Why Milk Soaps?
Soaps enriched with milk are creamier than those made with water, and milk’s natural fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients provides skin-renewing moisture and nourishment.
How Your Skin & Scalp Absorbs Topical Nutrients
Have you ever seen a nicotine patch and wonder how they work for smokers trying to quit? Or how merely touching a toxic yet brightly colored tree frog can lead to death? It’s because your skin and scalp absorbs what you put on it!
Your skin is your body’s largest organ by far, with a total average area of about 20 square feet! That’s a lot of avenues for nutrients to reach your body… or for you to get slowly poisoned by toxic body products. The good news is Perma-Earth offers some of the best body care products in the world to feed your hair and skin from the outside-in.
Nutrients follow three pathways through the skin, according to the CDC.
Intercellular pathways. As the name implies, there are spaces in between your skin’s cells. Nutrients may follow these pathways deeper into the skin. Along the way, your skin’s outer layer may absorb some of the nutrients in our buttermilk soaps, such as Vitamin D3, Retinol-A, Alpha-Hydroxy Protein Acids, and more beauty-promoting goodies!
Permeation. Nutrients may pass from cell to cell in your epidermis. When the outermost cells take on some nutrients, they could pass some of those to the next cells behind the outer ones.
Hair follicles and glands. Nutrients that permeate slowly into your skin may reach the hair follicles or glands deeper into your skin’s layers. This represents the hardest way your skin can absorb nutrients because your follicles are much deeper in the skin.
Since natural milk soap is a natural product recognized as safe by the body, it can be absorbed that much deeper and easier. The famously beautiful Queen Cleopatra knew this as she used to bath in donkey’s buttermilk daily!
We use traditional buttermilk in our body products, which is simply cultured raw milk straight from the animal, in our case, a cow. Our cow sources produce very high fat whole buttermilk, much higher fat than any other milk. This is one reason why we choose cow’s milk over goat’s, sheep, or any other milk.
Fats are what protect the skin, keeping it nourished, healthy-looking, and moisturized. Many vitamins are only soluble or bioavailable with a fat attachment, making some nutrients completely useless without sufficient fats for your body to utilize them.
Buttermilk in particular is high in multiple different proteins, like yoghurt too! Buttermilk and yoghurt are very similar in fact, but farm-fresh raw buttermilk is higher in many different proteins versus store-bought buttermilk or yoghurt. Store-bought yoghurt or buttermilk is usually pasteurized (destroys proteins) and cultured with only one or two different probiotics.
Farm-fresh, raw yoghurt or buttermilk can have dozens of naturally-occurring probiotics along with many alpha-hydroxy acids like lactic acid, which promote cell renewable and rejuvenation of beauty factors such as brightness, tone, and complexion maintenance. Buttermilk is higher in lactic acid than any other milk – another reason why we choose to use it instead of any other milk.
Cow’s Milk Vs…
These days, the dairy aisle is saturated with options—and we don’t just mean 2 percent or whole. There’s soy, almond, cashew, rice, oat, hemp, camel…you get the idea. In a world full of milks (and mylks), it can be overwhelming to educate yourself on which is better?
As many have stated before us, the original milk (real animal’s milk) is top tier in terms of nutrient profile perfection, density, quantity, and quality of complete proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals – plant “mylks” just cannot compare.
Can’t you turn any raw animal’s milk into a cultured buttermilk? Yes you can, but let’s summarize.
Our source of cow’s milk is higher in fat than any other local and freshly available milk we have found, which is important for skin and scalp health, assisting in nutrient absorption and utilization.
Milk once cultured into buttermilk is higher in lactic acid than any other fresh milk. This also helps to lower the pH of products the buttermilk is added to – making them more gentle and beneficial for the skin and scalp.
Nutrient Profiles of Milks
You know the saying that milk is the nearest-to-perfect food? They weren’t lying.
Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level, plus all of the essential Omega 3, 6, & 9 fatty acids in balanced proportions.
And buttermilk is even better!
