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Beauty Benefits of
Goats Milk Based Soaps & Skin Care Products

Milk based soaps have recently been rediscovered, largely due to the current research on milk proteins that is teaching consumers about the way skin benefits from contact with whey protein and lactic acid. Lactic acid helps smooth skin by exfoliation, and milk also contains Vitamins A and D, whose benefits include giving skin strength and suppleness. Many milk based soaps are made of goat's milk, which has the same ph as human skin. Goats produce a high fat, creamy milk that's easily digested because its molecules are smaller than those of cow's milk.
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People allergic to cow's milk often drink goat's milk instead because of the protein profile of goat's milk, which more closely resembles that of human milk, and which makes goat milk easier to digest. The other upside of using goats' milk in all kind of products is the fact that goats are more easily farmed than cows or sheep: they forage on all kinds of feed, are resistant to injury and disease and are providers of wool, meat and milk.

How is goat’s milk soap made?

But you can't make soap from milk alone. Other ingredients could include natural oils from seeds, nuts, and vegetables, such as soybeans or coconuts. Soap has two main ingredients; lye and fat. When lye combines with a fat, chemical interaction hardens the oils, creating a bar of hard soap. When our great-grandmothers made their all natural soap, they used wood ashes and lard: the ashes were soaked in water, which leached out lye. Cooking lard with lye created soap. Original lye soaps were unscented and very harsh. They were also used for scrubbing laundry and floors, so their harshness helped pioneers get their clothes and homes—as well as their families—clean.

Why soap making is usually left to professional crafters

Today, you can make your own soap much more easily than the pioneers did. Buy soapmaking ingredients online, at some craft stores, or at co-ops and natural food stores. Lye is a caustic agent though, and you have to be careful when using it because when it's undiluted, it can eat holes in your skin as easily as it can destroy your clothes. There are rules for working with lye; never make lye-based soaps as a fun craft for children; it's just too dangerous. But once lye combines with fats and saponification takes place, it's no longer the caustic agent it started out as. If you aren’t crafty, but still want access to milk based soaps, there are many online retailers online that sell this wonderful soap.

If you want to try soapmaking at home but don't want to deal with lye, the easiest, gentlest soap in the world can be made with three ingredients; glycerin, water and scent. Glycerin is derived from fat, either animal or vegetable and can be bought in blocks or chips at any place that sells soapmaking supplies. Melt glycerin on the stove over a low temperature, add essential or fragrance oils for scent or food coloring for hue, then pour the liquid into soap molds. When the soap is cooled, simply unmold it.

What ingredients, like scent and exfoliants, are added to homemade milk soap?

Aromatherapy soaps include natural and organic scents such as lavender, vanilla, and rose oils. For aromatherapy purposes, only buy soaps scented with organic essential oils; "fragrance" oils are based on synthetic chemicals and don't have the beneficial neurological properties of essential oils.

Adding ingredients like goat's milk to a soap base as a liquid ingredient allows the beneficial properties of the milk to become part of the cleanser. You can use regular or powdered milk in soapmaking. (For a classic milk bath without soapmaking, add a cup or two of milk powder to hot water and climb in for a skin-smoothing soak). Other healthy ingredients include oils like olive oil, almonds, oatmeal, honey, herbal ingredients, vitamins and exfoliants like cornmeal or coffee grounds. Soaps of synthetic glycerin and organic soy milk or soy protein are a vegan bathing delight. There are recipes for therapeutic use, acne prevention and sensitive complexion and body care. Homemade soap makes a marvelous gift, too!

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