How to Make Goat Milk Soap For Beautiful + Glowing Skin

You’ll love this natural, farm-inspired bar. Anyone can make goat milk soap with powdered milk and still enjoy all the nourishing and exfoliating benefits. I’ll walk you through this cold process soap step-by-step so you can master it even as a beginner.

I did not add any color to this batch and it turns out a natural creamy tan. But you can add any fragrance or colorant you’d like.

close up of 1 bar homemade off white soap

Nourishing Goat Milk Soap Recipe

This cold process bar combines goats milk with shea butter, olive oil, and more. A gentle, cleansing, beautiful soap recipe.
Prep Time 1 hour
curing time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Serving Size 10 bars

Ingredients 

  • 3 ounces almond oil
  • 2 ounces castor oil
  • 10 ounces coconut oil
  • 10 ounces olive oil
  • 6 ounces palm oil
  • 3 ounces shea butter
  • 1 ounce beeswax
  • 4.91 ounces lye sodium hydroxide
  • 12 ounces goat milk (or combine 1 ounce powdered goat milk and 11 ounces water)

Instructions 

  • Freeze milk. Prepare the goat milk by freezing for a few hours until it reaches a slushy consistency.
    goat milk partially frozen and slushy
  • Add lye. Add the lye to the partially frozen milk and stir until completely blended. It will melt, heat up, and may change color. Set aside in a safe place.
    goat milk after lye is poured into it
  • Measure and melt oils. Measure the oils, butters, and beeswax and melt over low heat until completely melted and heated to 140 degrees. Set aside.
    A triptych of images displaying different stages of soap-making in a pot. From left to right: melting solid oils, oils mixed with lye creating a grainy texture, and the final stage where the mixture has become homogenous and smooth, indicating readiness for molding.
  • Let both components cool. Let your lye solution and melted oils (still in their separate containers) cool to about 110 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare you mold, tools, and any fragrances or colors you're using.
    milk and oils cooling in containers
  • Blend to trace. When the milk and oils have cooled to about 110 degrees, pour the milk into the melted oils and blend using a stick blender. Mix until "trace" is achieved, or the soap thickens slightly and a trail of soap rests on top of the batter rather than immediately sinking in. Add desired fragrance or color, stirring in by hand.
    Two images side by side: On the left, a stick blender is immersed in a pot of creamy soap batter, indicating the mixing process. On the right, the soap batter has reached a lighter color and thicker trace, ready to be poured into molds.
  • Pour into mold. Pour into soap mold, gently smoothing out top. Place in fridge or freezer to avoid cracking. Un-mold after 24 hours, cut into bars, and allow to cure for 2 weeks before using.
  • Unmold. Release the soap from the mold, and cut into bars. Let cure in a place with good air circulation for 2 weeks beforeusing.
    Image of homemade soap bars on a wooden board with a floral fabric and white blossoms on the side. The soaps have a creamy texture with slight ripples on the surface, suggesting a soft and natural product.

Notes

To resize this recipe, enter the following percentages into a soap calculator: 8.57% almond oil, 5.71% castor oil, 28.57% coconut oil, 28.57% olive oil, 17.14% palm oil, 8.57% shea butter, 2.86% beeswax. (You will need to recalculate the lye.)
Be sure to follow safe soap making: wear gloves, googles. long sleeves. and work in a well-ventilated space.  Take care that any raw soap or lye stays out of the reach of children. 

Soap Making Tips

  • Lye Safety: Always add lye to liquid, not the other way around, to avoid a volatile reaction. This is known as “snow floats on the lake.”
  • Ingredient Temperatures: If using frozen goat milk, let it reach a slushy consistency rather than completely thawed to help control the reaction temperature with the lye.
  • Note-taking: Keep detailed notes on your process, including temperatures, trace consistency, and cure times. This will be a valuable reference for troubleshooting and replicating successful batches.
  • Temperature Control: Keep your lye mixture and milk mixture at room temperature to ensure smooth integration and prevent a false trace.
  • Mold Options: Ice cube trays can be used as molds for smaller bars of soap, or to test different recipes without committing to a large batch.
  • Mixing Tools: Use an immersion blender to mix your soap batter, but operate it in short bursts to avoid introducing too many air bubbles.

