A milk bath is a bath taken in milk instead of water. Often other scents such as honey, rose, daisies 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 bathe 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.
A buttermilk bath was also a common historical bathing technique for show animals and remains to be in practice today (such as pigs and dogs).
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
- A milk bath can be observed in season 1, episode 9 of the Spartacus television series, performed by Lucretia (Lucy Lawless).
- Fresh milk or powdered milk
- Almond Meal
- Essential Oils
- Orris Root
- Bergamot oil
- Geranium oil
- Vitamin E oil
- Corn Starch
- Sea salt
- "Milk Bath Recipe". health.learninginfo.org.
- "Why did Cleopatra supposedly bathe in sour donkey milk?". Office for Science and Society.
- Theodoulou, Michael (December 15, 2014). "Is donkey milk the next big thing?" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Carpenter, Julie (August 7, 2010). "The Real Antony and Cleopatra". Express.co.uk.
- Tallis, Nicola (2016-12-06). Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey. ISBN 978-1-68177-287-5.
- Drew-Bear, Annette (1994). Painted Faces on the Renaissance Stage: The Moral Significance of Face-painting Conventions. ISBN 978-0-8387-5230-2.
- "Saturday Evening Mail 18 November 1893 — Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program". newspapers.library.in.gov.
- "Fifty-one years of Victorian life, by the Dowager Countess of Jersey".
- Blume, Lesley M. M. (2013-04-09). Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone by. ISBN 978-1-4521-0350-1.
- "13.5 oz Organic Buttermilk and Oatmeal Shampoo". RoyalPetClub.com.
- "Symbolic Riches: A Review of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' – Journeys in Alterity".
- "This Easy Milk Bath Is The Ancient Secret For Beautiful Skin · Jillee". December 24, 2018.