This is one of the most common questions I get at farmer's markets or events. "I've never heard of cows milk soap before!" they'll remark. "I've heard of goats milk soap, but not cows milk."
Soap can actually be made from any kind of milk - coconut milk, camel milk, sheep milk - you name it. The bar of soap then includes the unique properties of that particular milk. What sets cows milk soap apart from other commonly-found milk soap is the LATHER! The sudsy part of our name is no joke. And just like many other milk soaps, cows milk soap provides a moisturizing bar that will not dry out your hands as much as a store-bought bar. Cows milk also includes extra beneficial properties including being high in vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, and selenium, all of which help with skin repair and renewal (from the book "Milk Soaps" by Anne-Marie Faiola).
While these properties make a moisturizing, lathery bar, I actually did not begin making cows milk soap specifically for these reasons. It really started with using what was available to me. If you meet me and talk with me long enough, you will likely find out that I grew up on a dairy farm. What can I say - I love my cows. So accessing cows milk has never been an issue for me.
Sometime during my college days I started noticing handcrafted soap. I remember talking with the soap vendors at the annual Canterbury Craft Fair and asking them about their soap, and thought it would be neat if some day I could sell my own soap like that. My sister noticed my interest, and like the amazing do-it-yourself person she is, she gave me a soapmaking book for Christmas.
Hesitantly I started experimenting and making soap in the milkroom of my parent's dairy farm using milk straight from the tank. I started selling the soap at a local shop and at a few Christmas events, and people really liked it! That was seven years ago, and I've been making soap ever since.
Taking my passions and using the products available to me are the seeds that turned into The Sudsy Cow. In some ways I happened upon cows milk soap, which makes a beautiful, rich, and quality bar of soap. Now I wouldn't make any other kind! Try one for yourself and see what you think.
My first soap in 2014.