Milk Cream (Malai) For Face: Benefits And How To Apply

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Milk cream, also known as malai, is an ingredient often used in preparing Indian dishes and sweets. But, did you know that milk cream is also used as a super ingredient for beautifying your skin? Generations of Indians have used it to boost their skin. It is considered a safe and natural home remedy to make your skin soft, supple, and radiant.

Curious to know whether milk cream benefits the skin? We bring you all the answers here. Read on to discover the benefits of milk cream for the face and how to apply it to your skin.

First, let us first understand what milk cream is.

What Exactly Is Milk Cream Or Malai?

As the name indicates, milk cream is a milk-based product. It is a kind of clotted cream prepared from full-cream milk and comprises about 55% butterfat. It is the layer of fatty cream that develops as a film on the surface when you boil full-fat milk. This cream has a thick and yellowish texture.

Since ancient times, milk cream has been used in traditional home remedies to improve skin complexion and texture. Find out what research says in the next section.

Does Milk Cream Work On The Skin? Here Is What Research Says

As of now, there is no clinical research that specifies the impact of using milk cream on the face or skin. However, milk contains lactic acid (1). Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that is often used in cosmetic formulations (2). The purpose of these formulations includes reducing fine lines, improving skin tone and texture, unclogging pores, and improving the overall skin condition (3). In addition, lactic acid also acts as an excellent moisturizer for the skin (2).

Research proves that topical lactic acid has a considerable impact on the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin. It helps to increase the firmness and thickness of these two skin layers. As a result, your wrinkles smoothen out and your skin looks smoother (4).

Considering all these aspects, it can be said that milk cream extends several benefits for the skin. But, what are those benefits? Let us check them out.

Benefits Of Using Milk Cream Or Malai For Your Face

Milk cream or malai cream can uplift your skin in many ways. But, no scientific research has been conducted on this ingredient specifically to prove its benefits for the skin. Its benefits can only be attributed to its lactic acid content. The major benefits of using milk cream for skin are the following:

1. Removes Dead Skin Cells

The application of milk cream on your skin can help to replace dead skin cells. It is known that lactic acid plays an active role in the cell renewal function (2). Due to this characteristic of lactic acid, your skin sheds its dead cells when you apply milk cream on it and replaces them with new cells.

2. Makes Your Skin Look Younger

When dead cells accumulate on your facial skin, they result in a dull and lifeless look. If the dead cells are not cleared off regularly, they can lead to blocked pores and acne. But, thanks to the cell renewal function of lactic acid, the dead cells are shed effectively (3). So, milk cream makes your skin appear younger and reduces the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Moisturizes The Skin

Dry and dull skin can make you look aged. However, the moisturizing activity of lactic acid ensures that your skin remains hydrated due to the application of milk cream (2). In other words, milk cream can keep your skin soft and supple and ensure a radiant look on your face.

4. Improve Skin Texture

The texture of your skin depends a lot on the firmness of your epidermis layer. When your skin begins to lose its elasticity and firmness, it can result in wrinkles (5). The lactic acid in milk cream can come to your rescue in this case as well. By helping your skin to remain firm, it improves skin texture.

5. Acts Against Sun Damage

Lactic acid acts against the impact of sun damage (6). When you apply milk cream on your skin, it has a soothing effect on the skin and helps fight the damage caused by the sun’s rays.

6. Provides A Natural Glow

More often than not, your skin’s natural glow gets overshadowed by dead cells, clogged pores, and dry and dull skin. However, when these things are taken care of by applying milk cream to your face, you can experience visibly glowing skin. However, this function of milk cream has not been scientifically proven.

Now that you know all about the benefits of milk cream, you must be curious to learn how to apply this home-based product to your face. Check out the next section.

How To Apply Malai On Your Face

Applying milk cream to your face is easy. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Clean your face using a mild cleanser and wipe it with a clean towel.
  2. Using your fingers, apply a smooth layer of milk cream to your face. If you want, you can even use a facial brush for this purpose.
  3. Leave the milk cream on your face for about 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse off the cream from your face thoroughly using lukewarm water.
  5. Pat your face dry using a soft, clean towel.

