A milk bath is a bath taken in milk instead of water. Often other scents such as honey, rose, lavender and essential oils are added. Milk baths use lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, to dissolve the proteins which hold together dead skin cells.
There are legends that Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk daily for her complexion. These legends have not been confirmed and some historians believe that Roman Empress Poppaea set this bathing fashion after Cleopatra's death.
There are references of cows milk as a bath technique found in India in the 1800s in "Fifty-one years of Victorian life" by the Dowager Countess of Jersey.
In the early 1900s, singer and Broadway star Anna Held was reported to bath in milk daily but was later quoted as having bathed in milk 2 times a week when living in Paris but found it difficult to do so while traveling. Her husband Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. later reported to the press that she bathed in milk daily and set up photo shoots so that reporters could photograph the milk being delivered to her.
In Film and Media
- A milk bath for supposed medicinal purposes for a dying child can be seen in the 1931 film Night Nurse.
- Poppaea (Claudette Colbert) bathes in milk in the 1932 film The Sign of the Cross.
- In the 1973 film Charlotte's Web Edith Zuckerman, Homer's wife suggests giving Wilbur a buttermilk bath in preparation for the fair.
- Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is depicted bathing in a milk bath while wearing her crown in the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman
- Fresh Milk or Powdered milk
- Almond Meal
- Essential Oils
- Orris Root
- Bergamot oil
- Geranium oil
- Vitamin E oil
- Corn Starch
- Sea salt