The alt-milk movement first came for our coffee orders, then it hit the ice-cream aisle. And now? It’s coming for our skin-care routines.
“Milk” has commonly been used as a skin product descriptor, meant to describe the texture of a nice, creamy, formula… like a thick moisturizer you can’t help but want to frost your entire body with. But these days, it’s also an ingredient-list mainstay—in many different forms. From oat milk to almond milk to coconut milk, dairy alternatives bring along nourishing, good-for-skin properties that are worth it particularly during dry skin season. Scroll through for our favorites for dry skin, which now officially have a place in your A.M. latte order and your A.M. skin routine and are ready to be milked for all their worth. (Sorry.)
Oat milk: Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer, $38
If MILK makeup’s latest launch is to be believed, the oat milk phenomenon isn’t going anywhere. The brand released its Vegan Milk Moisturizer earlier this year, which is packed with oat, fig, and other good-for-you things to hydrate and soften dry skin while also offering calming properties. Oat has long been lauded as a soothing skin ingredient (remember oatmeal baths, anyone?), so its hardly a surprise that the milk-ified version touts similar benefits.
Soy milk: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer with Total Soy Complex and Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $14
The OG of the alt-milks has earned its place in your skin routine for good reason. Research has shown that soy is high in antioxidants, and helps stimulate collagen, prevent inflammation, protect against UV radiation, and can even reverse the signs of photo-aging. And considering half of Well+Good’s editors swear by this particular soy cleanser, we can confirm that the ingredient really is that good.
Almond milk: L’Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Milk Concentrate, $54
If you want to give your full body the milk-y treatment, look no further than this nut-infused lotion. Almond oil is chock-full of vitamin E and fatty acids, which makes it a powerful emollient that helps even your complexion over time. It’s also non-irritating and non-comedogenic, so can be used by all skin types (including super-sensitive ones!). This creamy moisturizer absorbs easily into the skin, and will leave it nourished without ever feeling greasy.
Goat milk: Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream, $65
Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in goat milk for the sake of smoother skin, and centuries later we’re still coating our complexions in it for the exact same reason. It’s not vegan, like the other alt-mik options, but it is high in skin-nourishing healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin E and Zinc. It also offers a gentle exfoliation by way of lactic acid (which derms are constantly saying is the best AHA choice for anyone with dry skin). Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk moisturizer is non-greasy and absorbs easily, using its lipids to help protect the skin barrier.
Coconut milk: RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream, $18
Coconut oil is known for its skin-saving properties, and this particular moisturizer brings it to you in an ultra-creamy form that could easily pass as a skin milk. In addition to helping remove makeup (which all oils are known to do), coconut oil has high levels of lauric acid that make it antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial. It’s also got fatty acids, which nourish skin without clogging your pores.
Here are four other ingredients derms want you to be slathering onto your oh-so-dry skin during the winter months. Plus, the lip balm our beauty editor doesn’t leave home without.
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