You can also prepare DIY face masks using milk cream and other ingredients at home. Check out a few recipes below.

Homemade Malai Face Packs

You can use milk cream or malai as a face pack by combining it with other ingredients.

1. Milk Cream And Honey Face Pack

Honey helps the skin to maintain a youthful look by reducing the formation of wrinkles (7). Combining it with milk cream can keep your skin looking moisturized and young.

What You Need

  • 1 tablespoon milk cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What To Do

  1. Mix the milk cream and honey in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture evenly on your face.
  3. Leave it on your face for about 15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off using cold water.

2. Milk Cream And Turmeric Face Pack

Turmeric has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that offer therapeutic benefits to your skin (8). By using turmeric with milk cream, you can add a natural glow to your face.

What You Need

  • 1 teaspoon milk cream
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

What To Do

  1. Mix the milk cream and turmeric powder.
  2. Apply this mixture all over your face evenly.
  3. Leave it on your face for a few minutes. Do not leave it on for more than 10 minutes as turmeric stains your skin.
  4. Rinse it off your face thoroughly.

3. Milk Cream And Aloe Vera Face Pack

Aloe vera improves skin elasticity, tightens pores, and reduces acne and wrinkles. It also moisturizes dry skin (9). Blending aloe vera with milk cream can be a great way to hydrate your skin and keep it looking fresh and young.

What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons milk cream
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel

What To Do

  1. Mix the milk cream and aloe vera gel.
  2. Use your fingers or a brush to apply this mixture to your face.
  3. Leave it on your face for about 20 minutes.
  4. Wash it off using cold water.

Now, let us find out if milk cream has any side effects when used on the skin.

Potential Risks And Precautions

Since the impact of milk cream on skin has not been clinically tested, it is not possible to say that this ingredient will have no side effects. Therefore, you need to exercise some amount of caution when using it.

As a precautionary measure, you can do a patch test. Apply milk cream to a small patch on your forearm and see how your skin reacts to it over the next 24 hours. Look out for signs like redness and irritation. If you don’t experience any such side effects, you can use it on your face.

However, if you have any dairy allergies, it is better to avoid using milk cream on your skin.

Wondering how to prepare milk cream at home? Find out in the next section.

How To Make Malai Or Milk Cream At Home

  1. Pour full-cream milk into a pan and place it on medium heat.
  2. Allow the milk to reach the stage where bubbles begin to appear on the surface, and it is about to reach the boiling point. This will be around 180°F.
  3. Let the milk remain at this temperature for about 60 minutes. You can reduce the heat to prevent the milk from boiling over.
  4. Switch off the stove and allow the milk to cool.
  5. Once the milk cools down, you will notice a layer of fat covering the surface.
  6. Carefully skim off this fat. It is your milk cream.

When Is The Best Time To Apply Malai On The Face?

There is no specific time to apply milk cream or malai on the face. You can apply this natural ingredient at any time of the day or night.

The Bottom Line

Milk cream is a natural homemade ingredient that you can use to improve your facial skin. Indeed, the benefits of milk cream are not based on any clinical research. Most of its benefits are said to be a result of the lactic acid found in it. There is no harm in using milk cream for your face as it is a safe product.

You can use milk cream or combine it with other ingredients to make DIY face packs. So, go ahead and enjoy the benefits of milk cream for your face!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply milk cream on my face overnight?

Yes, you can apply milk cream to your face and leave it overnight.

Can milk cream remove dark spots?

Though not clinically proven, the lactic acid in milk cream is claimed to brighten your skin and reduce dark spots.

9 Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Lactic acid bacteria in dairy food: surface characterization and interactions with food matrix components
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25277266/
  2. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017965/
  3. Alpha Hydroxy Acids
    https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/alpha-hydroxy-acids
  4. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8784274/
  5. Loss of skin elasticity precedes the rapid increase of wrinkle levels
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17576050/
  6. Topical 8% Glycolic Acid and 8% L-Lactic Acid Creams for the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/557798
  7. Honey in dermatology and skincare: a review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305429/
  8. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821/
  9. Aloe Vera: A Short Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).