Nutrient Profile of Whole Buttermilk in 1 cup (8 fl oz):
- Fats: 8 grams
- Omegas 3, 6, 9
- Proteins: 8 grams
- Retinol-A (Vitamin A): 115 UG, 17% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Calcium: 282 mg, 28% DV
- Sodium: 257 mg, 17% DV
- Riboflavin (B2): 38% DV
- Vitamin B12: 22% DV
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 13% DV
- Potassium: 331 mg, 14% DV
- Vitamin D3: 127 UG, 26% DV
- Vitamin C: 4% DV
- Phosphorous: 208 mg, 30% DV
- Niacin (B3): 2% DV
- Vitamin E: 1% DV
- Vitamin K: 1% DV
- Copper: 5% DV
- Folate (B9): 3% DV
- Vitamin B6: 7%
- Magnesium: 25 mg, 8% DV
- Zinc: 12% DV
- Thiamine (B1): 11% DV
- Selenium: 17% DV
- Manganese: 1%
In other words, you just can’t beat whole buttermilk’s nutrient profile compared to other milks!
What about goat’s milk?
Many people have “herd” that goat milk might contain more nutritional benefits than regular old moo juice, so we dug deeper for the answer. It turns out, neither milk is healthier or more nutritious than the other since the nutrition content is almost the same (depending on the source, season, diet, processing, etc.), but goat milk may be a better choice for the digestive system as it has less (not free, but less) lactose. However, this doesn’t pertain to the integumentary system – hair, skin, nails, etc.
What are the nutritional stats of goat milk vs. cow milk?
When doing research, one must take into consideration that source is everything. For instance, the USDA says that goat’s milk has more fat than cow’s, but from our own experience in farming and using farm-fresh raw milks, our source of grassfed cow’s milk has a LOT more fat/cream than other local pasture-raised goat’s milk.
We can plainly see this when the fat and cream separate from the milk itself a day or two after milking since raw milk is not homogenized. Goat’s milk takes a lot longer for the cream to separate so it will take longer to see and we may never know visually how much fat goat’s milk contains.
Considering all of this, we must take what the USDA and other nutrient science says with a grain of salt as who knows what their sources were for comparison.
According to the USDA, goat milk and cow milk are almost identical in macronutrients (although in our experience, farm-fresh grassfed cow’s milk has a LOT more fat translating to more cholesterol). The USDA specifically states that goat milk comes out on top for protein and cholesterol by 1 gram more per cup, but cow milk’s fat content is ever so slightly lower.
And as far as vitamins and minerals go, both milks have a lot to offer, just in different amounts. Goat milk has more calcium, potassium and vitamin A than cow milk, but cow milk has more vitamin B12, selenium and folic acid.
So the nutritional benefits of cow’s milk vs. goat’s milk are negligible. Both can be made into their own buttermilk, which would in turn have very minor nutritional differences. It is just in our experience that our source of cow’s milk is higher in fat and more moisturizing.
Is cow’s buttermilk eco-friendly? Cows are much more efficient at producing consistent quantity and quality milk than any other animal. Cows are also the most gentle on the environment since they are strictly ruminants that cannot over-graze ecosystems as easily as goats or sheep can due to their unique mouth structure. Cow’s milk is also the most wasted milk produced, but buttermilk body products are the perfect solution to the over-abundance!
We choose to use local, raw, pasture-raised, and grass-fed milk our bath and body products – making our sourcing the best environmentally for any kind of milk products! This ensures the least amount of travel, containment, and processing waste possible.
Lactose Intolerance, Acne, and Other Concerns
For those concerned about lactose intolerance: Milk used in soap or other topical products has no direct relation to lactose-intolerance. While the milk enzymes and acids are released into the skin during soap use, these components remain external to the human digestive system. This is because a lactose-intolerance has to do solely with how the digestive system handles lactose poorly, not the integumentary system – which includes hair, skin, nails, etc.
However, if a milk allergy or general milk intolerance has been diagnosed by licensed health practitioners, these people should NOT use any milk products anywhere near their bodies.
What about dairy and acne? People who are lactose intolerant by way of digestion or who have found a connection between the physical intake of dairy and skin flare-ups do have the green light to apply milk topically. Dermatologists and doctors have gone on the records stating that the dairy-acne connection stems from digestion of the milk triggering a cascade of hormonal events that ultimately leads to acne. That cascade is not triggered by applying milk products to the skin.
Similar to how magnesium is best absorbed topically by some because ingesting magnesium upsets their digestive tract and can trigger other health issues – milk applied topically versus ingestion is another very similar situation which has many health benefits!