When you're trying to take care of your skin, it's important to find just the right soap. But there is a lot of marketing hype out there. And that means that sometimes it's very hard to understand what all the different terminology actually means.
You may have seen "Triple Milled" soap being advertised. This type of soap is also known as "French Milled". Most triple milled soaps claim to be wonderful soap that is long-lasting. And it is true that triple milled soaps are often very long-lasting (for reasons we'll discuss below).
But that doesn't mean that triple milled soaps are the best option for your skin.
At Goat Milk Stuff, all our natural goat milk soaps are made with the cold processed method. Soaps made with the Cold Processed method are created by hand at moderate temperatures. We do not use heat or pressure or any other means to rush the creation and curing of our soaps. Our goat milk soaps are handmade to produce a natural bar of soap that is healthy for your skin.
"I love this company and the products they offer! I love the emails they send with all the information also! This Lavender bar has a lovely scent and lasts a long time. I can tell a difference with my skin when I use it. My skin feels soft and moisturized." - Michelle A.
Goat Milk Stuff soaps are never triple milled.
What Exactly is Triple Milled Soap?
Triple milled soap requires special machinery to create the soap.
First, soap is made similarly to cold processed soap. But that is where the similarities end. After the soap is made, the glycerin is removed from soap that is destined to be triple milled.
This is an important difference between cold processed soap and triple milled soap.
Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking reaction and is a natural portion of the soap. It is also a natural humectant. Humectants pull moisture from whatever they encounter. They can pull moisture from the air around them.
When used in skincare, humectants can pull moisture from the lower levels of the skin. That moisture is brought to the skin's surface to help moisturize the skin. This means that glycerin is very beneficial for your skin and helps keep your skin from drying out.
"Ocean Soap smells divine. So fresh and moisturizing. Truly a favorite." - Christine G.
So why do they remove the glycerin from triple milled soap if the glycerin is so great for your skin?
Even though glycerin is wonderful for your skin, the glycerin gums up the machinery required to triple mill soap. And so manufacturers of triple milled soap remove the glycerin from the soap so that it doesn't damage their machinery.
Then they sell the glycerin off separately to be used in other soaps and lotions. The properties of glycerin make it a very valuable by-product.
Once the glycerin has been removed, the soap is grated or shredded or otherwise turned into flakes or beads. These soap flakes are then pressed through rollers under high pressure. To keep the rollers operating properly, synthetic lubricants are often added. These lubricants make sure nothing gets stuck in the rollers.
The soap makes multiple passes through the rollers. During each pass through the rollers, chemical additives are usually added. These chemicals are required to keep the machinery functioning properly. The chemicals also add a shine to the soap. Fragrances that can withstand the heat and pressure are also often added.
When the soaps pass through the rollers, this process is called "milling". The word "triple" comes into play because the soap goes through the rollers three times.
These rollers are very heavy duty and made of stainless steel. The finest openings in these rollers are extremely small. In fact, the smallest openings are around .5 mm which is only slightly larger than the size of a human hair. To force soap through holes that small requires very heavy rollers and a lot of pressure. So much pressure is used that after the third pass through these high-pressure rollers, the soap actually becomes a paste.
Once the soap has been milled three times, the resulting soap paste is pressed into molds that determine the final soap shape. Triple milled soaps can come in any shape. They often are pressed into molds that produce a rounded bar. These rounded bars often have logos and words stamped into the soap. They can also be formed into specialty shapes such as flowers or leaves.
The Benefits of Triple Milled Soap
A triple milled soap will be very smooth because of how often the soap flakes have passed through the rollers. There will be no clumps of ingredients, fragrances, or colors. All of these additives will be mixed very evenly throughout the soap. Because of this process, there will be little variation between soaps made with this method. Unlike handmade soaps, this gives triple milled soaps a very uniform, commercial look.
"A really lovely soap! It's not as strong peppermint as the plain peppermint but it (Lavender Peppermint) is a nice stand in til the peppermint comes back into season, and I love the purple swirls of the lavender. My skin has a healthy sheen and I will never go back to harsh commercial soaps!" - Patricia P.