Understanding Saponification in Soap Making

Saponification is the chemical reaction that occurs when fats or oils mix with lye to create soap. This process can be fascinating and crucial for any soap maker to understand:

  • Fats and Lye: Unsaturated fats in oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and cocoa butter react with lye to produce a creamy lather. The type of oil can affect the hardness of the soap, its cleansing properties, and the lather it produces.
  • Controlled Reaction: Managing the temperature and proportions of your ingredients using tools like a lye calculator is critical. The milk should be kept cool to prevent scorching due to the heat produced in the reaction.
  • Gel Phase: This is a part of the saponification process where the soap starts to heat up after being poured into the mold and goes through a gel-like phase. This phase can affect the color and texture of the finished soap.

Customizing Your Goat Milk Soap

This is the best part of soapmaking… personalizing it! Here are some ideas for this recipe:

  • Color. I do not recommend adding a color to this because it is naturally beautiful. You can of course, just keep in mind that the base is tan and you might need a little extra colorant.
  • Fragrance. For this recipe, I like Pure Honey from Brambleberry or Butterfly Garden from Nuture Soap
  • Natural Additives: For those who prefer natural options, consider using honey, raw honey, or vitamin E to enrich the soap. These can add moisturizing properties and antioxidants.
  • Color and Texture: Natural colorants or a little bit of cocoa butter can add a beautiful hue and luxurious feel to your soap. Experiment with different additives to achieve your desired result.
  • Soap Bases: For beginners, starting with a melt-and-pour goat milk soap base might be easier. This method allows you to skip the saponification process and still enjoy customizing your soap with various additives.
Overhead view of cut homemade soap bars arranged neatly on a blue rustic wooden surface, accompanied by white blossoms on the side. The soaps exhibit a smooth, creamy texture and a natural pale yellow color.

The Benefits of Goat Milk Soap

Goat milk soap is famous because of the lactic acid, which naturally exfoliates.

  • Moisturizing: The cream in goat milk helps boost the moisturizing quality of the soap, making it exceptionally good for dry and sensitive skin.
  • Gentle Cleansing: Unlike commercial detergent-based soaps, goat milk soap gently cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
  • Natural Exfoliant: The lactic acid in goat milk naturally exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting smoother, younger-looking skin.
  • Supports Skin Barrier: The fatty acids in goat milk help support a healthy skin barrier, keeping the skin resilient and less prone to damage.
  • Reduces Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of goat milk soap can help calm and soothe troubled skin, making it beneficial for those with conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Where to Buy Soap Supplies

Soapmaking requires a few specific items. Some you might have on hand but some you won’t. Here are my recommended places to purchase soap supplies.

Storage Instructions

This soap does best if you store it in a cool, dry place with plenty of air circulation. I like to use a shoebox with layers of newspaper.

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🔍 FAQs

What is the benefit of making soap with goat’s milk?

Like anything in the soap-making world, there are a lot of opinions about this! Many people argue that all the vitamins and minerals in milk benefit your skin, and many say that none of those minerals can be found in a finished bar. Either way, goat’s milk does contain a good amount of lactic acid, which is a natural exfoliant and can help give you glowing skin, improve acne, and make you look younger.

What other ingredients do we need?

Just any cold process soap, we still need lye and oils. You can actually make any cold process soap into goat soap by replacing some or all of the water in the recipe with milk.

Can I make this soap without lye?

Well, technically, no. You can’t make soap without lye. But you can buy a pre-made goat milk soap base, customize it with fragrance and color, and pour it into the mold of your choice. No need to handle lye.

What if I don’t have access to fresh goat’s milk?

No problem! Just get the powdered kind, mix it with water, and you’re off to the races.

Can I use essential oils instead of fragrance oils in my goat milk soap?

Absolutely! Essential oils can provide natural scents and additional skin benefits. Just make sure to use them safely and check for any skin sensitivity.

What’s the difference between cold process and hot process methods in soap making?

The cold process method involves mixing the lye with oils without external heating, leading to a gradual saponification over several weeks. The hot process method speeds up the saponification by cooking the soap, which allows the soap to be used sooner.

How do I know if my soap has reached trace?

Trace in soap making is when the soap batter thickens to the consistency where a drizzle of soap stays on the surface before sinking back in. It can be a light trace, which is thin and barely noticeable, or a thicker trace more suitable for adding textures.

overhead view of cut bars homemade soap
How to Make Goat Milk Soap For Beautiful + Glowing Skin

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44 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe! We just took our soaps out of the molds. During the two week curing period, should they be exposed to air or not? We put them into individual zip lock bags.