Handcrafted goats’ milk soap is ‘Offaly’ good idea

An Offaly woman has developed a goats’ milk soap, sourcing natural unscented calendula goats milk from locally-based business Glenisk which is renowned for its production of organic yogurt and milk.

Ann Marie Lawlor from Tullamore came up with the idea for Luna natural soap after she found that other products were not suitable for her son, Matthew, who was born in 2013. “He developed chronic eczema from the age of one,” she said.

“I decided to make my own soap and travelled to the UK to train in soap making. There, I discovered a formula that worked – goats’ milk,” said Ann Marie, whose mother grew up on a farm in Roscommon.

“Many a summer was spent on the farm where you ate and drank your own produce,” Ann Marie said. She applied this thinking to the soap.

I always knew goats’ milk was good to drink, especially for the skin – packed full of vitamins and minerals. I decided to replace the milk in soap and add some healing butters and botanicals and overnight his skin improved.

“It was a relief all round as steroids were the only alternative for him as he didn’t want to drink goats’ milk.

“I purchased a carton of Glenisk goats’ milk over the counter for my experiment. I added it to skin-loving butters such as shea butter with some calendula extract and created a bar of soap. I received great support from my local enterprise office when it came to approaching Glenisk for my business.

“They have been a great help to me throughout. I’m particularly grateful to Edel Boyd for all her advice and encouragement, and also Aileen Duffy for her help in getting wholesale market ready,” Ann Marie said.

“I have a soap studio at home and the soap is made in batches weekly. Production is made to order for my online customers and the retailers across the country that I work with,” she said.

The response has been fantastic. We receive lovely reviews from customers on our Facebook pages about how the soap has helped them. It is not just a beauty product but are also a healing product that stops itching, redness and clears up dry flaky skin,” Ann Marie said.

“The soaps are used every day from top-to-toe, with great success. I hope to expand as I gain more interest in the products, and I know that my local enterprise office will be there to help me when I do.”

Ann Marie is one of the producers who will be exhibiting at Showcase 2019 in the RDS from January 20 to 23.