Wondering Why Skin Milks Are All The Rage? We’ve Got The Answers


I recently fell in love with the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner–a lightweight toner that my dry skin drinks up. The funny thing is, upon closer inspection, I realised this product didn’t contain a single drop of milk. So why is it that most viral toners out there are somehow associating themselves with milk?

Determined to uncover the truth, I contacted Dr Kiran, MD, Author of Skin Sense, Founder of Isya Aesthetics and American expertise with cosmetic dermatology to first understand the benefits of milk in skin care products and later ponder on these milk-less skin milks.

Milk in Skincare

From ancient queens bathing in luxurious milk baths to modern-day beauty enthusiasts whipping up at-home masks, milk has long been revered for its skin-nourishing properties. It is rich in fats and proteins, which can help hydrate and nourish the skin. The lactic acid in it acts as a gentle exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover.


It can also help lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The proteins in milk can help calm irritated skin and reduce redness. It contains antioxidants like vitamins A and E, which can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Needless to say, milk holds great potential in skincare.

Furthermore, Dr Kiran also shares a study by the  Journal of Applied Microbiology that explains how milk-based skincare products even offer protection against UV light-induced skin damage and hyperpigmentation as well. It contains antioxidants and inhibits melanogenesis–which has the potential to improve skin health and appearance.

Milk For Healthy Skin

Milk-based skin care products work by utilising the nutrients and properties of milk to improve skin health and appearance.


Dr Kiran believes that this ingredient works to improve skin health and appearance through its rich biological content, including proteins like casein, β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, and growth factors. These components offer antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.

Dr Kiran sheds light on another finding by The Department of Cosmetic Raw Material Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Lodz, Muszyńskiego. A published report states that milk products promote healing and tissue regeneration and treat conditions like acne vulgaris or plaque psoriasis. They also regulate sebum secretion, reduce acne lesions and provide moisturising, protective, toning, smoothing, anti-irritation, whitening, soothing and antiaging effects on the skin.

Besides, the potential side effects associated with using milk-based skincare products are rare–only including allergic reactions in individuals with lactose intolerance or allergies.

Skin Milks

I’m sure we’ve all heard of this trending term in milk cleansers that can help to cleanse the skin while also providing hydration. Well, skin milks are basically skincare products that contain milk or milk-derived ingredients.

Although most skin types can benefit from these skincare products, they may be particularly beneficial for dry, sensitive or mature skin since these products can help to hydrate, soothe and nourish the skin–improving its overall health and appearance.

However, some skincare products use the term ‘milk’ in their branding, despite not containing any in their ingredient lists. Dr Kiran believes this is done to convey a sense of gentleness and nourishment. “This term might create a perception of luxuriousness and naturalness, which could appeal to consumers looking for gentle, effective skincare products. These products are then assumed to be hydrating, soothing and suitable for sensitive skin.”

DIY Milk Mask


I for one have used milk or dahi in several at-home DIY face masks–be it adding it to a little bit of besan or honey. So, I was sure to ask Dr Kiran for a dermatologically approved DIY or at-home milk-based skincare treatment.

“You can make a simple milk mask at home by mixing milk with honey or oatmeal. Apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for about 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. This can help hydrate and soothe your skin,” advises Dr Kiran. She also suggests adding milk to bathwater for a moisturising soak–just like Cleopatra!

Although at-home treatments can be fun, here are some milk-based skincare products for you to try:

Nivea Milk Delights


This timeless face wash contains milk that removes dirt and impurities while nourishing the skin, making it look and feel healthy. it also has different variants with ingredients like besan to absorb excess oil, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties and saffron to stimulate collagen production.

G9SKIN White In Milk Toner


G9SKIN is a Korean brand that uses nine important ingredients to promote radiant and healthy skin and to resolve nine skin problems. Their White In Milk Toner has calming and nourishing properties and also works at brightening the skin. It is formulated with milk extract, hyaluronic acid, sweet almond extract, macadamia nut extract and ceramide.

Kiehl’s Daily Refining Milk Peel


Kiehl’s Daily Refining Milk Peel is an almond milk-based milk-peel toner that refines and restores healthy-looking skin. It has lipohydroxy acid, a form of salicylic acid, that is known to help exfoliate skin and 23% emollients (including almond milk) that dissolve impurities while replenishing the skin’s moisture levels.

While vegan milk is different to that derived from animals, it is interesting to see the similar nourishing properties they all have!

Beauty Writer

More From

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content