Make Your Own Milk Bath
I recently spent a week on my friend Erica’s family farm, a two-thousand acre paradise of softly rolling hills, where cattle roam free, John Deere’s rule the (dirt) roads and Buck Owens is still played on the radio.
Returning home, I felt relaxed and rejuvenated, with a centered-ness that comes after nights spent drinking Bud Lights ‘round bonfires and days free from screens. I also, however, felt undeniably itchy as my fresh city-girl flesh proved irresistible to the farm’s bountiful population of flies, chiggers and mosquitoes. With every limb covered in bright red welts, I channeled my grandmas and drew up a milk bath.
A cure-all for summer skin’s battle wounds (bug bites, sun burn, heat rash, poison ivy, duck itch, etc.), milk baths are an easy routine that requires no more than a bath tub (the deeper the better) and organic whole milk (because who wants pesticides and growth hormones anywhere near their hoo-ha?). Just draw your bathwater and add four or so cups of milk. Feel free to drop in your favorite essential oils (lavender, chamomile and rose are all especially lovely), some honey (as Cleopatra often did) or a cup of soothing ground oatmeal, but to keep it basic, milk and water’s all you need. Soak for 20 minutes minimum, rinsing afterwards to remove residue, and enjoy softer skin and a markedly diminished urge to claw your flesh. How does it work? The lactic acid in milk aids in the sloughing of dead skin, while the fats and proteins do a fine job of replenishing and, dare I say, plumping, up the freshly revealed skin. It’s so basic, yet so magical, especially if you do one a few nights in a row.
Now that you know my go-to summer skin savior, I’d love to hear yours! And if DIY isn’t your thing (or you just really love cool packaging), try this gorgeous Fig + Yarrow Floral Milk Bath ($12). —Meghan