One of the world’s greatest athletes and mother of two took to TikTok earlier this week with a bit of a confession: Serena Williams has been using her breast milk to cure a retinol-induced sunburn on her under eyes.
It’s a well-known fact that using retinol—the gold-star treatment for fine lines, skin texture, and discoloration—can cause a handful of skin side effects which include irritation and heightened skin sensitivity. One of the most important rules when it comes to using retinol at night is wearing sun protection daily (and reapplying frequently!).
But we all make mistakes, Williams included. “I was doing this retinol and clearing my skin,” she shared via video. “I completely got burned under my eye.” She identifies her skin type as sensitive, adding that “they say to put breast milk on everything and it works on my kids.”
Like a true beauty editor, Williams says she’s going to trial the breast milk treatment out for a week while she’s patting it on her under eyes with a cotton pad.
The idea that breast milk is a cure-all might seem like an old wives’ tale, but there’s scientific research behind the results Williams is seeing: fresh breast milk has been proven to help with atopic eczema, diaper rash, and a collection of other maladies. That’s because on top of the nutritional benefits, it’s filled with immune cells and other bioactive molecules that help support a healthy body when ingested and topically applied.
“It already feels better,” Williams concludes at the end of her video, and her caption gives the final ruling on her beauty editor trial: “I have to say after a week of using my breast milk under my eye—it worked!”
Obviously not a option for everybody, but if you’re already producing, might as well take advantage of the situation.