I wish more people would give body milk a chance. If you’ve ever skipped your body cream in the morning because you have to get dressed quickly and can’t wait for thicker moisturizers to stop being greasy or sticky, body milk solves this problem. It’s a thin, silky lotion that spreads easily and soaks in rapidly. Body milk is soothing, velvety, and leaves skin almost powder smooth instead of tacky.
So why don’t more people use it?
Honestly, I think it’s name. Body creams makes sense because they’re literally creams. Body butters make sense because they are made with bases like shea butter or cocoa butter. But body milk? The general definition of body milk is a moisturizer that’s thinner than a lotion. They sometimes contain milk products–which is great because the lactic acid in milk works as a mild chemical peel by dissolving dry, dead skin cells and making way for fresh, younger skin. You can read more about how chemical peels work and why they aren’t as scary as the name sounds in my guide to the best body peels. However, the majority of body milks don’t have any milk ingredients at all. So the name is misleading.
Because body milks are so ultra-lightweight they are great for use all year round to prevent dry, itchy skin. Since they soak in so fast, they are also good choices for people who can’t afford to have lotion residue on their hands or skin, like people who work in child care, with sensitive equipment, or anyone who has ever needed to open a doorknob or, perish the thought, open their chapstick.
Is body milk right for everyone? Probably. Is body milk right for every situation? Okay, probably not. That’s the only downside to body milk. Body milk is an everyday lotion to prevent dry skin. It’s like taking your vitamins year round to protect yourself from getting sick, but once you get sick, you need more than vitamins. Same is true for moisturizers. When air conditioner season comes around or your skin because winter chapped and flaky, you need something stronger than body milk.
But when you don’t need something as strong as a body butter, but you do feel like your skin is thirsty, using a moisturizer that’s too intensely hydrating and overloading your skin with oils it doesn’t need can lead to other issues like body acne.
Moisturizers are an emulsion, a mixture of two thing that generally doing get along like oil and water. The proportion of water to oil is what decides what kind of moisturizer the product is. Examples of low water to oil ratio moisturizers are heavier products like cuticle creams and body butters. Moisturizers with a high water to oil ratio are body lotions and body milks. Body milk has the most water out of these moisturizers, which is why it soaks in so quickly and cleanly, but also why it isn’t as deeply hydrating as say a body cream.
If you want to learn more about how and why moisturizers work, read my best body lotion guide.
And if you’re thinking that maybe body milk isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, you can read more in depth information in my guides to the best cuticle oils & creams, best luxury hand creams, best luxury hand soap, and best body butters.
But if what you need is a hydrating ultra-light moisturizer that you can use every day to keep dry skin at bay and your skin silky soft, then check out the best body milks on the market today.
1. L’Occitane Roses et Reines Beautifying Body Milk
Rose et Reines Beautifying Body Milk is a silky body milk by L’Occitane. If you’re not familar with the brand, it’s a French import known for making use of locally grown flowers in Provence, France. I’ve featured their products in my guides to best luxury hand creams, best body lotion, best luxury hand soap, and even best home fragrance products. Their fragrances are uniquely pure, and by that I mean, they don’t smell artificial. Roses et Reines smells keenly of roses in bloom. And how could it not when it contains rosewater and flower extract of the Provence Rose, rose hip oil from the Dog Rose, and extract and flower oil of the Damascus Rose. That’s a lot of rose. It’s a clean, fruity scent that lasts. If you’re looking for a way to skip traditional perfumes, this is a good bet because it’s a fragrance that will project and be noticed, though not in an overwhelming way.
The milk itself is silky and a dream to put on. It’s very light and absorbs without leaving any greasy residue. Shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and rose oil quench skin to keep it feeling smooth and looking healthy and young.
