Updated: Mar 6
Imagine if a single ingredient could change the way you think about skincare. Would you give it a try? We’re here to tell you there IS a game-changing skincare ingredient out there, and it’s not what you think. It isn’t an expensive cream, treatment, or luxury product – quite the opposite, it comes from a humble and unassuming little creature: the goat. Goats?
Yes! While goats aren’t what most picture when they think of incredible skincare, we’re here to tell you that goats provide one of the most game-changing skincare ingredients on the planet: their milk. Used for centuries as a skincare ingredient, goat milk has a little something to offer everyone’s skincare routine. It cleanses gently, and deeply, exfoliates the skin, is an effective moisturizer, and more! If you have struggled with sensitive skin, finding an effective product, or want to level up your skincare game, keep reading to discover why goat milk might just be the GOAT (greatest of all time) in skincare.
A Brief History
While soap and skincare routines existed for thousands of years, the ancient Egyptians were the first to leave behind evidence of using soap as a way to wash and treat skin concerns. Egypt also provides us with the earliest known case of goat milk being used as a skincare treatment, as it is said the iconic Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, bathed in goat milk to keep her skin soft and healthy. While of course, Cleopatra isn’t around to confirm or deny the legend, members of the British Monarchy copied her ways in the 1500s. Clearly, they were onto something!
While it’s not exactly clear when goat milk first made its way into skincare products, skincare in general continued to be popularized by the monarchy and drove an explosion in the industry. This continued until World War I brought about another inflection point in goat milk skincare’s history. As companies looked to grow profits, whole and natural ingredients were dropped in favor of cheaper chemical and synthetic alternatives. This still represents a significant subset of the skincare market today – but goat milk is making a comeback. Many consumers are re-discovering what Cleopatra knew thousands of years ago, and thanks to modern science, we now have the data and knowledge to back her beauty secret up.
What Makes Goat Milk So Special?
What makes goat milk so special? Let’s dive in.
It’s Nutrient Rich
Goat milk is PACKED with probiotics, vitamins, and minerals that nourish and replenish the skin. As goat milk moisturizes the skin (more on that later), these nutrients are delivered to the deeper, living tissue layer of our epidermis, where our skin needs it most. While it contains vitamins A, B, C, D, and more, it is especially high in Vitamin A, which can help repair damaged skin, ease signs of aging, help reduce acne, and more. Vitamins A and E are also antioxidants, which are known to neutralize free radicals in the body.
Additionally, goat milk contains essential minerals like iron, selenium, magnesium, zinc, and more. Selenium is believed to have a role in reducing sun damage and the risk of skin cancer. A 2014 study found a lower risk of cancer was associated with higher selenium exposure.
It’s a Natural Exfoliant
Goat milk is naturally rich in alpha-hydroxy acids (or AHAs), specifically, lactic acid. This is one of the really special properties of goat milk! Lactic acid is one of the gentlest AHAs and a natural exfoliator. It helps remove dead skin by breaking down the bonds between dead cells and revealing a new, healthy layer beneath. It provides this “deep clean” without irritating or damaging healthy cells, and as a natural humectant, lactic acid also attracts water molecules like a magnet and carries them to the skin. This helps the skin appear smoother, brighter, and more hydrated. Who doesn’t want that?
It's a Great Moisturizer
We already discussed a few points above that make goat milk a great moisturizer – the lactic acid content and nutrient content – but the benefits don’t stop there. Goat milk is a rich milk that is packed full of saturated and unsaturated fats (you sometimes hear these called “healthy fats”). While lactic acid and other nutrients hydrate the skin, these fat molecules complement the nourishing components of goat milk by sealing in moisture and filling all the microscopic gaps between cells. This creates something of a moisture barrier across your skin, keeping the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out. Plus, your skin will feel soft and smooth!
Goat milk has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and could reduce skin irritation. Goat milk is rich in probiotics, including a notable probiotic known as Lactobacillus, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and in the body. Additionally, goat milk’s rich and moisturizing properties may reduce skin irritation and inflammation caused by dryness or other skin conditions by restoring and rehydrating the skin’s lipid barrier.
Harsh soaps or other skincare products can also strip the skin of natural moisture, worsening irritation, inflammation, and dry skin – so switching to goat milk products may reduce inflammation from this cause alone.
It’s Microbiome Friendly
One of the most fascinating elements of goat milk soap as a skincare ingredient is its effect on the microbiome. The body – and skin’s – first reaction to a foreign substance is an inflammatory response, which can make it hard for active ingredients to reach the deeper layers of the epidermis and nourish the skin. With goat milk, that isn’t the case. Goat milk has a nearly identical pH to that of human skin, so when you use goat milk products, the microbiome “recognizes” it. This means you’re able to deeply cleanse and nourish your skin without disrupting its natural state. If you deal with sensitive skin or skin conditions, this could be life-changing!
Goats are so much more than goat yoga or a fun video to watch online – they provide one of the best-kept secrets in skincare! Goat milk has been used to nourish the skin for thousands of years, and thanks to its nutrient-dense, moisturizing, and deep-cleaning qualities, it can provide a multitude of benefits when added to your skincare routine. All it takes is a few simple product swaps, and your skin can enjoy the benefits of goat milk.
Of course, all the benefits of goat milk skincare are dependent on just how much milk is included in the product! Be sure to carefully read product labels to ensure that goat milk is a primary ingredient, and no other irritants are added – like artificial fragrances or colorants, which can irritate sensitive skin.
If you’re looking for natural and effective goat milk skincare products, you might be interested in our goat milk soap, lotion, lip balms, and other products. At Madd House Hill, we believe in the power of goat milk and use 100% farm-fresh goat milk as a core ingredient in each of our products, along with moisturizing and sustainable oils, and therapeutic-grade essential oils for an all-natural scent. Our all-natural philosophy is something we are extremely proud of, and don’t plan to change! Many of our customers who have previously experienced skin sensitivity and irritation with commercial products have found great success when switching to our natural options.
Until Next Time,
Madd House Hill