Spotlight on Ingredients: Goat Milk
There are so many wonderful ingredients to include in handmade soap, from juices and milks to herbs and silk. I include several wonderful ingredients in my recipe, and this post is the first in a multi-part series about my favorites to use in soap. First up is goat milk! It sounds like a great thing to use in soap, but what does it actually mean when used in soap? How is it beneficial? Before we get into that, let me show you where my goat milk comes from.
This goat lives at Hill Valley Farm in Ellijay, GA. She is taking a little break because even goats need a little R&R.
What are the benefits of soap made with goat milk?
- Lactic Acid. Goat milk contains lactic acid (also known as an alpha-hydroxy acid) which helps remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, making way for healthy skin cells and leaves your skin looking smooth, vibrant and youthful
- Sugar. Sugar is soap means nice big bubbles which translates into a soap with nice lather
- Cream. Cream is a fat which in soap becomes a moisturizer for the skin and is a natural anti-inflammatory (can help ease redness in the skin)
- Vitamin A. Goat milk is high in this skin-loving vitamin. Thought to be helpful in reducing wrinkles, vitamin A is beneficial to people with dry skin conditions like psoriasis and in controlling acne (goat milk slows the growth of bacteria). Goat milk also contains these vitamins too: D, C, B1, B6, B12, and E
- Selenium. This mineral helps to repair damage to your skin from too much time in the sun
- pH. The pH of goat's milk is similar to that of our skin so it helps restore a natural balance of acid vs. alkaline levels for our skin. A well balanced pH levels means you are less likely to have irritated or itchy skin
There are a few different ways to incorporate goat milk in handmade soap. One way is to make a soap with only goat milk as the liquid. To step back a bit, soap is made by combing a liquid (water, milk, wine, etc.) with oils (olive, coconut, almond, etc.) and lye (sodium hydroxide, the ingredient needed to turn the oils into soap). So, you can use milk for the liquid to make a soap very high in goat milk, like this one:
The soap above was made using the cold process method, where all ingredients are added before the soap saponifies (or before it turns into soap). Some of the benefits of ingredients like goat milk can be lost during that chemical reaction. So, another soap making technique called hot process can be used instead (this is my favorite way to make soap). In this process, the special ingredients can be added after the soap is cooked (you use heat to make the soap, hence the name hot process) which helps to retain the beneficial properties of that ingredient. As a result, you don't need to use as much. And it allows you to add other ingredients too, like carrot juice, yogurt or oat milk, for example.
The soaps below both contain goat milk, added after the soap was cooked, to retain the benefits of skin-loving goat milk.
Goat milk is a great addition to any soap recipe, and when used in hot process soaps, the beneficial ingredients are more likely to be retained. One final photo of my friendly neighborhood goats who work so hard to make milk for our soaps! Happy soaping! ~Molly