Q: Do you handcraft all of your own soap?
A: Every bar is handcrafted here on the farm.
Q: Where do you get your goat's milk?
A: Our resident herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats works very hard to produce all of the milk used in our soaps. We never purchase goat's milk, and we never substitute with powdered milk, or water.
Q: How is your soap made?
A: All of our soaps are handcrafted using traditional cold-process (CP) soaping methods. Goat milk is added to lye (sodium hydroxide) before being combined with a variety of carrier oils and butters to produce soap.
Q: How long do you cure your soap before selling?
A: Bars are typically cured from 4-12 weeks, depending on the oils used in the recipe.
Q: How is your soap priced?
A: Prices listed are for individual bars, unless noted otherwise (i.e. as part of a gift set). Our bars are generously sized, typically weighing in excess of 6 oz each after a 4 week cure, and contain approximately 25% goat milk in every bar
Q: Why is my soap not the exact weight stated on the product page?
A: When natural soaps are made they contain a certain amount of water, contributed by the milk used to make the soap. Over time, the longer a bar of soap is allowed to cure, that bar of soap will lose water weight. The greatest amount of water weight is lost during the initial 4-6 week cure, at which point the weight of soap stabilizes.
However, soaps will continue to lose moisture for as long as they are stored. We weigh each bar of soap at the end of its initial cure, and state our weights based upon the lowest weight bar in that batch.
The majority of our bars weigh in excess of the stated weight. Unless the soap has been stored for an extended period prior to use, most soaps will weigh at least as much as stated on the label.
Q: The soap I ordered is getting darker in color. Why? Is it safe to use?
A: We don't use color stabilizers in our soaps. As a result, some soaps may continue to darken as they age. This may be due to loss of moisture from the bar, or the type of fragrance or essential oil used. Soaps with a high vanilla content, or those containing natural raw honey, are likely to darken the most. The soap is perfectly safe to use, and the color change is perfectly normal for real soap!
Q: Do you test your soaps before selling them?
A: All of our soaps are pH tested prior to sale to ensure their safety. We also have family, friends, and volunteers that 'field test' our soaps in their own homes for their cleansing, and moisturizing properties, as well as bar longevity.
Q: How much goat's milk is in a bar of soap? Do you dilute the milk with water?
A: All of our soaps are crafted with 100% fresh goat's milk. We do not dilute the milk with water. Recipes vary slightly, but on average a 4 oz bar of soap contains 1 ounce of farm fresh goat's milk.
Q: Other than goat's milk, what other ingredients are in your soaps?
A: All soaps are labeled with their ingredients, and do vary between soaps. Most of our soaps, however, at least contain organic Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Castor Oil, and some contain RSPO Palm Oil. We do not use soy, canola, or corn oils in our soaps.
We also frequently include beeswax from the bee hives here on the farm. Our colonies are raised organically, without the use of pesticides, or antibiotics.
Q: Does your soap contain glycerin?
A: Yes, glycerin is a natural byproduct of the soap-making process. We never remove any glycerin from our soap, as glycerin is an important humectant, attracting beneficial moisture to your skin. We do not, however, craft all-glycerin soaps. “Glycerin soaps” are not, technically, a true soap.
Q: My soap has a white powder on the surface. Is it safe to use?
A: Some soaps may have a white haze on the surface. This is completely normal, and part of the natural soap making process. Soap makers refer to this layer as soda ash, or dried glycerin. The soap is perfectly safe to use, and has been pH tested prior to sale for safety. Soda ash is common when soap is made at low temperatures. As such, goat milk soaps can be especially prone to this, because in an effort to prevent scorching milk sugars, our soaps are not permitted to overheat. Although it can dull the surface appearance of the color, after the first use, this white haze will disappear, and the soap's natural color will be revealed.
Q: Are your soaps super fatted? What does it mean for a soap to be super fatted?
