In the beauty world, donkey milk is a source of youth that has been known for centuries and that is being rediscovered little by little. Donkey milk resembles the most to breast milk, which is the source of all beginnings. Nothing is more natural, universal and timeless than donkey milk.
Donkey milk was already known to ancient civilizations. In 375 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates recommended it for all sorts of illnesses (wound healing, poisoning, joint pain). Of course, there was also Cleopatra VII, who used to bath in donkey milk. It is said that she owned a herd of 300 jennies, intended for this purpose. Moreover, the Romans used it to prepare luxury drinks and beauty products. In fact, the world’s oldest face cream was found by archaeologists in London in 2003. The state of preservation of this item -of 2,000 years- was outstanding. The marks of the cream owner’s fingers were still in the pot. Federico Nappo, a Pompeii expert in cosmetics, reminds us that “The Romans used donkey milk as a skin treatment.” Pliny the Elder, in his “Natural History” writings, described how Poppea, Nero’s wife, took donkey milk baths (63 AD). He also describes its properties: “It is believed that donkey milk makes face wrinkles disappear, smooths the skin and maintains the skin whiteness.”
Much later, Pauline, Napoleon's sister, is said to have used donkey milk as a skin care product. In the 19th and 20th century, donkey milk replaced breast milk in orphanages. In 1877, the Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital decided to set up a stable next to the dormitories to feed the children. At that time, this beverage was also distributed in some large cities of France such as Toulouse and Paris. However, years later, donkey milk had already been forgotten until a young farmer, in 1995, decided to restart its production in Ariège. Today, a small number of donkey milk producers enable us to enjoy its benefits.
But why is donkey milk so good ? First, it is very different from the milk of ruminants that have multiple stomachs; their three-day digestion time oxidizes the fatty acids and vitamins. Donkeys have a monogastric digestive system, just as humans do. Furthermore, the milk of ruminants has a very high bacterial load due to its digestion by fermentation. Donkey milk, however, has enzymes (lysozyme and lactoferrin) which are powerful anti-microbial agents. Moreover, donkey milk is very complete and very similar to breast milk.
It is rich in vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, C, D, E), minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc...), trace elements and essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6). It has retinol (vitamine A) which produces a lifting effect on the skin, therefore a good anti-aging treatment. Retinol helps skin healing and accelerates the production of collagen. Donkey milk hydrates the top layers of the epidermis since it is rich in essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6). Recommended for people with premature skin aging or skin problems such as eczema, acne or psoriasis.