The Benefits Of Adding Milk (Or Mylk) Based Skincare To Your Regimen

Discover the newest wave of beauty products containing this eternally popular ingredient

If it's good enough for Hollywood starlet June Preisser, it's good enough for us. Photo / Getty Images

If history is anything to go by milk, in its many forms, is a nourishing ingredient your skin drinks up.   

Before Cleopatra bathed in donkey’s milk to keep her skin supple and radiant in 30BC, it was Egyptian queen Nefertiti who used it approximately 1300 years prior in face masks made from ostrich eggs whipped with milk and honey.   

Over time, the cosmetic virtues of this Middle Eastern beauty secret trickled their way down to Greece, where the Greeks would mix donkey’s milk with mashed berries or honey to use as anti-ageing treatments.  

This powerful yet versatile superfood and its different iterations (lactic acid, milk proteins and probiotics) offers a multitude of skin-loving benefits — from sloughing away dead skin cells and brightening the complexion to soothing inflammation and nourishing the deeper layers of skin.  

READ: Why New Zealand Deer Milk Is Now On The World Beauty Map 

As the demand for milk-based beauty products continues to rise, brands are becoming more creative in how they harness the soothing properties of dairy and dairy-free alternatives in skincare and haircare.  

Animal-derived milk is renowned for being rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and alpha-hydroxy acids, with products containing cow, goat, sheep and deer milk readily available in New Zealand. But keep your eyes peeled for the likes of buffalo and camel milk to start cropping up here after gaining traction overseas.  

As for plant-based mylks, go nuts for the likes of oat, almond and coconut milk, or look out for unexpected options in the form of fig, sesame seed and argan milk.  

Take note: the term “milk” is commonly used to describe a product’s texture or white, watery appearance  even if it’s totally dairy- or nut-milk free. If you’re unsure, check the ingredients list.  

Left to right: Milk Makeup’s Vegan Milk Moisturiser, $67; Drunk Elephant Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Scrub, $48; Lush Super Milk, $31. Photos / Supplied


This is one yoghurt you won’t be serving with your morning granola. Instead, slather on probiotic-packed Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Prebiotic Gel-Cream, $61, twice daily to re-balance your skin microbiome and revive a dull-looking complexion. 

The most recent addition to Kate Somerville’s range of goat milk goodies is the Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser, $68, which is enriched with goat milk proteins to hydrate and soothe redness or irritation in dry or sensitive skin. The powerful antibacterial properties of M?nuka honey helps bring down inflammation, while moisturising jojoba and avocado oils keep the skin’s lipid barrier intact.  

The new Kotia Skin Perfecting Hydrogel Face Mask, $16, is supercharged with deer milk and M?nuka honey to boost radiance and elasticity, while locking in moisture for long-lasting hydration. This golden face mask heralds DMRA-K (K?tia’s patented deer milk peptide complex) which aids the skin’s own regenerative processes by stimulating natural exfoliation, while reducing the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles for more youthful-looking skin.   

If it's good enough for Hollywood starlet June Preisser, it's good enough for us. Photo / Getty Images


New to Sephora is Milk Makeup’s Vegan Milk Moisturiser, $67, a fragrance-free, lightweight moisturiser which is formulated with the brand’s own vegan-friendly Desert Milk (a blend of Kalahari melon, baobab, jojoba and aloe vera) cocktailed with argan and oat milk to promote healthy hydration levels in normal, dry or sensitive skin. 

Drunk Elephant Sugared Koffie Almond Milk Scrub, $48, launches into Mecca on April 27, and sounds more like something you’d drink rather than smooth on during your shower. The combination of brown sugar crystals with roasted and powdered coffee buff away dry spots, while nourishing almond milk leaves skin feeling soft and supple.  

Lush Super Milk, $31, is just one of a handful of products that comprises Lush’s newest hair-care range which is designed with kinky, coily and afro hair in mind. This multi-functional hair hydrator is chock-full of almond, coconut and oat milk to deliver hydration and definition to hair without weighing it down. Spritz into curls to refresh them throughout the day, spray over wet hair as a leave-in conditioner, or use as a heat protectant before blow-drying or heat styling hair.   

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