A: All of our soaps are super fatted. To make soap, at a minimum there would be a balance of lye and oil in a soap recipe, such that no excess of lye remains after saponification. Saponification is the chemical reaction where lye and oil combine to produce soap. Soaps that are super fatted have a relative reduction in the total amount of lye used compared to total oils. These oils, in excess of what is required for saponification, in super fatted soaps, are free to provide rich emollients to condition your skin.
Q: What is the difference between your “essential oil” and “fragrance oil” scented soaps?
A: Essential oils are plant-derived scents, typically distilled from the bark, leaves, or flowers of plants. Fragrance oils are synthetically manufactured scents.
Q: Why do you use synthetic fragrances in some of your soaps?
A: Not all scents are available as an essential oil, and some that are available can be prohibitively expensive, or difficult to obtain from a reliable and trustworthy source.
Some essential oils, such as those with high thujone contents, are not necessarily considered safe for daily use. Exposure to some essential oils on a daily basis may be toxic, some are not deemed to be safe to use during pregnancy, and others may potentially cause photo-sensitivity reactions in some individuals. As such, we strive to avoid potentially toxic, or reaction-prone, essential oils in our soaps.
Q: Are your soaps vegan?
A: No. All of our soaps contain goat's milk, and most of our soaps also contain beeswax.
Q: Can I use your soaps if I have sensitive skin?
A: Goat milk soaps are renowned for their mild, and moisturizing properties, but if you have sensitive, or reactive skin, we recommend trying our fragrance, and color-free, unscented goat's milk soap.
We do suggest that any time you purchase a new soap, with fragrance, or without, to test that soap on a small area of skin first, and immediately discontinue use if any redness, rash, or irritation, occurs.
Q: Other than the oils and lye, what else do you use in your soaps?
A: We keep our soaps as natural as possible, and do not use fillers, or detergents in our soaps. Some soaps may contain natural exfoliants, including ground oatmeal, poppy seeds, walnut shells, Fair-Trade coffee, flower petals, or citrus peels. We also use a range of natural clays in some of our soaps, including Kaolin, Rhassoul, Sea Clay, and Brazilian Clays. We occasionally use mica, or oxides, in small amounts in our soaps, when a clay cannot produce the colors we are striving for. See each soap's product page, and packaging labels, for more regarding the specific ingredients used in each soap.
Q: How should I care for my soap?
A: The key to maximizing the longevity of your soap is ventilation. Even the firmest bar of soap, if allowed to sit in a puddle of water, will break down more quickly than a bar that is allowed to dry between uses. We recommend investing in a simple soap dish that either has drain holes, or slats, or that elevates the bar, and maximizes air circulation.
As cold process milk soaps need to breathe, never store your soaps in sealed plastic containers or bags. All of our wrapped soaps are wrapped in such a way that the ends are open to allow any moisture to escape, and prevent the soaps from spoiling.
Q: How long will my soap last?
A: Cold processed soap, potentially, can last indefinitely. However, extended periods of storage will usually result in the soaps losing their fragrance over time. This is especially true of soaps made with essential oils (citrus-based essential oils are particularly prone to fading). As such, we recommend that you enjoy your soaps within 6 months of purchase.
Q: Do you accept custom orders?
A: We are not accepting custom orders at this time. We handcraft our soaps in small batches in between tending to our plants, and animals, which keeps us extremely busy throughout the year. However, if there is a particular soap you would like to see in our store in the future, you are welcome to make a suggestion. We're always open to ideas for new soap scents, or colors, and want you, our customers, to be happy!
Q: Do you accept orders by phone?
A: Not at this time. The goats vetoed the suggestion of installing of a phone in the barn, and you can usually find us in the barn, much more than you'll find us in the office.
Q: Where are you located? Can we visit your farm?
A: We are located along the coast of California, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although we'd love to meet our customers, due to county Agriculture Zone usage restrictions, liability, farm biosecurity, and personal time constraints, we are not open to the public, nor can we offer farm tours at this time. To visit the farm virtually though, and catch up on the latest farm news, we do encourage you to stop by our blog!