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Remember the old commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? (“You got chocolate on my peanut butter!” “You got peanut butter in my chocolate!”) That’s been the model for beautiful collaborations ever since. One such fortuitous union came about when a set of neighbors in upstate New York found themselves in dire circumstances.
The 2008 recession left Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Prucell—a doctor and a writer, respectively—unemployed. At the same moment, their neighbor on the farm next door found himself in desperate need of a home for 80 goats. The goats took up residence on Ridge and Kilmer-Prucell’s property, and an idea was born.
“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade,” Ridge and Josh told Yahoo Life. “When life gives you goat milk? You start making soap.” And that’s just what they did, creating small batches of hand-wrapped products for friends and family.
A skincare star is born—and it’s called Beekman 1802
Neither expected to become massively successful skincare gurus (much less the stars of a reality show called The Fabulous Beekman Boys), but that’s what happened. Their products drew a following and landed the couple in publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Fast forward to 2020, and the now beloved skincare brand—Beekman 1802, named for Ridge and Kilmer-Prucell’s New York home—has expanded. In addition to bar soaps, the company offers artisanal body lotion, hand cream, facial cleansers and more—all built around the holy-grail ingredient: goat milk.
Shop it: Beekman 1802 skincare and bodycare, beekman1802.com
The skin-soothing properties of goat milk
So what is it about goat milk that makes it so wonderful for skin? Early on, Ridge, a physician specializing in aging, put his “medical sleuthing skills to use,” he said, researching the subject. (“They never taught anything about goat milk in medical school,” he added, with a smile.)
It turns out goat milk has a long and storied history of producing smooth, plump, blemish- and wrinkle-free skin. That history goes as far back as Cleopatra and Louis XIV, who would bathe in goat milk, and European milk maidens known for their glow.
“Goat milk has the same pH as human skin, so when you cleanse with it, it does not strip the acid mantle of the skin,” Ridge told Yahoo Life. “It’s also a natural form of lactic acid, which gently promotes cell turnover.” More cell turnover means brighter skin with fewer fine lines. That explains why facial moisturizers and eye treatments are among Beekman 1802’s bestsellers.
Goat milk is also known for its soothing powers, which help fight inflammation. Through his research, Ridge realized this was something the skincare industry desperately needed, as many ingredients in beauty products can be irritating.
“This means your skin is in a constant state of inflammation even if you don’t recognize it,” said Ridge. “And when your skin is in this state, it reduces absorption of active ingredients.”
Products like Beekman 1802 Goat Milk Bar Soap and Beekman 1802 Triple Milk Cleanser make sure your skin’s delicate microbiome—yes, similar to the gut microbiome—stays balanced and healthy, preventing breakouts and irritation. “Every skin type is different because our microbiomes are as unique as our fingerprints,” says Ridge, “but every skin type, no matter the age, ethnicity or gender, benefits from nourishing the microbiome.”
The Beekman 1802 skincare line includes something to suit everyone’s unique and beautiful skin type. You can design an entire skincare regimen using goat milk—one great lineup is Triple Milk cleanser, Light as Air face cream and Blaak eye balm on the daily. Whatever products you choose, you’re bound to end up with noticeably more vibrant and supple skin than when you started. Ridge and Kilmer-Prucell believe the best way to know which products will produce stellar results is to experiment, just like they did when formulating them.
“Our favorite products are the ones that we see put a smile on a neighbor’s face,” they told Yahoo Life when asked which Beekman 1802 offerings they love most. “Above any science or any formulation or any amount of goat milk, still the very best beauty regimen is a smile.”
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