Once Again, There Are Too Many Milks


In May, Jezebel wrote about the ubiquity of milks—specifically, about the wave of increasingly specific and weird alternative milks flooding the dairy aisle (despite some being non-dairy, as it were). But milks—or at least, the concept of milk—have also invaded the world of make-up, and to be honest with you, I can’t wrap my head around it. Milk? For my face?

Why does everything suddenly have to be a “milk”? Most of these beauty and hair products are not actually made with milk, and I’m having a hard time imagining why someone decided to name them as milks, anyway. There was Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, which I own and use sparingly, and it’s not milky at all. (It does have a kind of jelly-like quality to it, so the name isn’t completely off-base.) A brief search for the world “milk” reveals that this problem extends beyond the Glossier family; there’s Pore Milk, which is a lightweight moisturizer, and Face Milk, which is also a lightweight moisturizer (interesting); there’s all sorts of Hair Milk and then there’s Sun Milk, which is a sunscreen that Senior Editor Katie McDonough uses and says is very good. But on a larger level, it is not very good; it is a sunscreen that has no place to advertise itself as “milk,” and that is an unnecessary and bad branding practice.

There’s Milk Creme and a Gentle Milk Cleanser, which I can admit, I kind of want. There’s even VARIETIES of milk stuff from your general body upkeep, like this Coconut Milk Cleanser, this Almond Milk Veil (veil??), and an Goatmilk and Oat Body Lotion. (The former and the latter have coconut milk and goat milk, respectively, so I will allow it, in this case.) There’s a Silky Body Milk, which is definitely different from this Hydrating Milky Mist, but I couldn’t tell you exactly why or how.

Enough already! There’s too much milk in the makeup aisle, when the only place milk belongs is in my cereal bowl and in my lattes.

I’d like to speak with the marketing director that asked themselves “Hmm, what do women really want?” and said, “Aha, I know! They want beauty products that invoke the name of milk.” No thank you. I don’t want milk anywhere near my hair, body, or face (unless I am finishing a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and slurping down the dregs, which, please, don’t judge me).

The food-ification of my beauty products (or the milk-ification, rather) does not amuse me; the only good food-ified makeup is the Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers, of which I have fond memories of buying at the dollar store. Soda is fine, for children. But adults shouldn’t be drinking that much milk anyway, as Jezebel also once explained, so why is it showing up—even just in the form of lazy branding—on makeup? Is the beauty world riding on alternative milks’ vaguely healthy attributes? Is it meant to inspire days on the farm, churning butter, and getting glowy, radiant skin by candlelight? Did the girls in Little House on the Prairie use milk to wash their face? Would you do that in 2019?

Calling something a “milk” does not make it more natural, organic, or better for you. It just makes it sound vaguely cuter. And folks, I don’t need to pay extra for that. No one likes being pandered to. Sorry, I’m not going to speak for everyone—I don’t like being pandered to, and I would pay extra, in fact, not to be. For that, I am just as dumb as everyone else, but in a slightly different way.

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