There are so many trends flying around the internet that it’s hard to know which ones actually have the chops. Take, for instance, breastmilk as skin care. Yes, you read that right.
A few months ago, Halsey shared their postpartum skincare regimen, and noted that after they learned “that breast milk is the best skincare ingredient ever because it’s so full of antioxidants and good fats and stuff that speed up the healing process,” they added a colostrum-infused serum from Biologique Recherche into their routine. From there, the TikToks commenced. Color us intrigued.
The benefits of breastmilk for skin
“Breastmilk has natural moisturizing properties that are thought to be beneficial for the skin,” says Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD. “Some benefits relate to its moisturizing and antioxidant properties for the skin. Lauric acid, a key component of breast milk, is known for its antibacterial properties, and it also helps to soothe and calm the skin.” She adds that the ingredient is particularly helpful for dry skin in need of moisture.
Anecdotally, we’ve heard stories of moms using breastmilk to calm their babies’ eczema and rashes. And while one of our editors has copped to using a homemade breastmilk soap to quell her dry skin (in her words, “It was kind of weird, but amazing!!!!”), know that commercial brands aren’t actually using the real deal in their products. Many do, however, use colostrum in their formulas, which is the earliest form of breast milk that starts to be produced in mammals (it’s worth noting that the stuff you’ll find in your serums comes from cows, not humans). And one new brand, called Milk Made Skin, takes things to the next level with its breastmilk-mimicking formulations.
Enter: Milk Made Skin
Milk Made Skin’s Milk Peptide Complex contains lactose (for light exfoliation), proteins, fatty acids, and vitamin B (for strengthening the skin barrier); vitamin A (for stimulating cell turnover); and vitamin C (for brightening)—all of which are nutrients found in human breast milk. It aims to nourish, protect, and encourage collagen and fibronectin (a glycoprotein that plays an important role in tissue repair) production for folks with dry and mature skin.
The brand launched with three key products: An exfoliating cleanser, a peptide-enriched moisturizer, and a brightening eye cream. The founder also gave the brand a philanthropic arc: A portion of each purchase goes towards the Fertility Dreams Foundation, which brings awareness and support to the IVF community.
What happened when I tried breastmilk-inspired skin care
I’m not above admitting that I was hesitant to give this brand a try, especially because I have somewhat reactive, acne-prone skin. But I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the way these products felt on my skin.
Milk Made Skin, Milk Drench Exfoliating Gel Cleanser — $20.00
This was my favorite product from Milk Made Skin. Physical exfoliants do give me pause (who among us hasn’t been emotionally—or literally—scarred by that apricot scrub?), but this one was noticeably more gentle than others I’ve tried.
The scrubby bamboo beads are ground so finely that I barely even noticed them. This cleanser also lathers well for that clean feeling, and is boosted by hydrating, calming ingredients like hyaluronic acid, rose water, and cucumber essence.
I’ve been a classic CeraVe cleanser gal for a decade, rarely straying from its steadfast, efficacious formula. Now I swap in Milk Drench once per week for an exfoliating reset, and my skin has never felt softer. It’s also worth mentioning that it doesn’t break me out. The only downsides are the small size (give me more!) and the fact that not all skin types react well to physical exfoliants.
- Bamboo beads are gentle on skin
- Rich lather
- Tube is only 1.7 ounces
- Physical exfoliants might not be good for sensitive skin types
Milk Made Skin, Milk Drunk Peptide Rich Moisturizer — $89.00
Though I don’t have a dry, mature complexion, I do occasionally partake in late night shenanigans, which means that sometimes I wake up with dehydrated, puffy, and generally sad-looking skin. I’m disciplined enough to always do my skin-care routine before bed, no matter how late it is, and I tend to reach for intensely moisturizing products so I wake up looking more alive than I feel.
Milk Drunk has been my moisturizer of choice for those nights. It’s seriously rich, with a buttery, thick feel. I’m pleased by how quickly it sinks into my skin—especially when I’m extra dehydrated. The milk-mimicking peptide complex really shines in this moisturizer. After using this, I wake up with noticeably plump, hydrated skin. I don’t use it every day because its richness would likely cause breakouts for my skin type, but it’s certainly a product I’ll keep in my rotation.
- Buttery moisturizer that melts right into the skin
- Peptides are excellent for all skin types
- Rich, thick formulation might be too heavy for oily skin and warmer climates
Milk Made Skin, Milk Boost Brightening Eye Cream — $69.00
I recently started using eye creams, but have had real trouble finding one that doesn’t irritate the very sensitive skin around my eyes. Milk Boost is creamy and lightweight, and didn’t cause any burning, tearing up, or redness. I noticed a subtle brightening and depuffing effect (likely from the addition of caffeine in the formula), but I was most impressed by its ability to quickly hydrate my eye area and diminish the fine lines caused by dehydration. I did notice that the formula sat on top of my skin, rather than sinking in like the moisturizer, but it doesn’t pill underneath my concealer and foundation, which is a big plus.
- Smooths fine lines
- Doesn’t pill under makeup
- Feels like it sits on top of skin rather than soaking in
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