Ingredients: Buttermilk & Goat's Milk
As a soapmaker, I love to explore different liquid ingredients that add benefits to my soaps. My exploring has led me to cider, wine, beer, tea, and milk. As you know from our Coconut Milk blog, milks can add skin-softening goodness to soap. Two of our favorite milks are buttermilk and goat’s milk. Both are deliciously rich and packed with healthy nutrients for your skin.
Buttermilk has a few natural properties that make it a luxurious choice for those looking to keep their skin youthful and bright. High in lactic acid, buttermilk can gently exfoliate dead skin cells to brighten and soften the skin. It also rids the skin of impurities and gives the skin a natural glow. Naturally astringent, buttermilk helps to tighten the skin, causing it to look younger. Oh, did I mention how it makes the skin feel? Delightfully soft!
Goat’s milk is another milk that adds skin-loving benefits to a product. High in vitamins and minerals, goat’s milk gently exfoliates the skin to help keep it clean and clear. Since it is perfect for dry or sensitive skin, it is great for young and old alike. The pH balance of goat’s milk is similar to skin so it is a wonderful choice to add to soaps, lotions, and other beauty products. Unlike buttermilk, which is low in fat, goat’s milk has fat globules suspended throughout the milk. As a result, some have found they need to use less moisturizers due to the richness gained from regularly using goat’s milk. No wonder it is so popular in handcrafted soaps and lotions!
Working with any milk in soapmaking can pose a challenge because the heat generated in dissolving the lye can curdle or scorch the milk. I use some tricks to minimize those effects.
When mixing the lye into the milk, it is best to use frozen milk to help keep the temperature down to prevent scorching. Because buttermilk tends to spoil more quickly than traditional cow’s milk or coconut milk, I freeze it into small cubes so that it is absolutely fresh when I use it in a recipe. Having it already frozen in specific units of measurement also helps make the soapmaking process quicker and more successful.
Buttermilk powder is also used in some products when I need to add the benefits of buttermilk but do not want the extra liquid.