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Milk body cream is a type of skin moisturizing lotion that contains milk as a main active ingredient. Many skin care products use natural ingredients such as milk to promote healthy skin. Milk body cream usually contains milk fats, also known as milk lipids, because they are purported to moisturize and nourish skin.
The term milk can be misleading because the source of the milk in these lotions may be drawn from either animals or plants. Most milk body creams use cow’s or goat’s milk as their principal nutritive ingredient. Animal-derived milk creams often use the fat solids, also called lipids, as the main moisturizer.
On the other hand, many of these creams call themselves milk-based, but use a lipid source that is derived from plants instead. These plant-derived substances are called milks because of their milky consistency. The two main types of plant-derived milk are coconut or soy. Often, the oils in these plants are the moisturizing ingredient rather than the milk. For example, a milk body cream that is based on coconut milk would probably rely on the coconut oil more than the actual milk for moisturizing.
Most lotions use some form of oil, fatty acid, or lipid to trap the body’s natural moisture within the skin. This strengthening of the skin’s moisture barrier usually occurs whether the milk lipids come from plant or animal sources. Milk body creams use the lipids in animal milk and the oils found in plant-derived milk for this process.
Cow’s or goat’s milk creams may be able to provide the skin with both lipid moisturizers and skin-nourishing proteins. Like lipids, milk proteins may also aid in moisturizing the skin. They are purported to be easily absorbed into the skin and are thereby able to help nourish and protect it.
Many of these creams can be soothing and gentle for people with dry skin. Some types of milk body cream are specifically made to be gentle for use with sensitive skin, while others are formulated for extra-dry or problem skin. Many brands of this type of lotion are marketed as being more natural than other lotions because milk is a main ingredient.
Milk lipids are often not the only nutritive ingredient in milk body cream. Many of these lotions are supplemented with vitamins to support healthy skin. Vitamins A, D, and E are common supplements in these types of lotions, especially in the animal-derived forms. Plant-derived milk lotions often include several different types of plant oils and emollients besides coconut or soy milk.