Health Is Beauty

Camel’s Milk, the New African Skin-Care Secret: Eco Chick Tested

Shea Terra Organics Camel's Milk Line


I get contacted to try new natural skin care products almost daily. But when Shea Terra Organics emailed about a new product line incorporating camel’s milk, I was genuinely intrigued. Seemed a little strange, but I also know that the company, which is committed to using ingredients sourced in Africa (and organic oils and botanicals) really does its research; none of their products has ever been any less than fantastic, and several are part of my ‘don’t leave home without them’ items.

Tammie Umbel, founder of Shea Terra, says, “For years I have been looking for a way to incorporate this multi-beneficial ingredient into a skincare line; camel’s milk is widely used by women in Africa and their beautiful skin is a testament to its efficacy.”

So what’s up with camel’s milk?

Working closely with cooperatives, scientists, conservatives and non-profits in Africa and after numerous family trips to Africa with her husband and 14 children, Umbel has discovered a source for pure camel’s milk. As camels produce a small amount ofmilk per day compared to other animals – about a liter and a half – it’s very rich in skin nourishing ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, which removes dead skin, iron and vitamin B and C. The lactic-acid found in camel’s milk breaks down de-pigmented skin to even skin tone and naturally brightens the skin.

I used the mask several times, which has just two ingredients (ghassoul mud and powdered camel’s milk, a combo traditionally used as a face mask among African nomadic people) and my skin was smooth and tiny-pored afterwards. Remarkably so.

The brightening cream (which combines argan oil, aloe vera leaf juice and Moroccan saffron with camel’s milk), after several applications, rendered my face more even-toned and I think even undid a little of the sun damage I did this summer. Both products are awesome enough that I will definitely be finishing the containers sent my way (I only use up my favorites). I have a new appreciation for camels!

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Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.