Michelle’s got milk: I am 54 years young and when I was 22 I was told to put buttermilk on my face to get rid of wrinkles. I’ve been using it ever since and there is no question that my skin looks much younger than women my age. I have also stayed out of the sun and don’t smoke and today I also use pricey beauty products like ReVive and Origins. Do you think it’s buttermilk that’s keeping my skin wrinkle free?
The Right Brain goes sour:
Michelle, thanks so much for your email. We had to edit it to fit today’s post, but we’ve started a forum thread with your entire email in case anyone’s interested in learning more. Now on to your answer…
Could buttermilk be responsible for your youthful appearance? Mmmmmmaybe. But doubtful. Here’s why.
What the heck is buttermilk, anyway?
For those of you who aren’t up to speed on your dairy products, buttermilk is a thickened, sour type of milk that is made by adding bacteria to regular milk. The bacteria cause fermentation which changes the milk sugar (aka lactose) into lactic acid. Sound familiar? It should! Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxyacid (or AHA) the same chemical that’s used in anti-aging lotions to exfoliate your skin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like buttermilk is better than lotions you can buy.
Why isn’t buttermilk better?
Milk contains 4 to 6% lactose. When it’s converted to buttermilk, you end up with about 3 or 4% lactic acid. Lactic acid skin creams contain about 12% lactic acid, about 3 times as much as buttermilk. So while it’s theoretically possible that buttermilk could be helping, you’d probably see more benefit from a relatively inexpensive lactic acid cream like Lac-hydrin.
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So, if it’s not the buttermik, why does your skin look good?
There could be several other reasons you skin looks so good. First, genetics plays a large role in the health of your skin. It might also be your healthy lifestyle. By staying out of the sun and not smoking you’ve avoided two of the major causes of premature aging. Finally, you said that you’re using other beauty products like Revive and Origins along with the buttermilk. If any of these products contain sunscreen that could be prevent your skin from aging too. But the important thing is – keep up whatever you’re doing. It’s working for you!
And if anyone out there is still interested in buttermilk but you don’t like the stench of sourmilk on your face (and gee, who doesn’t want that??) you also might try Burt’s Bees Buttermilk Lotion. It’s 98.31% natural so it MUST be good. Right?
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