Attributes of Goat Milk, Oils and Shea Butter in Contrary’s Whey Goat Milk Soap
- Goat milk adds three fatty acids to soap: caproic, caprylic and capric acid, which contribute to its conditioning properties.
- Olive oil provides conditioning.
- Wheat germ oil provides conditioning and contains Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant which prevents rancidity, making the soap long lasting.
- Shea butter provides conditioning, while making the soap long lasting.
- Coconut oil provides cleansing, a fluffy lather, and produces a hard bar of soap, making the soap long lasting.
- Castor oil produces a creamy lather, and provides conditioning.
In addition, a portion of the fatty acids contained in the goat milk, olive oil, wheat germ oil and shea butter contain “unsaponifiables” meaning they do not react with the lye. They remain intact providing additional emollient properties.
The Soap-Making Process
During the soap-making process, the oils and shea butter are precisely blended with just the right amount of lye and goat milk to form a creamy, pudding-like mixture. As the oils react with the lye, glycerin is released and remains in the soap, providing additional humectant properties.
At its core, the process of soap making is an amazing chemical reaction between the fatty acids in oils and an alkali, in this case lye. When combined, the lye should be entirely consumed. To achieve this consumption Ellie uses twice as much goat milk as lye, ensuring the lye is completely dissolved and available to react with the fatty acids. In addition, her formula includes a small percentage of extra oils and shea butter to guarantee the absence of lye in the final product.
Ellie allows each small batch of her hand-crafted goat milk soap to dry for two months prior to considering them ready to sell or use. Allowing the soap to age properly accomplishes two important properties: a dry, hard bar and completion of the lye and oil reaction. As a general rule, weight decreases from 4.2-4.3 ounces for each bar (24 hours after making) to 3.7-3.8 ounces (after two months of aging).
“I love Contrary’s Whey Goat Milk Soap for so many reasons. It makes my skin feel clean, soft, and moisturized. It lathers well and doesn’t seem to dissolve as quickly as commercial soaps. Being a cancer survivor, using a product that has no additives gives me peace of mind. Also, with age, I have become much more sensitive to fragrances, so it being fragrance free is a huge plus. Love this soap!”
—Mel B., Essex, Vt.