Skin Benefits of Milk Bath Recipe Inspired by Cleopatra

Woman's hand trying out a milk bath.

JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

  • Working Time: 4 mins
  • Total Time: 4 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Cleopatra is legendary for many things—she was the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, she was smart and stunningly beautiful, and she formed alliances with both ancient Rome's Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. She also bathed in milk, and that's also the stuff of legend since she was known for her beautiful skin. Cleopatra reportedly used donkey milk for her baths, and it's believed she also added honey and lavender to the milk, with scattered rose petals floating in her bath.

Milk Bath Benefits

While it might seem like just a wasteful decadence, there's actually a reason why milk is good for your skin. The lactic acid in milk is an alpha hydroxy acid, which helps cleanse the skin and release dead skin cells. That allows the skin to rejuvenate itself more quickly, resulting in radiantly glowing, satiny smooth and soft skin.

Alpha hydroxy acids are commonly added to moisturizers, cleansers, toners, and masks and are good for the skin in the same way milk is—they act as an exfoliant. Over time, they are especially effective in decreasing the look of wrinkles and roughness. So taking a milk bath is the natural way to get these benefits for your skin—and from head to toe, at that.

What You'll Need


  • 2 cups powdered milk (goat, cow, or buttermilk)
  • 1/2 ounce lavender essential oil or any other fragrance you prefer
  • 1 cup Epsom salts (optional)
  • 1 cup sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda (optional)
  • 1 cup Natrasorb Bath (optional)


  1. Measure

    Measure out the milk into a large, wide stainless steel bowl.

  2. Add Optional Extras

    Add the Epsom and sea salts, the baking soda and the Natrasorb Bath if you are using these ingredients and mix everything together well, making sure to break up any clumps.

  3. Add Essential Oil

    Add the fragrance or essential oil. Lavender is a favorite in bath blends, but honey, almond, vanilla, mint, rose and other flowery and fruity fragrances also are appealing. 

  4. Mix

    Mix everything together well.

  5. Scoop Mixture into Jars

    Scoop the milk mixture into jars or other air-tight containers.

For your bath, add a half cup or so to briskly running bath water and enjoy a soothing soak.