Whether you’re a big fan of Schitt’s Creek or you’re a skincare devotee, chances are, you’ve heard of goat milk. Both in Schitt’s and in the skincare world at large, goat milk has earned a name for being a high-end ingredient used in cleansers, moisturizers, and serums, not to mention its myriad health benefits. With this in mind, we figured it was time to give goat milk the attention it deserves. And not just by scooping up all the latest products infused with the ingredient but by doing a deep dive.
Keep reading to learn the top uses for goat milk, according to board-certified dermatologists.
Type of ingredient: Gentle exfoliator and intense hydrator.
Main benefits: It draws moisture to skin, softens and nourishes skin, and reduces redness, and it's easier to digest.
Who should use it: This is twofold. In terms of skincare, those with dry, sensitive skin—such as those with eczema and/or acne—can greatly benefit. From a nutritional perspective, those who are lactose intolerant are often better able to digest goat milk.
How often can you use it: Regardless of whether it’s used for skincare or dietary purposes, goat milk can be used daily.
Works well with: Just about everything.
Don’t use: If you're allergic to goat milk.
What Is Goat Milk?
Goat milk is exactly as it sounds: milk made by a goat. In terms of skincare, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Michele Green says that goat milk is considered a natural ingredient that acts as a gentle exfoliator and an intense hydrator.
Even though goat milk contains lactose, the shorter fat molecules in goat milk make it easier to digest—even for those who are lactose intolerant. That said, it’s important to remember that goat milk is still dairy, so your best bet (if you’re lactose intolerant) is to check with your doctor or dietitian before adding it to your routine.
Benefits of Goat Milk for Skin
- Great For Sensitive Skin: According to Green, goat milk and human skin have the same pH. Because of this, goat milk is incredibly nourishing, even for the most sensitive skin. “Skincare products containing goat milk as an ingredient won’t disturb the natural skin microbiome of those with extra sensitivities,” Green explains.
- Gentle Way to Deliver Powerful Ingredients: While goat milk is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, Green assures us that it’s still incredibly powerful, thanks to its rich combination of vitamins, fats, and probiotics, all of which can be beneficial for all skin types.
- Can Reduce Redness and Irritation: Thanks to its rich fatty acid make-up, goat milk is super soothing, too. “These fatty acids (capric, caprylic, caproic) may have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties,” board-certified dermatologist Blair Murphy Rose adds, noting that the milk has skin-soothing properties which can reduce redness and itching.
- Makes an Effective Humectant: When it comes to skincare products, Green says that goat milk is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment and helps the skin retain it.
- Contains a High Concentration of Lactic Acid: Green shares that one of the key selling points of goat milk in skincare is the fact that it’s loaded with lactic acid, a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid that helps to slough away dead skin cells and reveal smoother, brighter skin underneath. “The exfoliative properties of goat milk help keep the skin healthy, refreshed, and renewed by removing the top layer of dead skin and eliminating underlying impurities,” she explains.
Potential Side Effects
If you have a strong sense of smell, you might not like the scent of goat milk, Green warns.
“Some products, more than others, may be associated with a milky smell as a result from using goat milk as an ingredient,” she says, noting that more often than not, the smell is generally non-offensive and rarely noticeable.
Beyond the scent, Maeng reminds us that goat milk does still contain lactose (as mentioned above). Because of this, those who are severely lactose intolerant should still avoid the ingredient.
“For these individuals, a plant-based milk alternative is advised,” she adds. Additionally, she mentions that those trying to reduce daily caloric intake may also want to avoid goat milk, as it often has higher calories than cow milk.
How to Use It
If you’re looking to incorporate goat milk into your skincare routine, look for cleansers, moisturizers, and serums containing the ingredient. “Using a serum that contains goat milk will most often have the highest concentration of ingredients, making them the most potent method of delivery and treatment,” Green adds.
If you’re looking to incorporate goat milk into your diet, reach for milks, yogurts, and cheeses made with the milk.
The Best Products With Goat Milk
Since goat milk is easily found at the grocery store, we’re going to focus this section on dermatologist-recommended skincare products. Keep reading to discover one (or a few) products worth adding to your routine.
Remember: Serums offer the most ingredient benefits. With that in mind, Green recommends Beekman 1802’s Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum, which is chock-full of hydrating and renewing ingredients, including goat milk, as well as hyaluronic acid, squalane, and plant enzymes. “This combination of ingredients makes for an ultra-soothing, deeply nourishing formula that leaves the skin radiant, fresh, and velvety soft,” she says. “Applying this product before your moisturizer will grant the best results.”
Another recommendation of Rose’s? Kate Somerville’s Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream. The cream—which is beloved by over 18,000 Sephora shoppers—is made with a mix of goat milk, aloe, jojoba, avocado, and grape seed oil to target hydration and skin texture from all angles.
Green loves Little Seed Farm’s Goat's Milk Moisturizer thanks to its fast-absorbing nature and ability to not clog pores. “Aloe and argan oil are ingredients in this moisturizer that deliver ultimate hydration while providing skin with additional antioxidants,” she says. “This is a great option for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin because of its lightweight feel and ability to enhance the overall skin complexion.”