Updated: Jan 22, 2021
For glowing skin, just like Cleopatra
The beauty of Queen Cleopatra is the stuff of legends, plays, and movies. Thousands of years later, it's hard to weed out the facts from the fiction, but one story that has endured through the ages is her practice of bathing in milk and honey to maintain and enhance her beauty. She wasn't the only one.
For centuries, wealthy and powerful aristocrats across Europe and Asia wrote about the beauty benefits of milk and honey baths, from nuns to Queen Elizabeth I. It turns out that science backs some of those beliefs. Milk contains a substance known as AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that does wonders for the skin. It gently breaks down the proteins that hold dead skin cells together, allowing gentle exfoliation to wash away that old, dull layer and reveal the fresh, glowing skin beneath.
These days AHA can be synthesized, but milk has a second powerful skin benefit, and it's not one you would expect. Fat. The natural fat content of milk keeps skin hydrated. Your skin produces its own protective oils. Stripping these away can leave it dry and scaly. The fat in milk preserves your skin's own oils, so they don't have to be replaced by synthetic lotions.
Bathers of the past were right about the honey as well. Honey brings more hydration to the mix, plus a little kick of antioxidants to help soothe redness and inflammation. Its antibacterial properties also help prevent any irritation or infection that can come from brisk exfoliation or shaving.
Epsom salts can help soothe irritated skin, but they're more well-known for easing muscle aches and soreness. Runners and other athletes frequently take Epsom salt baths to relax and rejuvenate tired muscles.
The addition of essential oils is more for your nose than your skin, though some oils do have skin benefits. Adding just a few drops of essential oil into a hot bath envelops you in scented, healing humidity.
Scent is a very personal and intimate sense. It ties strongly to memory, which is why the smell of fresh cookies or a particular perfume can remind us so strongly of specific places or people. Eucalyptus can evoke the refreshing atmosphere of a spa, while vanilla or plumeria might transport you to a tropical island. Lavender is well known for its calming effects and citrus can be invigorating. Use an oil you love and indulge in the memories or emotions it evokes.
Milk & Honey Eucalyptus Bath
2 cups whole milk
1 cup Epsom salts
1/4 cup Don Victor™ Pure Honey
3-6 drops eucalyptus (or other) essential oil
Simply add all ingredients to warm running water as you fill the tub.
Have you given this honey milk bath a try? What essential oils do you love?
Share your ideas in the comments below!
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