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How to Make Tallow Body Balm

How to Make Tallow Body Balm - Holistic Squid Before I tell you all about tallow body balm, I have a little story to share…

I don’t tend to see many t.v. commercials, but last week my 5 year old and I were watching the Olympics on the computer. Every five minutes or so, we were subjected to an ad for a shampoo that left the Olympic swimmer’s hair shiny, full, and gorgeous. Every time it played I was barraged with questions from my son:

“Why don’t you use that shampoo, Mommy?”

“Don’t you want shiny hair like that?”

“Can we buy you some of that shampoo, Mommy?”

I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind insanely shiny hair, and while we’re at it, younger, more radiant looking skin.  Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that most drug store (and even health food store) products are not going to be the ticket to such beauty.

Pretty much every store-bought body product contains ingredients you wouldn’t dare to eat.  

Why should you care if body products are good enough to eat?

The information out there about how much our skin absorbs is controversial.  Some say all, some say none, some say 60%, and others insist it depends on the size of the molecule. Personally, I’d rather not take chances and keep toxic ingredients away from my body as much as possible.

I challenge you to pick up any store bought body product and find a label that does not contain preservatives, fragrances, thickeners, and magical ingredients that The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database would deem toxic. Because of this fact, you will usually find me slathered in coconut oil or this homemade lotion made with cocoa butter.

And now, I am newly obsessed with tallow body balm!

Yes, I am actually suggesting that you should rub beef fat all over your body. Why?

 

Tallow is Safe:

First of all, this stuff is so safe you can take out a spoon and eat it.  Tallow has long been an traditional ingredient in skin care that has recently been omitted in favor of fancy laboratory generated compounds that are full of promises of beautiful and unspoken health risks.

Tallow Works Great:

Because of it’s similarity to the natural skin oils, tallow is readily absorbed, effectively moisturizes, but doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin.

According to a maker traditional of tallow balm, “Tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like [human] cell membranes… so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology…. Another strong indication of tallow’s compatibility with our skin biology is its similarity to sebum, the oily, waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs our skin.”

Tallow is Nutrient-Dense:

Tallow contains the abundant natural fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D, and K, as well as vitamin E, which are found only in animal fats and which are all necessary for general health and for skin health.  Tallow also contains fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-cancer ¹ and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as palmitoleic acid, which has natural antimicrobial properties.²

Skin compatible and nutrient dense – not to mention, super simple to make.  Are you ready to give it a go?

 

Tallow Body Balm Ingredients

*Be sure to use tallow from pasture-raised animals (cows or sheep) that are 100% grass-fed. You can obtain high quality tallow from your local farm or get the fat (suet) to render it yourself. Tallow is rendered exactly the same way as lard, so you can follow this easy recipe, but don’t use the tallow skimmed off of making broth.

Olive oil is used to make the tallow softer and more spreadable at room temperature. The ratio is 1o parts tallow to 1 part olive oil, but if you prefer a more spreadable balm, use more olive oil.  Be sure to choose pure, extra virgin oil oil like this one.

Lavender essential oil is known for its long-standing tradition of being healing to the skin and relaxing to the spirit.  Another major benefit of using essential oils in your balm is to give it a fresh, pleasant scent and to neutralize the scent of the tallow, which is distinctive although not necessarily unpleasant. Choose whatever oils make you happy.

 

 Tallow Body Balm Method

  1. Warm tallow to a liquid state but as cool as possible (around 120°F).
  2. Add olive oil and essential oils and gently stir.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture until solid, which will give the balm a smoother consistency than letting it solidify at room temperature.
  4. Once solid, the balm is ready to use on face, body, lips, pregnant bellies and babies’ bums.
  5. Store at room temperature.

Do you use tallow from grass-fed cows in your beauty regimen?  Tell us all about it below!

Wanna try this incredible body balm, but not ready to make it yourself?

Buy high-quality Tallow Balm here.


Sources

Ip, C, J.A. Scimeca, et al. (1994). “Conjugated linoleic acid. A powerful anti-carcinogen from animal fat sources.” Cancer 74(3 suppl):1050-4.

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Comments

  1. I’ve been doing the same thing! I love how silky my skin feels immediately after I put it on. We used to exclusively use raw shea butter, but I like this much better! I’m working on a formula with tallow, shea butter, and coconut oil now.

  2. Tara says:

    I tried making this a few weeks ago and mine came out super gritty. :( I’d love a smooth mixture.

  3. Emily says:

    Hi Tara – Did you chill yours in the fridge? It seems to help keep the consistency smooth…

  4. I rendered tallow last week… going to make this as soon as I pick up some essential oil– I’d rather not smell like beef! :)

  5. Margaret Hunter says:

    This reminds me of a story. When my first baby was born I got sore horribly sore nipples. Nursing was so painful I was ready to quit. My mother brought me some tallow that she had rendered. It worked like a miracle to heal those sore nipples. That baby is 50 years old now. Its wonderful stuff!!!!!

  6. Jane says:

    Could I use deer fat? At the moment that is all I can get my hands on.

  7. [...] case you missed my last post about how to make tallow balm, I am officially obsessed with this all-natural, nutrient-dense, good-enough-to-eat body product. [...]

  8. Susan Coe says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this. I’ve been washing skin & hair with a lard-based bar custom-made for me by a local soap-maker, and have been wondering if tallow (or lard) could be made into a body cream. It is so much more conditioning on my hair and skin than any of the vegetable-based soaps. Yours is the first info I’ve found on this subject, and I have really looked! I was afraid that keeping the product at room temp would cause it to go rancid, plus (this may sound silly) I worried about being too attractive to dogs :-/ . But this article has given me some confidence and I’m going to try it as soon as I get a batch of tallow or lard.

