Milk baths are one of the ultimate luxuries when it comes to bathing. Appreciated since ancient times as part of a beauty regime for healthy skin, we now know that milk contains some of the same chemical ingredients as expensive skincare products. The lactic acid in milk is a mild alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) similar to that present in anti-aging creams and chemical peels. Milk also contains the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) salicylic acid, which has recently become popular because it is milder than some forms of AHA. Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids act as exfoliants, sloughing away dead skin cells and revealing the inner beauty of glowing new skin. Beta hydroxy acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce puffiness from irritation or fatigue.
Whether the occasion be Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or birthday, your lover will be thrilled with a decadent basket filled with goodies for the bath. The added touch of handmade milk bath sachets makes it even more special. And don’t forget that special couple in your life! A his and hers gift basket featuring candles, champagne, chocolates and fabulous bath products makes a perfect engagement or wedding gift, check over here.
Oatmeal Milk Bath Sachet Recipe
6 cups (1.5 L) skim or buttermilk powder
2 cups (500 mL) oatmeal
1 cup (250 mL) baking soda
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried herbs or flower petals (lavender, rose, mint, chamomile or even bits of dried citrus peel)
100% cotton fabric, thread and ribbon to make drawstring bags
Make simple drawstring bags for your milk bath recipe, beginning with squares of cloth about 6 inches (15 cm) big. I prefer to use unbleached cotton and white ribbon for these as they will be used in the bath, but if you want to be fancy you can use a pretty floral print. If you aren’t handy at sewing you can tie the bath sachet ingredients up in cheesecloth, like a bouquet garni or pickling spice. When I worked with small children we used paper sachet envelopes instead. (In this case, grind the ingredients in a blender so they won’t clog the drain.)
Mix all the ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Divide the milk bath powder evenly between your sachets or envelopes and seal well. Milk bath sachets can be stored in a pretty glass jar or in a small box until ready to use. Contents of paper envelopes can simply be emptied into the bathtub when you run your bath.
Cloth bags can be tossed directly into the bath water, or tied to the faucet so the warm water will run through the contents as you prepare for your bath. The sachet can later be used instead of a washcloth, to exfoliate dead skin. Cloth sachets can be emptied out after the bath and reused. Turn the bag inside out and let air dry, then brush away any bits of the milk bath mixture. Launder gently and refill with milk bath powder or any mixture of dried herbs and flowers.