Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just What Is It About Goat Milk Soap?

I have often wondered, just what is it about the goat milk soap that seems to help my skin, and per many customers, seems to help their skin (and their family members) as well?

I no longer suffer from acne, those types of break outs ended in my late 30's. What I do suffer from, however, is dry skin, and itchy bumpy skin especially in the winter months. I get the sandpaper skin effect behind the arms and the legs during the coldest of months.

I had a wonderful email conversation with an allergist/dermatologist out of Pennsylvania last week. She asked me several really good questions. I answered her as well as I could. I told her that I do not know if the benefits from goat milk products (that she is hearing about and observing from her patients) came from the soap itself (no added chemicals), or if the sensitive skin help came from the milk itself, or if the benefits came from the fact that it is pure soap (look on your store bought soap wrappers, most cannot legally describe themselves as soap)! The physician agreed, she did not know either, but she thought it was a combination of all of the above. She said many of her patients had come to her with improved skin, improved after using goat milk products, and that she was wondering why all of the benefits herself. So, I decided to do a bit of snooping around. I am a teach me type of person.

So, I began my Google search looking for studies on goat milk soap and goat milk products. I looked for results from actual studies. I did not find any. But what I did find satisfied by interest.

Here we go:

From the American Academy of Dermatology I began looking at their various online brochures. One in particular drew my interest. For dry skin it was recommended to use a mild soap, okay, we probably learned that in first grade. But, next (and I copy):

For severely dry skin, a moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid may be helpful. Both ingredients help the skin hold water. These ingredients are so effective that over-the-counter and prescription moisturizers contain them. The one drawback is that these ingredients can be irritating if you have eczema or cracked skin.

Goat milk...high in lactic acid. There you go, bingo!

I continued to read on, do a bit of self-diagnosis, see the photo above, and I found other photos looking very familiar. My winter skin condition is called keratosis pilaris. It consists of tiny bumps, sometimes itchy, harmless, but bothersome...the treatment (to diminish the appearance and itching of the rash) also included creams and lotions that contain lactic acid. The condition never completely goes away it just looks better after treatment. Yes, I agree, I can attest to it diminishing!

I cannot rightfully say my products can cure your skin problems, I am not licensed to sell my products as a drug or medication. And I try so very hard to not sound like an irritating infomercial for goat milk soap, but my customers with sensitive and allergic skin are very happy campers, and so am I. Why? I believe it is a combination of things (as stated above) mild soap, no added preservatives, stabilizers or chemicals (other than those that contain fragrance and/or non-natural colorants), and the lactic acid (which works with the skin's PH balance).

Interesting...and I loved sharing it with you!


Debbie said...

Well, I'm sold on trying this. I've got a kid with a dry skin problem the dermatologists have never figured out and I just ordered the soap and lotion for her. She needs something that will not dry her out worse and I chose the non-perfumed natural products. Thank you and I will let you know how that goes. If it doesn't work we won't be any worse off, but if it does she may get some relief after 28 years of agravation.

Alix said...

As the craftsperson, I can understand your desire to know the source of your product's healing properties - but as a consumer, the reason isn't nearly as important as the fact that your soap really does seem to do miraculous things to the quality and condition of skin. Not to mention it smells heavenly and looks beautiful.

Mary... whatever it is,
whatever the combination of ingredients, whatever the process,
whatever special love and wisdom you add... keep doing it! Annie's Hill Handcrafted Goat Milk Soap is one of the purest most affordable luxuries in the world and I'm so glad I have "discovered" it.

Stacey's Treasures said...

I need to get my daughter some. She has always had sensitive skin.

KathyB. said...

My brother-in-law uses goat milk soap because it is the only soap that seems to help him while at the same time NOT irritating his skin. So there is definitely something beneficial and healing in goats' milk soap!