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Which milk bath is best?

Slipping into a hot bath at the end of the day is one of life’s simple pleasures. For many, it’s not only a time to rest and relax — it’s also a time to improve the skin’s condition and relieve chronic aches and pains. One of the most traditional ways to soothe the skin and ease tension is with a milk bath. Milk baths have long been recommended for many different types of skin inflammation, but the best milk baths also have other therapeutic benefits.

If you are looking for a milk bath that doubles as a restful spa-like treatment, the Charli Jo & Company Store Lavender Cream Bath Milk is a good choice.

What to know before you buy a milk bath

If you already use a milk cleanser for healthy, glowing facial skin, consider adding a milk bath to your beauty ritual. 

Dairy vs. non-dairy milk

While the traditional milk bath utilizes milk protein from dairy cows, vegans will appreciate the option for non-dairy milk baths like coconut, oat and almond milk. Each of these has specific ingredients that can support healthy, glowing skin.

  • Coconut milk: Lauric acid in coconut milk is antimicrobial, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory.
  • Oat milk: Oat milk is most often used to soothe inflammatory skin conditions like dry skin and eczema.
  • Almond milk: The healthy fatty oils in almonds provide superior moisturizing properties in the bath.

Powder or liquid

Milk baths are available in both powder and liquid form. Powder is more common and may be more economical, but liquid is a good option, too.

Therapeutic purpose

If a bath is part of your nightly wind-down ritual and you are exploring milk baths to add to your skin care options, you might start with a simpler milk bath with fewer ingredients.

However, if your goal is to ease a specific skin condition or try out aromatherapy, you’ll need a milk bath with ingredients that are tailored to your therapeutic purpose.

What to look for in a quality milk bath

Organic ingredients

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. You wouldn’t submerge your liver in a bowl filled with chemicals, and the same goes for your bathwater. Make sure that your milk bath contains organic ingredients that are good for your skin.

No chemicals

The best milk bath will be free from synthetic ingredients and chemicals, including:

  • Parabens
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Phthalates
  • Mineral oils
  • Petroleum

Added beneficial ingredients

Milk proteins are great for skin all on their own, but some milk baths will add other beneficial ingredients. These might include things like:

  • Epsom salts for transdermal magnesium
  • Essential oils for aromatherapy
  • Cornstarch for cleaning pores
  • Baking soda for soothing itchy skin

How much you can expect to spend on a milk bath

The better the ingredients, the higher the price. Expect to spend between $12-$30 for a milk bath.

Milk bath FAQ

What are the benefits of milk baths?

A. Research on milk baths is limited, but anecdotal evidence points to a variety of potential benefits of milk baths for conditions that include:

  • Dry skin 
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Poison ivy
  • Sunburn

It’s important to note that some individuals with sensitive skin may find that the lactic acid in milk is irritating. If you find your skin is itchier after your milk bath, this treatment is most likely not for you.

Similarly, if you have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant, stay away from milk baths.

Do you need to rinse after a milk bath?

A. Yes. The same proteins and additional therapeutic ingredients that can leave your skin with a healthy glow can also leave a sticky residue if not rinsed off. Take a quick warm shower after the bath and moisturize as usual.

Can you DIY a milk bath?

A. If you’d like to “try before you buy,” it is possible to DIY a milk bath. Here’s how to make a milk bath: Simply add 1 to 2 cups of powdered milk to warm bathwater. If you like, add in additional ingredients like Epsom salts and essential oils, swirling to mix and soaking for 20 minutes.

Don’t forget to rinse and moisturize afterwards.

What is the best milk bath to buy?

Top milk bath

Charli Jo & Company Store Lavender Cream Bath Milk 

Charli Jo & Company Store Lavender Cream Bath Milk 

What you need to know: This luxurious, soothing milk bath is made from locally sourced ingredients.

What you’ll love: This milk bath is made from simple ingredients: powdered milk, Epsom salt, baking soda, cornstarch, lavender and essential oils. All ingredients are sourced local to this family-owned company in Washington State and shipped in a recyclable, reusable glass bottle.

What you should consider: The lavender buds make clean-up after the bath a little messy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top milk bath for the money

Elemis Skin-Nourishing Milk Bath

Elemis Skin-Nourishing Milk Bath

What you need to know: This safe, soothing milk bath is good for extra-dry skin.

What you’ll love: Dry skin will flourish with the oat extract and milk protein base. This can be added to the bath, or it can be used as a moisturizer or facial cleanser. It’s safe for pregnant women.

What you should consider: Shipping might take a little longer, but new customers get a break on the price.

Where to buy: Sold by SkinStore (or a larger size at LovelySkin)

Worth checking out

Herbivore Botanicals - All-Natural Coconut Milk Bath Soak

Herbivore Botanicals – All-Natural Coconut Milk Bath Soak

What you need to know: This milk bath is vegan and has a luxurious tropical scent.

What you’ll love: Made from all-natural ingredients, this vegan milk bath contains only the finest plant-based, cold-pressed oils and therapeutic-grade essential oils. It has no synthetic ingredients. The packaging is recyclable and reusable.

What you should consider: The scent was too mild for some, and it takes a lot of milk bath in larger tubs to get any effect.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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