You can always rely on Korean cosmetics companies to come up with interesting and unusual ingredients, many of them home grown natural products. It probably taps into the Asian way of embracing the change in seasons, which often means that certain foodstuffs are only available for a limited time each year. (Certainly, the fruit and veg you find in the supermarkets out here are a far cry from the year-round, hot-housed, usually disappointing produce on sale in the US or UK.)
There is also a constant race to come up with something new and surprising, because crazes come and go very quickly, and competition between the top brands is fierce. Some trends peak and vanish almost immediately, others stand the test of time.
Donkey milk (and its cousin, donkey gelatin) looks to be one that will stay. And if you think about it, Cleopatra is said to have bathed in this and she was famously the most beautiful woman in the world…
Legends aside, there is also some science to back this up. Donkey milk is apparently far closer to human milk than is cow’s milk, so it causes fewer allergies and it beneficial for sensitive skin. It is also low in fat, high in lactose, deeply hydrating for the skin, and contains all manner of good things including a range of vitamins.
You may be wondering why we don’t drink this instead of cow’s milk, but the reality is that donkeys have to be milked by hand, which makes it impractical to keep large herds.
I came back from Seoul with a small collection of donkey milk-related products, and have been trying them with interest. Luckily, they do not smell either of milk or donkey, which is a distinct bonus but means that I would not have guessed they were any different from the plant based products I am used to. But my skin feels soft, I have had no adverse reactions, so would consider buying a full-sized version of either of these creams should I see them again.