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Pippin showcases talent for making goat milk soap

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It’s time once again for shoppers to hit the stores to find that perfect gift for that special someone. While it may be difficult for some of us to find a gift that is both truly unique as well as practical, one Crenshaw County local has found a way to make a gift that fits that mold exactly.

Tonya Pippin first began her adventure into the world of goat milk soap making about three years ago. Originally from North Alabama, she met her husband Matthew Pippin and moved to Luverne. While her day job consists of working in the radiology department at the office of Dr. Charles Tompkins, her hours after work are spent deep in her soap projects.

“My son Wyatt wanted some goats, and when we went home for Christmas one year he kept telling the family he was going to get some milk goats for Christmas,” Pippin said.

“We got the name of a guy in Troy who had a mom and a daughter and he would only sell them together. They went and got them, and when they came back they had three goats with them instead of two.”

Since that time, the goats continued to multiply; it was then that the Pippin family realized they soon had to figure out the many uses of goat milk.

“My husband and my son drink it, I cook with it and my husband makes the cheese for us to eat, but we still just had so much milk left over,” she said.

“So, Matthew suggested making soap.”

After taking her homemade soaps to a farmers market in Troy, Pippin saw that there was indeed a market for her product.

“I started making it for Christmas gifts for some people over the last couple of years, and they just really like it,” she said.

“It’s just kind of taken off since then.”

According to Pippin, the process of making the soap is not terribly complex, but does take a good amount of patience. The milk must first be frozen before the lye can be added to it. After lye is added, the temperature of the soap rises and it is then time to add in the different oils for different fragrances.

“Each recipe has a different amount of oil; it just depends on what you like. I use coconut, almond, sunflower, palm, canola oil and more,” she said.

“You can add different things to it. I added poppy seeds to one, charcoal to it for some and you can add herbs like lavender. I like to play around with it just to see what I can do.”

Pippin notes that colors can also be added to the soaps in order to make them more eye-catching and bright; designs and swirling patterns can also be created during the mixing and curing process. Pippin says it usually takes four to five weeks for the soaps to fully cure and harden for use.

According to the website goatsmilkstuff.com, there are multiple health benefits to using goat’s milk soap: *Goat’s milk contains alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, which help remove dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. This leaves new cells on the surface of your skin that are smoother and younger looking. *Goat’s milk contains many vitamins, but is particularly high in Vitamin A, which is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue, and maintain healthy skin. There have been several medical studies showing that creams made with Vitamin A reduce lines and wrinkles, control acne and provide some psoriasis relief. *Fat molecules are an important part of making good soap. The cream that is present in goat’s milk helps boost the moisturizing quality of goat’s milk soaps. *Goat’s milk contains important minerals for the skin such as selenium. Selenium is believed by scientists to have an important role in preventing skin cancer. Selenium can also help prevent damage to the skin from excessive time in the sun.

“It has a lot of vitamins in it, and it makes my skin feel smooth. It’s a good moisturizer,” she said.

“We have some oatmeal soap, and some people with eczema say it’s really good and helps smooth and calm the skin down.”

For the holiday season, Pippin will also offer scents such as peppermint, Jack Frost, Sugar Plum, Cranberry Spice and Mulberry Spice; orders can be placed online via her Facebook page Patsaliga Soaps. Bars are $5.00 a bar or four for $20.