Why Goat Milk Soap?
You might notice that our goat farm directory includes a lot of farms that produce goat milk soap. And you may wonder: why goat milk? In fact, why buy soap from a farm anyway? Isn’t my regular bar of soap good enough?
Let’s start with the advantages of handcrafted soap. That bar of soap from the supermarket looks so clean and pure. And yet, most big-brand soaps contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin, alcohol that dries the skin, and sometimes petroleum products, which is just disturbing. Handmade soap is made from natural, gentle ingredients that don’t leave the skin itchy, dry or irritated.
Handmade soap has another basic advantage: glycerin. All soap is made by combining a fat with an alkali. During the saponification process, the fat turns into soap and glycerin. In commercial soaps, the glycerin is removed by adding salt to make the soap and glycerin separate. The glycerin is then used in other, more profitable products, including cosmetics, medicine, printing inks and the production of the explosive nitroglycerin. But in handmade soap, the glycerin remains in the soap, providing deep moisturizing benefits.
So all handmade soaps have advantages over commercial soaps. But goat milk soaps offer even more. All milk contains natural emollients, vitamins and triglycerides that moisturize the skin. Goat milk specifically contains the reputed highly effective moisturizer capric-capryllic triglyceride. People who prefer goat milk soap claim that it is far less drying and harsh than ordinary soap. For those who have sensitive skin or eczema, goat milk soap is a godsend.
The best goat milk soaps are made from fresh, not powdered, goat milk. All the goat farms in our directory make soap from their own fresh milk. Some go even further and include other fresh, local products, like honey, herbs or flowers.
Greenbush Soapworks in Maine offers an incredible assortment of varieties of their goat milk- based soap. In addition to relatively common additions like oatmeal and fragrances, they offer soaps with real blueberries, tea leaves, poppy seeds, and even beer. Their Maine Beer Soap is made from made with Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale brewed in Bar Harbor.
But the most luxurious goat milk soap in New England must be the Goats Milk and Lanolin soap from West Elm Farm. These beautiful soaps are made in elegant molds that feature a pair of embossed sheep. But, more importantly, they contain lanolin, the oil from sheep’s skin which becomes trapped in wool and is removed after shearing. It was once common knowledge that sheep shearers had soft hands. Lanolin is an incredible moisturizer, very similar to the natural oils that human skin produces. Lanolin can hold double its weight in water; it draws this moisture into the skin. In Europe, lanolin is widely recommended by doctors for use in severe skin conditions. West Elm Farm’s incredible soaps are available in a variety of scents, including sandalwood, lemon verbena, and peppermint.