I was sent off to visit a beauty parlour that wanted volunteers for their trainees to practice on, I didn’t have to pay. But I did have to put up with the discussion by the teacher and a room full of fledgeling beauticians that my nose was 'encrusted with blackheads' and how British girls didn’t know the first thing about caring for their skin. After making me feel awful, the very friendly trainee beauticians actually helped me a great deal - not only did I get free cleansing treatments, but advice and lessons on skincare too. Cleansing milk was to become part of my daily routine. Of course it was my fault entirely that the best cleansing milk to be had in Paris brought me out in a rash, and when looking at the bewildering list of ingredients, almost impossible to know which one could be the culprit!
It took several purchases to find one that my skin could tolerate, not the most expensive but certainly the most obscure. On returning to Britain, I looked down my nose at the smooth pink bar of soap on the hand basin and reached for my 'oh-so-chic' bottle of 'laits corps' only to find it was empty and a replacement impossible to find… Substitutes were sought among the bottles at the local chemist and I settled on one that promised to be gentle… and it was… for about a week when I once again developed an unsightly rash. I was allergic to just about everything Boots had to offer and became convinced that I was simply ‘odd’ and went back to water with the occasional smear of soap.
The connection I did not make at the time was that ‘cleansing milk’ isn’t just a name. The composition of milk varies depending upon which animal the milk comes from, goat milk being considerably higher in fat than that of cows and already a favourite for sufferers of excema who may have found that even drinking it can help their condition. It's this fat that makes it perfect and very gentle for cleansing.
My point is, you can simply take the milk from the fridge and wash your face in it. And it is often the best solution for people with sensitive skin or a problem such as blackheads or pimples. Use a bit of cotton wool and simply pour on the milk and then wipe (always upwards remember) on your face. It doesn't remove makeup, but it will remove daily grime and it is certainly one of the most simple homemade beauty recipes. Just add a few drops of a well chosen essential oil bottle it - label it - keep it in the fridge and use daily. Of course you should discard it the moment it shows any signs of going off.
Recipe for A Fresh Cleansing MilkIngredients250ml milk. (choose whole (or Jersey) milk if you have dry skin; semi skimmed if your skin is inclined to be oily.
1ml Essential Oil of your choice.
Use a blender or liquidiser to reduce the cucumber (including the skin) to mush. Add the milk and heat in a pan until just boiling. Allow to cool. Strain through muslin into a jug and allow to cool before mixing in the essential oils. Apply with cotton wool in an upward sweeping motion on your face. This mixture does not contain a preservative and so will only keep in the fridge for around 4 to 5 days. Discard the moment it shows signs of going off.