By Arielle Hebert
Some years ago, a friend gave me a bar of her own goat milk soap. Prior to using this soap, I often battled extremely dry, cracked hands. After faithfully using my friend’s goat milk soap, I was amazed at its effectiveness. My hands no longer dried out and cracked! My skin became soft and moist. I was so impressed that I even began using the soap as a wash on one of my does (mama goat) who has a super sensitive udder, and she appreciated it as much as I!
So, I experimented with making my own goat milk soap, using milk from my herd of dairy goats. Over the years, my knowledge and understanding of soap making grew and my soap formula improved. My family and I found it to be so much better than commercial soap. I began my own cottage industry to share this great treasure with others.
So, What makes it so Great?
Goat milk is rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing. It contains over fifty nutrients including the vitamins A, B1, B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, niacin, zinc, and calcium, as well as some minerals, amino acids, citric acid, unsaturated fatty acid, proteins, various enzymes and many other nutrients. These are all part of what makes goat milk soap so special. Vitamin A slows the effects of aging and prevents brown spots. Zinc contributes to the re-construction of collagen fibers, resulting in firmer, smoother skin. Zinc also encourages moisture retention and assists in maintaining your skin’s elasticity. Calcium tones and smoothes the skin. Since goat milk is naturally homogenized (the milk and cream do not separate), the natural fat provides the skin with a rich, moisturizing effect. The oils in goat milk are easily absorbed by the skin, resulting in a healthy balance of oils for dry or oily skin.
Goat milk also contains alpha-hydroxy acids. These acids, which occur naturally in the milk, are known to plump the skin and smooth fine lines. Alpha-hydroxy acids also exfoliate by breaking down the glue holding those dead skins cells together. Additionally, these acids neutralize free radicals, slowing the aging process and refreshing the skin. Caprylic acid is a fatty acid contained in goat milk that reduces alkalinity, giving goat milk soap a pH level very close to that of the skin. This prevents the soap from stripping away the natural oils of the skin. The natural oils of the skin form a protective barrier that keep microbials out.
Goat milk soap cleanses while leaving that protective barrier intact, and soothes the surface tension of the skin, allowing it to be moisturized and absorb the healthy nutrients. Th e other fatty acids present in goat milk are also natural antimicrobials and anti-fungals. My soaps also contain: Olive oil, which moisturizes and forms a protective film on the skin without inhibiting the skin’s normal, necessary functions, and is a good cleanser. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant, and a natural preservative. Coconut oil is a moisturizer, but it also makes the soap hard (unlike many other handmade soaps), but with a generous lather, and it resists rancidity. Palm oil is a gentle cleanser. Lastly, there is lye. Lye is a cleanser with a long, long history. In the proper amounts it provides great cleansing but is still gentle. It is great for getting rid of chiggers and is said to soothe bug bites.
Why is Handmade Soap Superior to Commercially Manufactured Soap?
Natural glycerin is produced during the process of soap making. This glycerin is highly valued for its moisturizing properties and its ability to help your skin retain moisture. Commercial soap producers remove the glycerin from their soap in order to use it in more expensive products, like moisturizers. Of course you need a moisturizer after using most commercial soaps. My hand-made soap is completely natural, right down to the essential oils with which it is scented. Essential oils are powerful aromatic substances extracted from flowers and herbs that contribute their own beneficial properties to each bar of soap, delivering more health and vitality to your skin! Commercial soap often contains chemical additives and synthetic ingredients including synthetic fragrances and dyes which can be irritating and drying to skin.
My handmade goat milk soap (Rehoboth Farm Goat Milk Soap) is produced in small batches in which the quality of the soap and the ingredients can be closely monitored. The same care and caution is not likely to be exercised when soap is mass produced. The skin-nutritious oils in my soaps are each carefully selected and combined based on how they compliment the properties of the goat milk and achieve a rich, moisturizing, hard bar of soap, with great lather. When goat milk is combined with a carefully selected blend of oils in a handmade soap, the result is a mild, skin-nutritious, luxurious bar that thoroughly cleanses, refreshes, smoothes, and moisturizes and is so gentle it can be used on infants. Doesn’t it make sense to treat your skin well by using goat milk soap?
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