For us, making soap is a celebration of our carefully sourced natural ingredients and the associated farming practices that go into producing each of them. Read on to learn the provenance and justification of each component used in our goat milk soaps...
Our small herd of goats are free to roam in the sunshine browsing amongst the wild pastures, and on rainy days, tucked up with tasty treats. In return, they reward us with a luxurious milk which we are very proud of. The raw milk is frozen immediately after milking to ensure it retains its high quality, most notably, the particularly high sugar and butterfat content found in Anglo-Nubian goat milk. It is these sugars which contribute to a creamy lather, along with yielding a super-smooth and conditioning bar of soap.
There is anecdotal evidence into the beneficial effects that goat milk has on our skin, often with special focus on those with sensitive skin. To our knowledge there have not been scientific studies investigating the benefits of goat milk in skin care products, though there has been speculation around why people may see improvements to skin health based on the composition of goat milk (Ribeiro 2010).
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil
We use solely cold-pressed rapeseed oil from The Cold Pressed Oil Company, grown, pressed and bottled in rural Hampshire. Rapeseed is a beautiful, deep yellow nutty oil, rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. It’s this high-quality oil together with our milk which gives our soaps their characteristic rich and moisturising lathers, not forgetting their distinct creamy yellow colour. We understand that rapeseed oil can have negative environmental impacts but we are fortunate to work with a small farmer who takes care to minimise the unnecessary use of pesticides, ensure soil is cared for and very little waste is produced. Once the seeds are de-husked they are cold-pressed at the farm and the husks go to feed the cattle that graze nearby. And any oil which doesn't quite make the grade goes for mechanical purposes to local businesses!
We support our busy local British bees to provide us with beeswax. We include a little beeswax in our completely natural soaps to give us a hard and durable bar, suitable for everyday use when looked after. This has allowed us to eliminate the use of oils like palm oil, which is responsible for the deforestation of large areas of the rainforest and coconut oil, which travels very far to get to us. Beeswax is also a natural emollient and humectant, meaning that it can protect the skin and lock in moisture; keeping it soft and hydrated with its high vitamin A content too.
We source our oats from a small farm in Cambridgeshire, who have very high farming standards. For each small batch of soap we make, we freshly grind whole oats, this means we preserve all of their goodness and ensure minimal processing has been done to them. Oatmeal is high in beta-glucans which help to reduce inflammation and sooth skin. Oats are also excellent at balancing combination skin; removing excess oils whilst moisturising.
Our honey is sourced from Hampshire beekeeper's, John and Dinny Reed (Kingsley Honey). We use a thick and floral set raw honey. It is considered antiseptic and has been used to alleviate skin problems for centuries. We love combining into our goat milk soaps, and this classic combination gives a beautiful creamy lather. Thank you busy bees!
Essential oils and botanicals
Lavender essential oil has been used for centuries for its ability to sooth and relax. More recently it has been proven to have natural antimicrobial properties, making this a great addition in soaps which help to softly cleanse and moisturise acne-prone skin. We also include ground, dried lavender buds to add earthy textures and help gently remove skin debris. We source our lavender exclusively from a family farm in Hampshire, who have been growing and distilling lavender and rosemary for many years.
We also source our sage, chamomile and peppermint essential oils from a small family farm in Hampshire, who grow their own herbs and distill them on the farm. Using traditional aromatherapy blends we harness the power of these plants and maximise their potentials in our soaps.
Chamomile is a soothing and gentle essential oil, and has long been used to calm skin aliments. We use a traditional Roman variety, deep blue in colour and its high ester content ensures its very soothing. Chamomile is thought as an excellent remedy for acne, eczema, psoriasis and allergies. It is also antiseptic so good for healing skin.
Sage in latin means "to save" and its essential oil has traditionally been used to cure plenty! We blend our sage with chamomile oil to produce a powerful warm and herbaceous aroma that soothes and relaxes.
Peppermint essential oil is invigorating and refreshing, producing a pleasant cooling sensation on the skin. We find it perfect when combined with antiseptic honey as a morning pick me up and shaving soap.
We slowly and lovingly infuse rapeseed oil with calendula flowers to extract all of their potent healing powers. The petals are known to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and have been regarded as a great healer of numerous skin complaints. It's beautiful vibrant yellow also stays true throughout the traditional soap curing process.
Our dried botanicals are English and we try to source them from as close by in the South of England, currently coming from Hampshire and Somerset. We grind each of our botanicals in small amounts for every batch of soap we make, this ensures we get the best scent for every batch and avoids unnecessary over-processing!
Ribeiroa A.C and Ribeiro S.D.A., Specialty products made from goat milk, Small Ruminant Research, 2010. 89: p. 225–233