Cleopatra reportedly took frequent milk baths to keep her complexion smooth—and she may have been on to something. “The proteins in milk are very soothing,” says Baumann. “They work on the surface of the skin to help reduce redness.” Milk is also a source of lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid in the same family as glycolic acid. When topically applied, it acts as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. “The lactic acid in milk makes the dead cells let go of each other so they can flake off,” explains Baumann. The result? A brighter complexion.
(A) Aura Cacia Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath ($3; auracacia.com) nourishes skin with organic milk powder and calms your senses with a soothing lavender scent.
(B) Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser ($21; sephora.com) uses the soothing power of milk proteins to gently wash away the day.
(C) One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub and Masque ($39; oneloveorganics.com) contains whole milk powder, which gently exfoliates.