Donkey milk soap soaks up fans in Jordan
Friends and family initially laughed at the new business of a Jordanian family that made soap from donkey milk. But now, a year later, the business is cleaning up as customers want more.
Atan Donkey Milk Soaps produces 100% natural soaps from his farm in Madaba, 35 kilometers (21 miles) southwest of Amman, where he keeps 12 donkeys, and a small manufacturing workshop in the Jordanian capital.
Although other regions around the Mediterranean produce donkey milk soap, this is the first for Jordan.
“At first, a lot of people scoffed at the idea,” said Emad Attiyat, 32, co-founder of the project, which takes its name from the Arabic for a jenny or a donkey, “atan”.
Skeptics scoffed at the fact that they “wouldn’t use anything on (their) donkey-related skin,” added Attiyat, a graduate in management information systems.
But “after trying the soap everything changed, and now we are producing over 4,500 bars of soap per month to meet the demand,” he said, standing next to the barn where the children are housed. animals.
– ‘Reduce aging’ –
Donkey milk is said to be rich in minerals and protein that can help hydrate the skin. It also has high levels of antioxidants, which protect the skin from the sun and the effects of aging, according to beauticians.
One liter of milk produces about 30 bars of soap, but milking each female is a laborious task carried out using a portable electronic pump.
Each donkey should be milked three times a day in order to obtain about a liter of fluid and to leave about another liter for its foal. The milk is frozen and then transferred to the company’s workshop in Amman to be transformed into soap.
Research has shown that donkey milk can “help regenerate skin cells, reduce signs of aging, and cure certain skin conditions such as eczema,” Attiyat’s mother said, Salma Al-Zubi.
It was she who had the idea to try the adventure.
A retired environmental activist and teacher, she said donkey milk soap helps balance skin hydration levels, remove wrinkles, and remove the effects of spots and acne.
Now 60, she helps mix ingredients in their company’s Amman workshop in a large steel bowl, wearing a white mask and blue gloves.
Olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil as well as shea butter are added to donkey milk to produce the soap which is then sold through their Facebook page.
A small 85 gram bar of soap costs eight Jordanian dinars ($ 11), while a large 125 gram bar of soap sells for ten dinars ($ 14).
For comparison, a liter of donkey milk in Europe can reach up to 60 euros, and is used to make expensive cheeses.
– Provide jobs –
Attiyat now hopes to expand its production to include face and hand creams and lotions.
Donkey milk is “rich in proteins and minerals, including magnesium, copper, sodium, manganese, zinc, calcium and iron, all of which are very important for the skin,” dietitian Susanna said. Haddad, who works in a beauty center in Amman.
It contains “higher percentages of whey, which has antimicrobial properties” and can also inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria.
As she poured the mixture into special silicone molds to shape the bars over the next month, Zubi said the company provided work for several family members “including my son Emad, who suffers from unemployment for many years “.
Jordan’s already weak economy has been hit hard by the restrictions and year-long shutdowns imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The poverty rate, according to official figures, reached around 15.7% at the end of 2020, while estimates indicate that it could climb to more than 24% this year.
Unemployment also rose in the first quarter of 2021 to reach 25%, or 50% among young people in a country whose public debt exceeded $ 48 billion, or more than 108% of gross domestic product (GDP).
A loyal client, lawyer Esraa al-Turk, 48, said she was drawn to donkey milk soap because it is a natural product.
“I take care of my skin,” she said, adding that although she didn’t wear a lot of makeup, she had now “become more daring to leave the house without any beauty products on my face”.
msh / jkb