Triple milled soaps can come in a variety of scents. The scents are dispersed evenly throughout the entire bar because of the milling process. They are also often designed to lather well.
Triple milled soaps are also often very pretty, shiny bars because colorful dyes are often used. They may also come in fun shapes because the paste can be poured into any number of mold shapes. Or they may be molded into rounded shapes that some people find easier to hold.
But the main benefit of a soap that is triple milled is how long it will last. Because of the pressure and heat, there is very little water content left in the soap. This causes triple milled soaps to be very hard and long-lasting.
The Disadvantages of Triple Milled Soap
Because of the industrial machinery used, synthetic ingredients are often added to triple milled soaps. Sometimes other chemical ingredients are also added. These chemicals help improve the "plasticity" of the soap.
Plasticity is an important quality for successfully pressing the soap into the molds. If the soap is too rigid (and not plastic enough) it will not smoothly fit into all the nooks and crannies of the soap mold. And so the chemicals are important to make sure the finished triple milled soap has a smooth finish.
So be sure to look at the ingredients on soaps that are triple milled. You may find that they often include chemicals that you may not want to use on your skin.
"The Vanilla soap is just delicious! I love the smell & the way my skin feels. I love all the different soaps I’ve ordered! Thank you for your devotion to making quality product without the chemicals we do not want or need!" - Teresa H.
There is also the question of whether or not all ingredients are listed on the labels. I did a lot of research for this blog post. But I was unable to find a definitive answer as to whether any of the lubricants used in the milling machinery are required to be included in the ingredient list of triple milled soaps.
We know that the lubricants and chemicals needed for the rollers come into contact with the soap. We just don't know if they are listed in the ingredients. So lack of ingredient transparency is another possible cause for concern.
Another disadvantage is that it is also possible to over-mill (or under-mill) a triple milled soap. The truth is that some companies may use the term "Triple Milled" without milling their soap exactly three times.
Soap that is over-milled tends to be very dry and not super moisturizing for your skin. Over-milled soap also tends to have a poor lather. On the flipside, under-milled soap retains too much water. This means it can become very mushy and not be as long-lasting as most triple milled soaps. But most successful brands of triple milled soaps are done by professional, commercial operations. So over or under-milling isn't often a regular problem.
And because triple milled soap requires heavy equipment, this type of soap is not conducive to small batch, artisan production. It more often falls into the realm of commercially produced, large-scale soapmaking. This may help lower the cost of the soap, but does not allow you to know your soapmaker and their values.
"I absolutely love my soaps from Goat Milk Stuff! They are so creamy feeling on my skin and the aromas are so good! The Lilac And Honeysuckle have such a beautiful floral scent that stay with me throughout the day. I look forward to using them everyday! I also love the company! Personally sending thank you messages. A wonderful family owned business with good values that I’m happy to support! I’ll be a returning customer for sure!" - Theresa J.
Can Goat Milk Soap be Triple Milled?
Any type of soap can be triple milled, including goat milk soap. There are a few large-scale commercial brands that produce a triple milled goat milk soap.
But the majority of goat milk soap is made with the cold process method by artisan soapmakers.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we will never triple mill our goat milk soap.
We simply are not comfortable with all the additives required to keep the milling machinery operating properly. We also believe that there is value in a handmade bar of soap. With handmade soap, you can get to know your soapmaker, their values, and their belief system. That value is lost when soapmaking becomes a commercial enterprise performed predominantly by heavy machinery.
And so Goat Milk Stuff will always produce goat milk soap with the cold processed method.
"I love ALL of GMS soaps. I just ordered the Oatmeal Milk & Honey MEGA bar. The scent is heavenly. The bar leaves your skin soft (Not dry like a lot of soaps) and you smell warmly of honey. Thanks to PJ and Family" - Michelle H.
Cold Processed Soap is Preferred over Triple Milled Soap
We believe that cold processed goat milk soap is superior to triple milled soap (whether goat milk or not) for many reasons.
