Breast milk soap the ‘ultimate’ in sk­in­care

Sunday Star-Times - - NEWS - MATTHEW CATTIN

Some folks won’t have a bar of it, but breast milk soap is prov­ing more sud than dud with cu­ri­ous cus­tomers.

The un­con­ven­tional con­coc­tion is the lat­est ex­per­i­ment of good friends Jemma Lee and Freya Flock­ton, who run the or­ganic sk­in­care busi­ness Farm Folly.

The prod­ucts, in­clud­ing bar soaps and mois­turis­ers, are made at Lee’s Kauka­pakapa farm, with many in­gre­di­ents sourced at the prop­erty.

The DIY project is a cre­ative out­let for the first-time mums, who say the process is a com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence and bak­ing.

Hav­ing tri­alled in­gre­di­ents like co­conut cream and goat’s milk, soap­maker Lee de­cided ex­cess cold­pro­cessed breast milk could make an ideal sub­sti­tute.

‘‘I was be­ing milked my­self, and I thought, well, it can’t be too dif­fer­ent, so I started ex­per­i­ment­ing,’’ she said.

Af­ter trial and er­ror, the mums reckon they’ve got the method down to an art.

‘‘It’s the ultimate skin mois­turiser and healer – the cre`me de la cre`me of soap,’’ Flock­ton said.

Isis McKay of Women’s Health Ac­tion says breast milk is renowned for its an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties, and there’s a grow­ing body of re­search sur­round­ing its use to treat skin con­di­tions.

A ‘‘non-sci­en­tific but cer­tainly rel­e­vant’’ ex­am­ple in­cludes Kim Kar­dashian us­ing it to treat acne, McKay said, and ‘‘if it’s good enough for celebri­ties like Kim Kar­dashian, it should be good enough for us’’.

The mums say breast­feed­ing can be a dif­fi­cult skill to mas­ter, and ad­mit it’s tough to see their ex­cess ‘‘liq­uid gold’’ go to waste.

‘‘Only mums can re­ally un­der­stand this, but it’s such a labour of love, and it’s so nice to be able to use your milk be­yond feed­ing,’’ Flock­ton said.

The soap has peo­ple ‘‘re­ally in­trigued’’, and aside from the oc­ca­sional shop­per who ‘‘finds it very weird’’, the mums are yet to have any neg­a­tive feed­back.

‘‘Be­fore I be­came a mum the idea would have seemed pretty strange, but now it’s be­come the most nat­u­ral and nor­mal thing,’’ Flock­ton said.

They plan to con­tinue mak­ing soap us­ing milk from other mums when they stop pro­duc­ing them­selves, and are mak­ing batches us­ing friends milk.

Lee has been mak­ing her own skin prod­ucts for years, and won’t use any­thing on her skin that isn’t ed­i­ble.

The pair also make use of in­gre­di­ents grow­ing on the farm, in­clud­ing manuka, kanuka, laven­der and honey.

MATTHEW CATTIN / STUFF

Freya Flock­ton, left, and Jemma Lee, who founded or­ganic sk­in­care busi­ness Farm Folly, ad­mit the oc­ca­sional shop­per finds their lat­est prod­uct ‘‘weird’’.

Gemma Lee uses her own breast milk as an in­gre­di­ent in soap.

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