Buttermilk Bath Soak

Posted by Hardip Kalsi on

Bathing in milk has been associated with ultimate luxury since time immemorial, prompting the wealthy of the world to seek the same beautifying elixirs used by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt herself. Cleopatra has been
recorded by historians to have bathed in milk, honey, and oat grains for beautiful silky skin. Since her reign, the tradition continued throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, North Africa, and India, where royalty and the noble classes soaked themselves in milk baths to signify opulence and reverence for beauty.

Well, they all had a point. Milk, particularly fermented milk products such as buttermilk, have a high amount of lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to increase cell regeneration. Milk is also chock full of healthy fats and proteins for the skin, making it an impactful beautifier through history. Let us travel to an ancient time and channel pure luxury with our buttermilk bath soak.

Armed with our current understanding of what skincare ingredients actually do for our skin, we married ancient traditions with modern ingredients to ensure the ultimate bath experience. We use Epsom salts (also known as magnesium sulfate) to promote relaxation, and added skin-safe dried flowers, as well as Bulgarian rose and lavender essential oil to transport you to another time. Let’s embark on this journey together!

What you will need:

Tools and Equipment:

  • 4-cup measuring cup 
  • Mixing bowl
  • Silicone spatula for mixing
  • Small beaker for essential oils
  • Measuring pipette for polysorbate 20 and essential oils
  • Glass jar for storing your bath soak


  1. Combine the buttermilk powder, Epsom salts, and dried flowers into a mixing bowl and mix well. 
  2. Measure out 3 ml (one dropperful) of polysorbate 20 into the beaker/ small container. 
  3. Add essential oils to the polysorbate 20 and mix well until combined. 
  4. Add this essential oil mixture the dry ingredients mixture and combine gently yet thoroughly. 
  5. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar and store in a cool, dark, and dry place until you are ready to use it.

How to use the buttermilk bath soak:

  1. Draw a hot water bath in your bathtub and add about one cup of your buttermilk bath soak dry mixture to the tub, mixing it in gently. 
  2. Soak in it for about half an hour and travel to an ancient time when beauty and comfort were measured in much simpler, yet impactful terms.

Pro Tips:

  1. If you prefer a higher amount of mix, add another cup, but be careful to not add too much more since essential oils in large amounts can lead to skin irritation. 
  2. If you want to increase the essential oils slightly in your mix for a stronger fragrance, also increase the amount of polysorbate 20 proportionally for better solubility (e.g. if you double the essential oils, double the polysorbate 20).
  3. Try this floral blend with other flowers and herbs such as calendula and rosemary, especially if you are not a rose fan. I personally love the combination of calendula, rosemary and a touch of lavender.
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