- Five different rose extracts, rosewaters, and rose oils
- Hydrating shea butter and sunflower seed oil
- Product of France
- Paraben free
- No literal milk proteins or lactic acid
- Scent might project a bit too much for some
2. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Body Milk
Here we have a body milk with slightly less emphasis on fragrance and more on a moisturizer that works for skin of all ages. La Roche-Posay uses shea butter, glycerin, mineral oil, and silicone to seal in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. This body milk also contains niacinamide, a derivative of vitamin B3 that has been shown to have amazing skin benefits including boosting collagen production which reduces fine lines, supporting your skin’s immune system, and helping your skin hold onto more moisture in the long run. It’s one of those ingredients I’m keen to have in my skincare products. For a body milk, this one is extremely long lasting and you won’t find yourself reaching for more until the end of the day so it’s a perfect body milk for a morning and evening routine. The Lipikar Body Milk has a light, nondescript fragrance that is clean and fresh. I recently included La Roche-Posay in my best acne treatments for adults of 2017 guide.
- Long lasting moisture
- Contains niacinamide
- Safe for use on children
- Paraben free
- Gender neutral fragrance
- Pump bottle isn’t easy to travel with
3. Skin & Co Roma Truffle Body Milk
This body milk is probably the most deeply hydrating milk of the list. Along with black winter truffle extract, which is maybe about as fancy sounding as a thing gets, this body milk contains jojoba oil, argan oil, shea butter, aloe vera, olive oil, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. That’s a really nice list of moisturizers. I’ve talked a lot about hyaluronic acid before in other posts, like my guide to the best lip plumpers, but to sum up, hyaluronic acid spheres love water. When in products, they are dehydrated down into flat disks, but when they absorb into your skin and encounter moisture, they soak it up like and inflate like a sponge. This causes your skin to look plumper and firmer as well as retain more moisture in your skin.
The Roma Truffle Body Milk is thin, like a body milk should be, lightweight, and non-greasy. The scent is light and earthy. Not earthy like truffle oil, which I’m not personally a fan of sniffing, but a nutty, grassy, cool summer breeze scent that won’t interfer with other fragrances if you wear them.
- Awesome list of moisturizers
- Plumping hyaluronic acid spheres
- Light fragrance
- Cruelty free
- Free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and mineral oil
- Has a very thin texture
4. Sesderma Daeses Firming Body Milk
Sesderma Daeses Firming Body Milk is a thin but nutrient-packed body milk formulated to address skin that has lost its tone from weight loss or aging. It contains targeted ingredients that reduce fine lines and other signs of aging. One of its main ingredients is hyaluronic acid for its ability to plump up skin that feels loose or saggy. Sesderma Daeses also includes DMAE (short for dimethylaminoethanol) which is a naturally occurring chemical and is well known in the medical world for appearing to slow mental decline from age. As far as topical DMAE, it stimulates fresh cell growth and reduces the amount of a certain cell pigment that tends to build up with age. It’s been called a “face lift in a jar” and while that’s an exaggeration, it does help to smooth skin.
This body milk also contains horsetail extract, a plant that boosts healing and reverses sun damage, and proteoglycans which help increase the elasticity of your skin. All these ingredients work to bring moisture, firmness, and health to critical areas of our bodies that are prone to sagging. So I’d call this a body milk plus.
- Targeted anti-aging ingredients to firm skin
- Contains hyaluronic acid spheres
- Silky texture
- Not for children
- Pump bottle isn’t easy to travel with
- Full ingredient list is hard to find
5. Burberry Body Milk
This body milk is so thin that it comes in a spray bottle and is infused with the Burberry eau de parfum Body. This is a very thin moisturizing mist that’s about as lightweight as you can get without it just being water. As light and watery as it seems, it’s still highly hydrating. Glycerin, a skin-softening coconut-based emulsifier, and hyaluronic spheres sink deep into skin quickly and start moisturizing. This body milk has the plus of Burberry’s feminine scent Body that has top notes of absinthe, peach, and freesia; a heart of rose and sandalwood; and a foundation of warm amber and woody musk. Plus, look at how pretty that bottle is.
- Ultra-lightweight, thin moisturizing spray
- Contains hyaluronic spheres
- Burberry signature fragrance
- Gorgeous bottle
- Designer price tag
6. Vichy Ideal Body Serum-Milk
This is a slightly more affordable version of a milk packed with anti-aging components as well as being highly moisturizing. This body milk uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate and plump skin while LHA improves the tone and texture of skin over time. This along with 10 different essential oils will drastically change the feel of your skin for the better. These oils include apricot seed oil, rose hip oil, jojoba oil, and rice bran oil. It’s a body milk that provides long lasting hydration that you only need to apply once a day. If you’re busy and tend to forget your moisturizing routine, this might be a good choice for you. The milk has a very clean, floral scent to it that fades to a mild fragrance and it’s never greasy.
