Legend has it that Cleopatra would have donkeys milked every day to benefit her opulent daily bathing rituals. True or not, donkey milk was, in fact, her skincare secret weapon. According to philosopher Pliny the Elder, she bathed and moisturized with it to prevent wrinkles, soften the skin, and brighten her complexion.
Yesterday, I washed down the turkey with a glass of donkey milk. And the flavour was surprisingly pleasant, although I expected more of a kick. Hailed by the ancients as a cure for a variety of ailments and an anti-ageing skin tonic, donkey milk is enjoying a revival.
Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, was renowned throughout history for her radiant skin and her stunning beauty. She was said to bathe in milk to keep her skin soft and beautiful. However, Cleopatra didn't bathe in cow's milk.
Each fortnight Extreme Beauty investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week we make like an Egyptian queen in our search for eternal youth and beauty. Milk has been proven to work wonders on the skin.
To improve the appearance of her skin by reducing wrinkles. When milk sours, the milk sugar lactose is converted by bacteria into lactic acid. When alpha hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid, are applied to the skin they cause the surface layer to peel off, leaving new smoother blemish-free skin underneath.
Beauty is far from being a modern phenomena. What we see and utilise today in forms of skincare and makeup often has it source way back in time, and in different societies than we often seem to remember. We so fondly, and rightly, talk about AHAalpha hydroxy acid, as the gentle and effective way of exfoliating and know that this ingredient can be produced chemically as well as sourced from milk.
A bust believed to be of her image sports huge frog eyes, a ponderous beaked nose, and a manly chin. Donkey milk must have worked great wonders on her skin because she ensnared Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. She played the ultimate peek-a-boo by rolling out naked in a carpet in front of him.
There is absolutely no proof that Cleopatra ever bathed in donkey' milk. As Egypt is a hot country and in Cleo's day there was no refrigeration of air conditioning, milk of any kind would soon turn sour and curdle. Hardly something a queen would want to bathe in.