Imagine what it would feel like to constantly have dry, itchy skin. Skin so irritated that it cracks, bleeds, and peels nearly every single day.
According to the National Eczema Association, over 30 million Americans suffer from some form of eczema. Infants can endure cradle cap, adults over 60 can experience the painful symptoms of Asteatotic eczema, and places like school and work can be common transmission spots for Contact Dermatitis. Or maybe you don’t have to imagine this type of scenario — maybe this is your daily reality or the reality of someone you love.
If eczema is something you’re all too familiar with, then you probably understand how relentless the hunt can be to find an ultra-gentle cleanser that will moisturize and soothe your skin but also wash away everyday oil and debris. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Our battle with eczema has been full of trial and error, but we’ve finally found hope through a homemade recipe we created back in 2011.
“...Over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.” - National Eczema Association
The Painful Symptoms of Eczema
While the term ‘Eczema’ is used to describe a variety of inflammatory skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, it generally means an allergic reaction on the skin that causes inflammation and irritation. Your skin becomes dry, itchy, and sensitive. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to contract poison ivy or poison oak, you’ve experienced symptoms similar to most forms of eczema.
Eczema can present at any age and symptoms often worsen with stress. One research study compiled 45 years of medical documentation relating to eczema and stress. They found that stress has a direct effect on the skin through the inflammatory responses activated when we experience anxiety. These responses cause redness, swelling, and a painful itching-scratching cycle that only leads to higher levels of stress.
“Let me start out by saying I am dealing with "mature" skin with eczema. Over the years I have tried literally every soap on the market. Some worked at first, but then over time they stopped. This soap I have been using a couple of weeks and I do believe I have found the one that will continue to work. My skin is very soft and supple and the dry patches that itch so badly, don't itch anymore. I have also been applying there unscented lotion and I like that very much also. Recommend anyone to try.” - Alma
Own our journey with eczema began when we started noticing dry, “angry” patches of skin on our son Chance’s legs. As those patches of skin became increasingly dry and angrier, they slowly began to dominate Chance’s life. He couldn’t focus on schoolwork or even play outside. My husband and I could not stand idly by while our young son suffered. We immediately began searching for solutions hoping to find anything that would bring him some relief.
We Tried Everything
Some people believe that avoiding certain foods can reduce the symptoms of eczema. While some foods do cause allergic skin reactions, only a handful of specific eczema conditions are exacerbated by food. Our son was not among them. We tried altering Chance’s diet to address the possibility that his eczema may have been related to digestive issues but that too was not a solution for him.
We tried using different moisturizers and lotions on Chances’ legs. We must have experimented with dozens. Prescription or over the counter, it didn’t matter; they all would “sting” and “burn” seconds after we applied them to Chances’ skin. The few products that brought a shadow of relief did so only for a short time.
Why Commercial Soaps Don’t Help
Dwight constantly researched eczema and potential remedies and treatments. He was learning more and more about the dangers of chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and hygiene products. According to WebMD, the chemicals found in some soaps only contribute to dry skin and cause irritating reactions. So, Dwight took a closer look at the soap we were using and was amazed to see that it was composed of an alarming number of chemicals that should never be applied to the human body.
“I felt like I deserved the world’s worst father award. I was throwing 10-15 chemicals into my son’s bath and saying, 'Hope you make it bro.'” - Dwight Johnson
The soaps you buy in the store often contain a host of chemical ingredients including parabens, synthetic fragrances, and phthalates. These three chemicals alone are known allergens that can disrupt hormones and potentially cause cancer. It’s no wonder Chance’s sensitive skin was reacting on a consistent basis! Educating ourselves about the harmful ingredients in common soaps and skincare products was the first step in creating a toxin-free skincare regimen that was safe for Chance and the rest of our family.
We knew there had to be a better way to experience relief from eczema. Through Dwight’s research, that’s exactly what we discovered. While he was delving deeper into the world of eczema relief, he noticed that goat milk soap was often mentioned as an all-natural means to relieve eczema symptoms. This was an easy option we felt was worth exploring. After all, we already had the goats!
How Goat Milk Soap Helps Soothe Eczema
When we began using goat milk soap with Chance during bathtime, his symptoms were gone within one week. But why? What made goat milk soap so different from the big brand name options that we had used from the store?
Vitamins and Minerals
Goat milk contains natural vitamins, such as Vitamin A. One study from Oregon State University explains the powerful benefits of topical application of Vitamin A such as reduced hyperpigmentation and smoother skin. This study also shows that Vitamin A plays a role in encouraging the skins’ natural ability for wound healing. This can have a potent soothing effect on itchy skin damaged from repeated scratching.
