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Can a milk bath soothe my skin?

Milk is a super soother for chapping, windburn, sunburn, eczema, and other skin irritations. It contains proteins (whey and casein), fat, amino acids, lactic acid, and vitamins A and D, all of which calm dry, upset skin. Milk’s lactic acid, in particular, weakens the glue that lets dead, ready-to-be-shed cells stick to the skin’s surface, making it look dull and dry.

You can apply compresses dipped in cool whole milk for irritations like sunburn and eczema. Be sure to use whole milk; skim won’t do because it doesn’t contain fat, one of milk’s most soothing components. If compresses aren’t practical or you want a full-body effect, a milk bath will give you some relief. Try this tonight as part of your unwitching hour before bed: Add two to four cups to a warm (not hot) tub and soak for twenty minutes. You can use powdered whole milk, too. Sprinkle the amount of powder needed to make a quart of milk under the faucet as the water flows out. After your twenty-minute soak, give your body a gentle neck-to-toe scrubdown with a bath brush, loofah, or washcloth. This will slough off those dead cells, leaving skin smoother and softer. Apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp after you get out.

If you don’t want to pour milk from your kitchen into the tub, you can purchase products that contain similar milk-based ingredients for the same effect. For instance, Fresh Milk Formula Bath Foam contains milk as well as shea butter and glycerine. But if your skin is very irritated or totally winter-whipped, try the real thing. It should leave your whole body feeling creamy.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.