Goats are not only adorable creatures but their milk has been noted as successfully treating a vast array of skin conditions. I am not the greatest fan of cheese, cheddar is really as adventurous as I will go so unfortunately I do not partake in eating goat’s cheese. However, applying goats milk products to my skin is something I am quite happy to partake in. One night during an all too familiar sleepless night, I decided to get up and research the various types of natural skincare products produced in the UK. Whilst browsing through a massive list (I honestly did not think so many natural skincare companies existed) I came across a fantastic sounding company called The Chuckling Goat. This did in fact make me chuckle. I thought to myself, if they have a catchy name like that then they are bound to be interesting. They certainly did not disappoint with their award-winning natural skincare products catching my eye. I swear it had nothing to do with the cutest pictures of their baby goats with their big floppy ears. I happily returned to bed that night dreaming about having my own little farm full of these adorable goats.
This incredibly interesting natural skincare company was set up by husband-and-wife team Shann and Richard Jones after discovering the many benefits kefir had to offer. So first things first, what exactly is this kefir I speak of? Well kefir is a fermented milk product that originated in Russia. It has a massive market in eastern Europe and has now made its way over to the UK and Ireland. It claims to be extremely beneficial for the gut more so than regular yoghurt as it contains high levels of the probiotic lactobacillus. They even treated their little boys eczema and Richards MRSA infection successfully with it. Shann was so impressed by what she discovered that she went on to write a best-selling book called, Secrets of Chuckling Goat: How a Herd of Goats Saved My Family and Created a Business that Became a Natural Health Phenomenon (£10.95 on Amazon). It is a beautiful story and one I am currently reading. I just love how a business can be created purely out of passion and the desire to help others. It may have initially helped their son and Richard himself but now it helps a variety of people around the world. I find these type of stories extremely inspirational.
The Chuckling Goat produce a live kefir drink along with kefir based skincare products on their family goat farm in Wales. They run a kefir program which incorporates drinking the kefir in conjunction with applying the skincare products in order to get maximum benefit. As I am battling illness and on medication I choose not to partake in the drinking part but decided quite happily on trying out the skincare. Kefir drinks are not too dissimilar in consistency to yoghurt drinks but I am told they taste fizzier. The kefir based skincare products are designed specifically for use by people who suffer from various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne. A very nice lady called Elly over at the farm, sent me out a lovely gift box of their skincare products for me to try out. I was really excited about trying these out as my poor skin has really been suffering with the antibiotic medications that I am on. All of the products I received came from the sensitive range which included a box of bath melts, a kefir lotion and a kefir cleansing bar.
The flower shaped hand-made sensitive bath melts (£7.95/€9.34* per packet of six) contain no fragrance, nasty chemicals or essential oils. They are safe for use by people who are going through illness, are pregnant and for children aged 3 or above. They contain coconut oil, cocoa butter, oatmeal and honey which are soothing and nourishing for sensitive skin. I have to admit I really liked using these bath melts. I am a huge fan of relaxing in the tub surrounded by candlelight whilst listening to relaxing music. I am telling you it is pure bliss, you have to try it out! It is not only good for the mind but the body also. I generally pop one bath melt into the warm water followed by a few drops of my favourite essential oil, let it melt and step right in. Afterwards my skin feels nice and soft not overly greasy. It also helps soothe the itch. My skin rashes can get very itchy. I also pat dry my skin to lock in moisture. Would I recommend these bath melts? Yes I would. I think they are priced fairly and contain beautiful skin loving ingredients.
The sensitive kefir lotion (£7.95/€9.34* for 50 ml) also contains no essential oils, fragrance or nasty chemicals. A combination of raw goats milk, kefir, oat oil, olive oil and rice bran oil are all mixed together to create this simple but nourishing lotion. It is also safe for use by people who are ill, pregnant and for children above 3 years of age. I have an extremely heightened sense of smell so much so my husband slags me about it saying I have a super nose. This can be both a benefit and a hinderance. Unfortunately all I could smell off this lotion was the goat’s milk which really bothered me. I applied it a few times and really liked the nourishing and gentle feel on the skin but the scent dissuaded me from using it further. I must add that it is just because of my super sensitive sense of smell. No other member of my family could smell anything from it. Anyway, to cut a long story short my Mum had a terrible skin reaction due to a new hair dye. Her entire face was warm, red and dry. After cooling it down with cool water she came to me for some advice. Upon looking around my vast skincare collection the kefir lotion stood out to me. She started applying it that evening and has not looked back since. It really helped nourish and soothe her sore skin. She loved it so much that she now applies it daily. Her skin would be on the sensitive side of things and she does not like using heavily perfumed skincare products, so this has been an absolute winner in her books. It has a very attractive price point aswell.
Finally, I tried out the hand-made sensitive kefir cleansing bar (£4.95/€5.81*) that is also essential oil, chemical and fragrance free. This chunky bar is made up of a mixture of oatmeal, honey, kefir, goats milk, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil and water. Like the previous products it is safe to use during illness, pregnancy and on children aged 3 and above. It lathers well and can be applied to the face and the body. Having used this cleansing bar a few times and although not as strongly scented (in my opinion) as the kefir lotion, I did not enjoy using it on my face. I discovered I did in fact enjoy using it on my body, in particular on my angry rash consumed back. The one thing that irritates me the most about this product is that it has to be kept dry after each use, not left sitting in water. I found using an old soap box resolved this problem but would suggest that the Chuckling Goat could perhaps sell cheap storage boxes for use with their bars and soaps. Would I recommend purchasing the cleansing bar? Honestly, I am more of a fan of gel or oil based cleansers in containers but if this was to be made into a cream based cleanser and placed in a container then I would be happy to try it. Currently whilst existing in bar form it is not really for me. I am just not a fan of cleansers being in bar form but that is just my personal opinion.
Overall I really enjoyed trying out these interesting Chuckling Goat skincare products, my Mum did too. The very idea and ethics behind the company is fantastic and something I really respect and admire. They also do not test on animals and use recycled packaging, always a plus in my book. Goats milk has been shown to be very beneficial in treating people suffering with eczema as is drinking it. My cousin has suffered with eczema from a young age and swears by goats milk and goats milk products. I honestly do not know enough about kefir and its claims to pass judgment on it but it seems to have helped a lot of people. As for the adorable goats, well I am currently trying to persuade my parents to buy some and let them graze in their garden down in Mayo. If you are interested in reading more about the Chuckling Goats kefir drinks or skincare products click here.