"I just wanted to say thank you for your soap. I am thirty years old and have had eczema all of my life, but it got worse, just a few years ago (stress being a huge culprit) . It was so bad that I would scratch until I bled. Though it is not completely cleared up since using your soap, I have noticed that it doesn't itch so severely. It's slowly healing and going away. But, it is such a relief that I am not constantly scratching. Thank you again for your soap, they smell amazing and leave me feeling very soothed." -Stefanie Kessler
There are nine different beneficial minerals found in goat milk. These minerals, such as the powerful antioxidants zinc and manganese, can help protect your skin and keep it balanced. In fact, a zinc deficiency in the body can actually mimic the signs of eczema! Copper is also present in goat milk and, when combined with zinc, helps the skin build elastin, strengthening the tissues. Goat milk is also an excellent source of Selenium. This difficult to source mineral has a vital role in boosting the immune system. The therapeutic vitamins and minerals found in goat milk are easily absorbed by the skin and can have quick results.
Fats and Oils
The fats found in goat milk are small in size and do not separate from the milk. The small size of the fat molecules makes them easy for the skin to absorb. Goat milk is also rich in medium-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids play a role in regulating metabolism and are rapidly absorbed by your body. These free fatty acids are also antimicrobial and can help protect the body from harmful microorganisms.
Goat milk contains a high amount of lactic acid. Lactic acid has been shown to have an exfoliating effect on the skin. This reduces scarring and signs of aging by strengthening the tissues of the dermis and epidermis.
To create our effective line of goat milk soaps, lotions, and other body products, we’ve blended in a few nourishing oils to enhance the natural benefits of goat milk. Coconut oil, olive oil, and red palm oil are excellent moisturizers and can protect the skin from damage and free radicals.
Products, such as our bars of Oatmeal & Honey Goat Milk Soap, have been created using real oats and honey. These ingredients add a gentle exfoliating element as well as a deeper layer of moisture.
We know that eczema can often be irritated by artificial fragrances. That’s why we offer fragrance-free options like the ones found in our Unscented Bundle. The Unscented Bundle offers the hydrating relief your dry skin craves. If your skin can tolerate a mild and relaxing scent, try just our Hint of Lavender goat milk soap. This subtle scent is available in our goat milk soap or milk bath.
If you compare the ingredients on the back of a bar of commercial soap versus our homemade, all-natural goat milk soap, you’d see quite a different list. One is almost incomprehensible and loaded with chemicals. Ours contains a shortlist of familiar natural ingredients that are actually good for your skin.
Integrating Goat Milk Soap into Your Life
While there is no known cure for eczema, eliminating chemicals and irritants from your daily routine may help. Switching to all-natural goat milk soaps and milk baths to soothe skin irritation is an easy and simple choice.
Here are 5 must-try products if you suffer from eczema:
"Thank you so much for the Oatmeal & Honey Goat Milk Soap! My baby's eczema spot on his chin got better (less red and flaky) after only two baths. Now, we're going to try the milk bath and I'm sure we'll love it!" - Shannon Young
“As someone that struggles with eczema, the goat's milk bath is my staple product. One or two handfuls daily in my bathtub and I soak away. I so appreciate Bend Soap Co. offering this to their customers, those of us that use a lot of goat milk bath.” - Milk Bath Review
“I ordered the unscented bar soap in case the honey and oatmeal bar would break me out (which it didn't). I use this on my face and body, it makes my skin feel so soft. I have eczema so this has definitely helped me out so much. I will definitely continue buying these products.” - Astrid Quintana
“My son suffers from mild eczema that flares up every once in a while. Also with the heat, he also tends to get heat rash. With the eczema we would limit his baths. However with heat rash he would need more baths. So we struggled with his skin and what to do. This milk bath has done wonders to his skin! It feels so silky in the water and doesn’t dry out his skin. We used it about 5 times so far and his skin has been soft and clear. Bought more cause we are all in love. So thankful to have found this company.” - Sori
“I love these products!! My daughter is now 14 months. Ever since she was born she has suffered from severe eczema. The dermatologist had her on 3 different types of ointment as well as a perception lotion. Those would only help for a short time, then she would break out again. Ever since I have started using the Bendsoap products, they have entirely cleared up skin... As soon as she gets out of the bath I use the unscented lotion on her body. I also put it in her hair for her scalp!” Certified User
If you or someone you know suffers from eczema, stop using the same name brand lotions and creams you see at the drugstore. There is a healthy and non-toxic alternative to treating this uncomfortable condition. Give our goat milk soap products a try and if you already have, let us know what you think! Leave a comment below and share your story. We always love hearing from you.
Other Posts to Enjoy
- Blog Post: What We Did to Help Our Son's Eczema
- Blog Post: The Best Products for Sensitive Skin
- Blog Post: Our Story: How Goat Milk Soap Helped Our Son's Eczema
Blog Post: 8 Reasons to Choose Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath
- Blog Post: Mama Marilee's Goat Milk Laundry Detergent