It's Not Dairy! Doing Goat Milk Skincare the Right Way
It’s fairly common knowledge that dairy products like milk and cheese are terrible for our skin. Many people cut dairy from their diet altogether to help reduce breakouts and inflammation. However, animal products have been used as skincare ingredients for centuries. In fact, the earliest evidence of soap, a fundamental skincare product, comes from around 2800 BC. Soap is made from mixing an acid, fat, and a base; historically animal fat and ash. And recently goat milk skincare has been trending, especially in many products with “natural” ingredients.
While we have access to a myriad of ingredients today, the basic formula of soap is still the same. Milk, fat, and other animal byproducts are relatively cheap, easy to access, and are full of nutrients, because of this they have been used in skincare products globally. The current shift in skincare has in a way reverted to traditional recipes free of harsh chemicals. Goat milk has been shown to have both skin brightening and acne-fighting properties and is suitable for almost all skin types.
Benefits of goat milk skincare
Whenever you contemplate trying out a new skincare product, you want to know its benefits, risks, and origins. Seeing as goat milk has been around for quite some time, we can trust that it has had a fair amount of trial and error. The results are this:
1. Goat milk is a gentle cleanser
Most commercial soaps use a combination of water, lye, and fat to create a soap that cleanses your skin. However, typical soaps can also strip your skin of its natural oils and leave a dry, tight feeling. In Goat milk soap, the water is replaced with goat milk adding fats and nutrients naturally occurring in the milk. Goat milk also contains caprylic acid which is a gentle cleanser that helps retain moisture.
2. Goat milk moisturizes
At the surface of your skin, you will find a lipid barrier, this barrier slows water loss. When you do not have enough lipids or fat cells, this barrier becomes very thin leading to moisture loss and dry skin.
3. Goat milk is rich in nutrients
Fatty acids and cholesterol are large components of goat milk and our skin membrane. When our skin lacks these components, it becomes dry, red, and irritated. Goat milk not only replenishes these two things, but it also contains selenium vitamin A and other nutrients that support healthy skin.
4. Goat milk exfoliates
In addition to fats and nutrients, goat milk also contains lactic acid. (Basically, it has ⅔ of the ingredients needed to make soap.) Lactic acid is a naturally occurring AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid, these acids are used to treat many skin conditions like scars and hyperpigmentation. Lactic acid will remove the top layer of dirt and dead skin cells leaving you with a more even complexion. Lactic acid is also known as one of the most gentle AHA’s which means even those with sensitive skin can use it without fear of irritation.
5. Goat milk may prevent acne
Because it combines lactic acid and fats, goat milk may prevent acne. The lactic acid will cleanse the skin and the fats will keep it hydrated, studies have shown this creates a less than optimal environment for acne-causing bacteria to grow.
6. Goat milk may improve your microbiome
The microbiome is the important collection of healthy bacteria on your skin's surface, these bacteria aid in regulating the functions of healthy skin. When you use a soap that completely removes the natural fats and bacteria from your skin, you leave it vulnerable to the elements. Aside from its moisturizing and exfoliating properties, goat milk also contains lactobacillus, a probiotic that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Though more research needs to be done on this topic, the evidence for the effectiveness of products made with goat milk is promising.
The combination of these skin benefits has caused goat milk skincare products to emerge in a few different forms. There are moisturizers, cleansers, and soaps all containing goat milk as a key ingredient available today. Here are a few examples:
- Beekman 1802 Goat Milk Hand Cream - This simple lotion uses mainly goat milk, jojoba oil, and glycerin to create a product that is suitable for all skin types. It is paraben and sulfate-free, and the company does not utilize animal testing. Beekman features tons of skincare products with and without goat milk, but all of their products boast simple ingredients with natural origins.
- Bend Soap Company’s Oatmeal and Honey Bar Soap - Bend Soap Company was founded by parents trying to help with their son's eczema. They get their goat milk from their very own goats and produce products on a small scale to assure quality.
You might think that because a product is made with milk, that means it will spoil and expire. But for goat milk skincare products, this is untrue. When goat milk is used as an ingredient in skincare products it undergoes a curing process that forbids the growth of bacteria. This process allows the products to have at least a year of shelf life, and in the case of goat milk bar soap, its shelf life is basically infinite.
Goat milk skincare products are exactly the type of thing that we here at Mirra endorse. Many of the companies that manufacture these products are small and focused on providing natural alternatives to existing products. And hey, if Cleopatra used it, it might be worth a try.
Written by Kiana St. Onge