milk also contains beneficial lipids, proteins and vitamins that moisturize and nurture the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.

So how does one make a milk bath?  Pretty easily actually.  It can be as simple as adding two cups of most any milk to a warm bath.  Buttermilk is particularly nice and hydrating.  You’ll receive fewer benefits from low or non fat milk, but they still contain the lactic acid.  And I always suggest going organic if possible.

Vegans can use substitutes such as soy, almond or coconut milk (my personal non dairy favorite).  You won't be getting the lactic acid, but each has it's own unique and relaxing benefits.

My little secret?  I actually keep cans of evaporated milk and powdered milk in my bathroom.  I add one can of milk, plus a few hearty shakes of the box of powdered milk when the tub is about half full.  Swirl around, sit and enjoy!  For added exfoliation, use a loofah to softly scrub your skin after about 10 minutes.  You’ll feel ever so soft when you’re done.

If you want even more benefits from your soaking experience, you can add other ingredients to your milk bath (or you can add them alone without the milk).  Want a bit of a pick me up?  Add a few peppermint tea bags to the mix.  Want to relax more?  I love adding several drops of lavender essential oil (found at most health stores).  Extra moisture?  Add a tablespoon or two of honey.  Particularly dry or itchy skin?  Add a cup of plain instant oatmeal.  Sore muscles?  Good ol’ Epsom salt.  The possibilities are endless.

After you’re done soaking, you’ll want to remember to thoroughly rinse yourself and the tub.  You don’t want to smell of spoiled milk after all!