Former tennis pro Serena Williams has shared an unusual beauty hack she’s been trying to tackle a sore bout of sunburn.
The mum-of-two revealed she’s been rubbing breast milk under her eyes, after she used some retinol and then went out in the sun and got burnt.
Williams, who welcomed her second child with her husband Alexis Ohanian in August this year, said she has a stash of breast milk to use up.
“I’m trying some breast milk. It works for my kid – they say put breast milk on everything and I have a lot extra, so I’m gonna try it for a week or so under my eye and see how it goes,” she told her 1.6m followers in a TikTok video.
In the caption for the video, she shared an update, letting fans know that after a week of using breast milk under her eye, it had “worked”.
“I’m dying to hear your thoughts. Be nice lol,” she added.
Lots of her followers were in agreement that she should use castor oil instead, but some were also praising the positive healing effects of breast milk.
“40 years ago I used it as a facial when bathing. Miracle milk,” wrote one person in the comments.
Another mum said: “I gave a friend some of my breast milk to make bar soap for me to use on my son’s eczema. Was a wild concept to get my head around, but it worked!”
Why is breast milk good for your skin?
Breast milk has natural antibacterial properties, so it can be used to treat a range of skin problems, including cuts, scrapes and even eczema.
“It’s also a great ingredient for brightening skin, reducing signs of ageing and acts as a mild exfoliator too,” Salome Dharamshi, dermatologist and founder of the SKY Clinic, previously told HuffPost UK.
But what makes it so beneficial? Well, for starters, there’s an exfoliating agent found in breast milk which helps remove dead skin cells, said the dermatologist.
Amanda Azzopardi, an aesthetic nurse practitioner, said breast milk also contains antibodies and epidermal growth factors, “which promotes the growth and repair of skin cells”.
There is also vitamin A present, which can help prevent breakouts and hydrate the skin, says the skin expert, as well as fatty acids which can regulate the skin’s oil production and minimise signs of ageing – so a lot going on then.
But Dharamshi warned that while breast milk has a lot of benefits, there are potential risks, too – so take heed before slathering your latest batch of expressed milk onto your face.
“Firstly, there is a risk of transferring bacteria to the skin, especially if you are already prone to bacterial acne,” she said. “There is also a risk of infections if the milk is not stored properly and allergic reactions as breast milk isn’t suitable for all skin types.
“Since breast milk has not been clinically tested on skin, I would exercise caution.”