Reason #1. Cold processed soap contains the naturally occurring glycerin. This glycerin helps moisturize your skin and keeps your skin from drying out. Retaining the glycerin (and not selling it for use in other products) maintains the excellence of cold processed goat milk soap. The naturally occurring glycerin helps make cold processed soap superior to triple milled soap.
Reason #2. Cold processed soap does not require any added chemicals. While some soapmakers may choose to add chemicals to their cold processed soap, we do not. They are unnecessary and not healthy for your skin. Cold processed soap only requires basic ingredients (most of which are food grade) to produce a healthy, natural bar of soap. This is superior to triple milled soap which requires chemicals to keep the milling machinery functioning properly.
"I love it more than my salon shampoo!! This Rosemary Mint shampoo bar works so well - better than my expensive salon shampoo! And, oh my goodness, it smells so good - without being overpowering. I do not wash my hair everyday, but I actually look forward to hair washing days so that I can use this shampoo. Also, since I've been using goat milk soap, shampoo, and lotion and ditched all the chemical body products, I have been sleeping better. Thank you for such wonderful healthy products!" - Naomi G.
Reason #3. Cold processed soap does not experience high pressure. Triple milled soap goes through high pressure and heat. I cannot locate any definitive studies on whether or not this damages the quality of the soap. But we do know that pressure and heat can damage the antioxidants and enzymes that are in goat milk. These ingredients are beneficial for your skin and we don't want them destroyed. High temperatures can also damage essential oils that are added to your soap. Because of the lower temperatures and lack of pressure, cold processed soap is superior to triple milled soap.
Reason #4. Cold processed soap can also be very long-lasting. One of the main benefits of triple milled soap is that the heavy pressure removes excess water from the soap. The milling process produces a very hard bar that lasts a long time. But cold processed soap naturally becomes very long-lasting when it is allowed to cure for several months. Patience and a natural curing time produces the same result - a hard bar of soap - that will not fall apart in your soap dish. You don't need to triple mill a soap to make it last.
"The Black Raspberry is my favorite soap scent, so I buy in the largest size. It lasts a long time, is gentle on my skin especially in dry weather, and smells wonderful." - Barb A.
Choose Handmade Goat Milk Soap to Benefit Your Skin
Remember that handmade soap is never "Triple Milled". Some artisan soapmakers incorrectly call their soap "Triple Milled". In reality, when these soapmakers grate their soap, they are simply rebatching it. When soap is rebatched, it is shredded, melted, and re-formed. It does not go through machinery to mill the soap at high pressure.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we made soap for our family for years before we began selling it. We did a lot of research about what type of soap was healthiest for our skin.
"I have been very satisfied with my Purity Goat Milk Soap, I love the way it cleans and moisturizes my skin and also how quick my orders are sent and delivered. Also I like using pure and healthy products on my skin, and I’m glad that I have found your products to be just that!" - Diane D.
We chose to make cold processed, natural goat milk soap for our family because we believe it is the best choice to naturally nourish our skin. We avoid chemicals on our skin whenever possible. And we avoid manufacturing processes that require chemicals to work properly. That is why we will always believe that cold process goat milk soap is superior to triple milled soaps.
And the goat milk soap we make for our family is the same natural goat milk soap we make available for you and your family.
When it comes to making decisions about which soap is best for your skin, you need to do your research. There are many types of soap available for you to choose.
"Been using another more expensive popular brand from HSN. But, love the long lasting fragrances of your soaps. I really like your soap better. It seems to be more moisturizing than the brand I was using. They seem to mill the soaps and shape them into bars very similar to a regular bar of soap, I think it loses a lot in their milling process. [Their soap] doesn’t seem to do much for our skin, still get split skin on our hands in the winter. Their fragrance doesn’t last throughout the whole bar. In fact, it’s hard to even tell if their bars have much fragrance in them before using them. When I open the cupboard that I am storing your soaps in I can smell the soap fragrance very well. Looking forward to trying your products for many years." - Gwenn K.
We hope that you will agree that cold processed soaps made with natural ingredients and goat milk are your best option! Check out our goat milk soaps and let us know which is your favorite.