Goat Milk Soap Bar with tray and wash rag

The Down & Dirty on Goat Milk Soap

Your skin is a big deal--- it's literally the body's largest organ. Unlike other organs, your skin likes to be clean. Let's get down and dirty with what makes goat milk soap a squeaky clean natural skin care product.


History of soap

Soap making can be traced as far back as ancient Babylon. During an excavation, archaeologists found clay cylinders with a soap-like material inside them. The inscriptions on the cylinders showed how to make the world's first soap. Now, the cold process soap-making method uses lye as an ingredient.

The soap industry stayed the same until 1916. Due to supply shortages during World War I and II chemists made adjustments to raw materials. The first synthetic detergents were invented.

Today, most things we call "soap" are actually detergents.

Soap labels include ingredients like: Sodium Tallowate and/or Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate and/or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water, Glycerin, Coconut Acid, Palm Acid, Palm Kernel Acid, Tallow Acid, Fragrance, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Malvasylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Yellow 10, Green 3.

That's a lot of ingredients for a 4 ounce bar of soap.

Soap making techniques

Four soap-making techniques exist: melt and pour, hot process, cold process, and rebatch. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and individual preference dictates which is chosen.

Melt and pour are ready to use soap bases. It is a great method for beginners. You melt and pour right into your mold. 

Hot process soap is made by combining oils and sodium hydroxide lye, which causes a chemical reaction called saponification. The application of heat means hot process soap bars are ready to use sooner. Also, the batter is usually thicker and is poured into the soap mold after its saponified, then hardened into a bar. 

Cold process soaps combine a lye mixture with oils, but heat is not applied. You want to soap at a lower temperature. One of the main benefits of cold process soap-making is having complete control over the ingredients, having no added detergents which can strip off the skin’s natural oils. 

Since cold process soap-making doesn’t rely on heat, it is easier to maintain the efficacy of the active ingredients like natural and essential oils. Heating in hot process soap techniques can reduce the advantages of natural ingredients like coconut oil and sunflower oil; however, cold process ensures these are better conserved.

Additionally, cold process soaps are almost always 100% biodegradable, depending on the ingredients.

Rebatch soap means the base has already gone through saponification. It's a great way to save batches of soap that did not come out right.

At Honey Down Farm we make cold process goat milk soap. We selected this method to reduce the likelihood of the goat milk scorching. Also, we wanted to ensure the benefits of the ingredients were not reduced due to heat.

Nourishing ingredients

Honey Down Farm's natural goat milk soap includes six common ingredients: goat milk, Century Sun Oil sunflower oil, coconut oil, RSPO certified palm oil, lye, and fragrance/essential oil.

Each of these ingredients is selected to enhance the cleaning and moisturizing properties of the soap. More than 50% of the ingredients are sources from Midwest farms.

Goat Milk

To keep skin hydrated, it's best to use products that don't strip away its natural oils. Goat milk soap is a great option. Goat milk is rich in natural lipids, vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals which can help to nourish the skin's natural microbiome. The lactic acid in goat milk soap can delicately shed the outermost layer of dead skin cells, leading to a smoother complexion. The gentle cleansing and nourishing properties make this the perfect skincare product for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Sunflower Oil

We use certified organic sunflower oil from Century Sun Oil in Pulaski Wisconsin. Sunflower oil is highly absorbent, and won’t clog pores. It’s non-irritating for most people, and can be used on all types of skin, including dry, normal, oily, and acne-prone. Using a skincare product formulated with sunflower oil is a good way to obtain vitamin E’s benefits for skin. The linoleic acid in sunflower oil makes it effective for protecting skin against bacteria and germs.

Coconut Oil

The lauric acid found in coconut oil can have antimicrobial properties, which can help kill bacteria on the skin and reduce inflammation.3 Additionally, coconut oil contains high levels of linoleic acid, an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, which can be used as an emollient and skin soother.

Palm Oil

Palm oil adds a unique feeling to cold process soap. It helps harden the bars and it creates lather when paired with coconut oil. When using palm oil it is important to source from a supplier associated with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

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