- Anti-aging LHA and hyaluronic acid
- 10 essential oils for deep hydration
- Long lasting
- Paraben free
- Contains artificial dyes
7. Korres White Tea, Bergamot And Freesia Body Milk
This is a very light, cooling body milk that’s perfect for during the summer when so many of us are dealing with sunburns and bug bites. It’s thin, melts against your body heat, and is absorbed fast. Sweet almond oil, shea butter, soybean oil, and glycerin hydrate while aloe vera cools and soothes irritated skin. Nourishing botanicals like extracts of immortelle flower, rosemary, and marshmallow root support skin health and improve the soft texture of skin. Korres is a brand I wish I saw more of because I love their dedication to using natural ingredients. This body milk is 92.4 percent naturally derived and doesn’t contain parabens, mineral oils, petroleum, silicones, PEG’s, alcohols, phthalates, or artificial dyes. It’s vegan friendly and made in a wheat-free facility. The fragrance is crisply floral with warm bergamot at the base.
- Sweet almond oil and shea butter
- Cooling aloe vera
- Nourishing botanical extracts
- No silicones, parabens, or animal testing
- No actual milk ingredients
8. John Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Milk
Another product ideal for summer weather, this John Masters Organics body milk smells good enough to wear year round. The Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Milk has a light, almost creamsicle fragrance, but delicate and refined. Generally, anything orange and vanilla and I’m in, but this milk has the added benefit of an ingredient list chalk full of skin nourishing botanicals. The first ingredient of most body milks is water, but that’s the second ingredient here. The first ingredient is aloe vera which is both hydrating and cooling, making this great for sunburnt skin. Organic coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin add to the moisturizing power of this body milk. Extracts of kelp, chamomile, milk thistle, lavender, white tea, comfrey, arnica, and grapefruit peel support skin health in the long run. This body milk isn’t as long lasting as some of the others on here so if dry skin is an issue for you, you may want to consider a longer lasting milk or a more deeply moisturizing lotion or cream.
Price: $17.14 (27 percent off MSRP)
- Highly moisturizing and soothing
- Nourishing botanicals
- No GMOS, parabens, DEA’s, artificial dyes, or artificial fragrances
- Made in America
- Not as long lasting as others
- No actual milk ingredients
9. Thann Aromatic Wood Rice Extract Body Milk
The Rice Extract Body Milk in the scent Aromatic Wood by Thann is a long lasting body milk with a silky texture that is non-comedogenic. If you tend to have issues with body acne, this would be a great body moisturizer that won’t cause breakouts. It’s a very moisturizing body milk with an 8 percent content of rice bran oil which comes with all the vitamins and essential oils of rice extracts. On top of it, it contains glycerin and silicone to seal that hydration in. So it might take a moment longer to soak in than others, but it still won’t leave a greasy residue. The fragrance comes from nutmeg, tangerine, and orange oil for a musky citrus scent that works on everyone. If that doesn’t appeal to you, Thann also makes a Wood Rice Extract Body Milk in Jasmine Blossom for a more floral, feminine body milk.
- Long lasting hydration
- Non-comedogenic and never greasy
- Woodsy, citrus scent is gender-neutral
- Two scent choices
- Pump bottle is hard to travel with
- Takes a tiny bit longer to absorb
10. Biotherm Anti-Drying Body Milk
Biotherm Anti-Drying Body Milk has a gentle citrus fragrance that’s energizing and uplifting. This is a great way to start your day. This body milk for average skin keeps your skin feeling soft and hydrated for hours. A little goes a long way–especially if used right out of the shower when it glides on smooth and soaks in quickly. Its thin consistency isn’t difficult to work with, but this is definitely a maintenance lotion and not for dry or irritated skin. The fragrance could be a little too sweet for some people, but it does dissipate quickly, which is good to know if you’re looking for a body milk that won’t interfere with your personal fragrances.
- Lightweight and never greasy
- Nourishing citrus extracts
- Light fragrance doesn’t stick around
- Pump bottle isn’t easy to travel with
- Hard to find ingredient list online
- Scent may be too sweet for some