A recent report from our sister brand, Skin Inc., highlights how the spa industry has become accustomed to unusual trending ingredients in professional skin care; take pineapple, snail slime and magnesium for example. Now it seems that deer milk could be the latest craze.
Farm to Formulation
Milk-based skin care is not new; even Cleopatra famously credited her beauty to bathing in milk. However, deer milk puts a unique twist on an old favorite.
As the story reported in Harper's Bazaar (HB) goes, the discovery of deer milk for skin benefits happened by accident on a farm in New Zealand. A farmer named Graeme Shaw reportedly noted her hands had been transformed from handling deer milk as he was making cheese. This led her to research the beneficial properties of deer milk, and ultimately, to the creation of the brand Kōtia.
New Zealand apparently has a big hand in building this trend, since another New Zealand farmer also reportedly discovered the benefits of deer milk on her hands. She then signed with the South Korean pharmaceutical company, Yuhan, to begin creating a new range of skin care.
While trendy, interesting and sometimes flat-out bizarre ingredients tend to grab consumers' attention, more important than the buzz are the results. Deer milk is not only trendy because it is "new," but it also works. After Shaw saw the benefits working their magic on her hands, she sought to determine how else this ingredient could benefit skin.
For starters, according to HB, deer milk has a high amount of protein in it, which can help to repair skin cells; comparing deer milk with other milks (i.e., cow, sheep or goat), its levels are significantly higher in protein. This also helps to moisturize the skin as it binds water to the epidermis.
“It’s really about the fat content and the solids," explained Kerrie Moore, national training manager for Kōtia. "In deer’s milk, it’s almost three times as much [as goat’s]. Deer milk is about 20% solids, whereas most milks are around 5% or 6% solids."
Other reasons consumers are taking to this ingredient are thanks to its reported ability to nourish the skin via minerals, its anti-aging properties, and how it is ethically farmed. Deer cannot actually produce milk while under stress, so deer farms go to great lengths to ensure the animals are relaxed and happy.