Having had a plethora of people ask me to make goat's milk soap I decided I would take on the challenge like all things, both feet first. I read, I asked questions and I read some more. That being said sometimes no matter how much you prepare you can still be surprised by what follows. I decided to do an "experiment" with my control simply being the oils and amounts of which I used. I wanted to compare using fresh goat's milk which was pasteurized against goat milk powder. There is some debate as to what actually survives the saponification process when making soap. Goat's milk is rich in many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A which can improve complexion, fight acne and improve overall skin health. So on to the experiment...
I made 6 batches of soap over 2 days using 3 proprietary essential oil blends. Making 6 different recipes I varied using the goat milk powder in 3 and fresh goat's milk in 3. I then further broke it down adding the powder or liquid at different times at different temperatures in the soap making process. I then allowed some soaps to gel and tried to inhibit others from gelling...not always successfully mind you. Phew....confused yet? Trust me I took copious notes to keep myself from getting confused as well! There are several things I have taken away from this process.
Firstly, the colder your goat's milk the better or it will turn orange and that's not always a great color in my book, well maybe for Halloween and sunsets. Secondly, adding your goat's milk later in the process after lye has been introduced is less harsh on the milk and in my opinion the better option, it also prevents that not so attractive orange color. Thirdly, whether you use the powder or the milk there is a distinct, faint smell at first which slowly dissipates over the soaps 6 week cure time. So for the final test I had to wait 6 weeks!
I know 6 weeks is a really really long time and I am not always a patient person but I held out and when that magic day arrived I lined up 6 pieces, one of each different batch I had made, and started washing. I wasn't sure if the saponification process would affect say the fresh milk for example depending on which stage of the process milk was incorporated. My lather test of all the soaps made with fresh goat's milk were conclusively the same. The same can be said when comparing all my goat milk powder bars in their lather tests. What was surprising was the difference between the fresh goat milk lather and the powder goat milk lather! The fresh gave me a super creamy, luxurious feeling, hand coating, just positively decadent lather that I swear I could feel after I dried my hands. The goat's milk powder was no slouch but really couldn't compare. I did get a milder creamy lather but more abundant bubbles from the underlying base oils in the recipe. It felt nice, left my hands clean and performed well in that I still felt moisturized but not to the extent of the fresh goat's milk.
So at the end of my adventure what can I impart to you? If you want a creamy lather that is just plain decadent make sure you buy a bar of soap with fresh goat's milk! The powder just doesn't compare in the head to head lather comparison. You will still get the same vitamins and proteins but if your looking for creamy...fresh is where it's at.
*disclaimer: I am in no way associated with raising goats or have any vested interest in promoting fresh goat milk vs powdered. This was strictly for experimental and educational purposes and reflects my own personal results.