Goat's Milk Soap May Be the Secret to Super Soft Skin
Goat's milk soap has been used as a remedy for skin ailments for centuries. So if you're into natural beauty products (or just a history buff), you'll know that this product is nothing new. But in recent years, it's definitely gained some more popularity, and it seems like everyone's interested in goat's milk soap benefits.
According to Dr. Rina Allawh, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group, goat's milk soap has gotten more buzzy due to its anti-aging benefits and properties that help improve the look and feel of dry, flaky skin.
"We have traveled around the world, and visited many farmer's markets, and no matter where you go, you will find someone making goat's milk soap," says Dr. Brent Ridge, co-founder of Beekman 1802, on the product's rising popularity. "Along with olive oil and palm oil, goat's milk soap is one of the most widely used natural ingredients."
Here, we spoke to the two MDs to find out more about goat's milk soap, and all of its skincare benefits.
How Is Goat's Milk Soap Made?
All soaps are made by blending a lipid with lye and starting the chemical reaction called saponification. "In the case of goat's milk soap, it's the natural fats in the milk that contribute to the soap formation," says Dr. Ridge.
Goat's milk is rich in a lot of helpful fats (specifically caprylic acid) which helps to not only hydrate the skin, but also help remove oil, dirt and skin debris without stripping the protective skin barrier.
What Are The Benefits of Using Goat Milk Soap on The Skin?
It Has a Similar pH to Human Skin
"When it's used for cleansing, it doesn't disturb the skin's acid mantle barrier like other cleansers," says Dr. Ridge. "Disturbing and irritating the skin barrier can set off a cascade of skin inflammation and skin issues because the skin's first response to a foreign substance is to mount an inflammatory response. This is why goat's milk soap leaves the skin feeling so moisturized compared to other soaps, which can leave skin dry and itchy. Because goat milk is so similar to human milk, the skin recognizes it and drinks it in."
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It Tackles Dryness
Goat milk is rich in natural lipids, vitamins, fatty acids, minerals and oligosaccharides which can help to nourish the skin's natural microbiome. "When our skin is lacking fat (skin lipids), the skin may appear dry, flaky and easily irritated," explains Dr. Allawh. "For those with eczema and/or dry, sensitive skin, goat's milk soap can be soothing and hydrating."
According to Dr. Ridge, goat's milk is also a source of lactic acid, which gently exfoliates the skin and has been shown to increase production of ceramides. "Lactic acid is also a natural humectant which means that it attracts moisture to the skin, so goat milk soap works by not only attracting moisture, but keeping it there once it's in the skin," he expains.
It Can Help Fight Acne
The lactic acid found in goat milk soap has multiple benefits and can also help to fight acne. "Goat milk contains a high concentration of lactic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps to exfoliate dead skin and improve dull skin complexion," says Dr. Allawh. "It also helps to unclog skin pores that may contribute to stubborn acne."
It Can Help With Anti-Aging and Hyperpigmentation
Other than being a great skin cleanser, goat milk soap is also rich in vitamin A. "Vitamin A helps promote healthy skin turnover is important in the treatment (and prevention) of fine lines and wrinkles," says Dr. Allawh. "Topical vitamin A is also helpful in the treatment of hyperpigmentation and helps to even out discolored skin tone."
What Skin Type Is Goat Milk Soap Best For?
According to Dr. Allawh, goat milk soap is good for any skin type. In terms of what skin type will see the most benefits, Dr. Ridge adds that goat milk feeds and nourishes the microbiome, so it calms troubled skin and helps with conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Fortunately, there are no commonly occurring side effects known to be caused by using goat milk soap as it is considered less allergenic than over-the-counter soaps, since lacks artificial ingredients and fragrance. However, like any ingredient, if you have allergy-prone skin, you should speak to your doctor or dermatologist and at the very least do a little patch test with the product on the back of the forearm to see if there's a skin reaction.
"One of the most common questions we get asked is if you have an allergy to dairy or are lactose intolerant, can you still use goat milk soap," says Dr. Ridge. "Lactose intolerance is a condition of the gastrointestinal system caused by a lack of a specific enzyme to digest the milk, and this is not related to the skin." So, if you're lactose intolerant, you can still try out goat milk soap.