I have struggled with dry skin and sensitivities to fragrances in lotions for years. However, it wasn’t until I broke out into a full body itch from what I thought was a fragrance free lotion, that I started to research alternative and more natural sources of skin hydration.
Since switching to tallow lotion and face cream, my skin is more consistently and evenly hydrated than ever before. Even during a harsh 5 month Midwest winter, which is usually a time of struggle for my skin, it showed no signs of dryness while using tallow.
Tallow – The Secret Ingredient
Tallow or rendered beef fat may sound like a weird and gross thing to rub all over your body, but it has a number of fantastic properties that make it a wonderful ingredient in skin care. Tallow was used for centuries in things like lotions and soaps because of its hydration properties. Yet, now it is just another ingredient on a long list of items that has been replaced by chemicals and synthetic products.
However, synthetic lotions and soaps simply don’t match the benefits of tallow. What is it that makes tallow so special? Since tallow is an animal product, it actually mimics the cellular makeup of the oil in our skin making it more easily absorbed and used by our bodies. In other words, the skin basically recognizes the oils within tallow as its own leading to a far superior and deeper hydration. Even if you don’t have dry skin, tallow has several benefits. It is loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants, collagen, and essential fatty acids that are not commonly found in modern skincare products. It is also antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory.
How To Find The Best Tallow
When working with tallow, it is best to get the highest possible quality. You can obtain tallow from cows, bison, or sheep. These are ruminant animals, meaning their digestive systems are designed to naturally filter out toxins. Grass-fed tallow will contain more vitamins and nutrients than grain fed. Additionally, you want to ensure that the animal you are getting the tallow from is raised well and is handled with care and cleanliness. The best way to do this is to find a local farmer who raises their own grass-fed beef and visit the farm. Many of these types of farmers will willingly share exactly how their animals are raised and cared for. Something that is not easy to find in corporate America where businesses cut corners. The Weston A Price Foundation is a great resource to find local farmers.
Rather than synthetic fragrances, essential oils provide a great natural alternative and allows you to pick and choose your scent based on the season. This recipe will yield a lotion with a pleasantly mild scent. If you like something a little stronger, just add a few more drops of oil!
Revive is where I go for all my essential oils. My go-to scent is a combination of mint and lavender (12 drops of lavender, 8 drops of mint). It is calming and the lavender and mint are soothing to the skin if you have any irritations or redness. However, you can use any combination you like! Here is a list of a few of my favorite combinations.
Lavender & Vanilla
Lemon & Mint (or any other kind of citrus)
Cedarwood and Vanilla (great for fall & winter)
How To Make Whipped Tallow Body Butter
What You Will Need:
Hand held mixer. Any type of mixer will work but hand held works best.
Glass Jar(s). I like to use smaller jars in order to dig the lotion at the bottom of the jar more easily.
1/2 lb Grass-Fed Tallow
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (other liquid oils like avocado or jojoba oil work well too)
15-20 drops Essential Oil (or more if you like a stronger scent).
Optional:1/2 tsp Arrowroot Powder (This will help decrease the greasy texture of the lotion and help it absorb. I start with 1/2 tsp and add more if necessary.)
1. In a double boiler on medium-low heat, melt tallow. Stir occasionally until tallow becomes liquid. If tallow is already liquid, skip this step.
2. Remove tallow from heat and let cool about room temperature but don’t let it solidify. Add and stir in olive oil.
3. Place in refrigerator and let cool until solid.
4. Remove tallow mixture from fridge and bring to room temperature. This will make it easier to whip. Use hand mixer to whip tallow mixture until it is a light creamy texture.
5. At this time, add frankincense and arrowroot powder and mix until well integrated. Store in a jar at room temperature for up to 6 months.