  9. [...] alternatives to chemically laden, store-bought body lotions - I love these simple recipes for tallow body balm and whipped body butter.  Homemade lotion that good enough to [...]

    • Melissa says:

      I had a very dry, cracked hills and hands and I tried different kinds of cream/lotion you could imagine from the store but none of them works. Lately I rendered some beef fat, at first it smells like beef then I mix lots of essential oil but the smells still there then I rendered another batch using wet method and it works perfectly, no beef smells. I am using tallow cream since then and within few days of using it my skin looks silky smooth. This is woooooowww.

  10. Okay, that sounds like a great way to use up some of my tallow I have on hand. I’m going to have to give that a try!

    Thanks for sharing this at Fill Those Jars Friday. I hope to see you back again later this week!

  11. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  12. Beth says:

    Thanks for this post and reminding us of the old ways of nourishing our skin. I’ve recently been using straight grassfed beef tallow from US Wellness Meats and it’s working like gangbusters on a flare-up of eczema on my hands. I love the idea of adding essential oils, though I’ve found the slight odor of the plain tallow dissipates quickly and the fat is absorbed fully in 5-10 minutes. Also, for me, things with olive oil make my face break out and since we all inadvertently touch our faces with our hands, I think I’d skip the olive oil.

    I’m keeping a small jar in the fridge that’s reserved as a skin balm. You can’t believe how it just melts into your hands and how lovely it feels!

  13. [...] favorite… give the gift of natural luxury with handmade beauty products including this Tallow Body Balm, All Natural Homemade Mascara, sensuous Bath Salts with Lemongrass, or this decadent Whipped Body [...]

  14. Audrey says:

    Could I replace lard for the olive oil in making tallow balm? We just got done butchering our steer and hog and when I rendered the fat, some pork fat got mixed up with the beef fat. I want to make the balm. It is hard but not as hard as straight tallow.

  15. pamela davidson says:

    I just put it on, very happy but my dog is the happiest can’t stop licking me :)
    thank you for your wonderful site !!

  16. Katherine says:

    I made some a couple of weeks ago. I love it. My skin glows when I use it.

  17. Gaz says:

    This sounds great for eczema I will definetly give this a try

  18. Ethan says:

    Thanks for the info. I was wondering why you say not to use tallow gathered from making stock? What is the reasoning behind that? I saved the tallow from my previous batch and have about a half-pint to work with. I whipped it up with a little bit of coconut oil and lemon and almond extracts and have been real happy with how well it has worked to ease some sunburns I have had.

  19. Emily says:

    Hi Ethan, thanks for your question as to why not to use tallow from making stock. This is simply because it may be ‘beefier’ and if the liquid isn’t completely removed from the fat it may spoil. However, if this has worked for you so far, that’s great!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks for this question and answer. That was exactly what I was wondering. I found this article while searching for an answer to my other question: can I make Chapstick from tallow?? I did it tonight (tallow and essential oil) and it is amazing but really wanted to know if it is safe at room temp and if so, for how long can I keep it? Thanks so much!!

  20. Nikki says:

    Any ideas to reduce the ‘gamey’ smell from the tallow. Although I added essential oils, the scent is still fairly prevalent. Are there some oils that may mask the smell more than others? I do love what is does for my skin but would rather not smell like a side of beef :-)

  21. [...] to one recipe I found online, you should add some olive oil to your tallow hand cream to make it more spreadable. I didn’t [...]

  22. Jill says:

    Hi, I made this, and put it in the fridge, and then took it out for a few days and the lid and top had mold on it, and it smelled strange. Should I throw it all out? Do you think it was condensation trapped in a humid room that did it?

    • Emily says:

      Hi Jill, thanks for the question. Yes, you’ll need to start again. Let it cool completely before refrigerating to avoid the spoilage.

      • Angelina says:

        But the article says to cool it in the fridge for a creamier result. And one of the first comments talks about this as well. Now I’m confused.

        • Monna says:

          Angelina, you need to cool it uncovered.
          You can also cool it completely and then put it in the fridge. It’s stable at room temp – which means it will firm without refrigeration. If you want it to be even more firm, just pop it in the fridge. Refrigerating doesn’t make it creamier but it does make it a little firmer.
          You can also keep it at room temp for some time once it’s cool and you can put the lid and you shouldn’t see any mold.

  23. rimmel says:

    why cant we use the tallow skimmed from broth?…because i have a lot of it :)

  24. Jeni C says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I saw a recommendation for tallow balm in Liz Wolf’s Skintervention ebook. I just rendered some pastured tallow today and made your recipe with lemon essential oil. It smells like lemon cake!! And it rubs in better than my Shea butter, coconut, jojoba, and olive oil lotion that I made a few weeks ago.

    Thanks again for sharing such awesome knowledge!

  25. Kiran says:

    I’m going to try this as soon as I can. I have had eczema my entire life (along w/ allergies and asthma). As an adult I can tolerate a lot more and choose to try holistic methods on my children who also have all three. Has anyone tried coconut oil in lieu of olive? I don’t have a biased to coconut, but have used it on the boys just to try something new. It worked well but didn’t hold up to their winter-eczema. Curious to find out if I can use it in this recipe since I love the smell and have a ton of high quality organic coconut oil still.

    • Marjorie says:

      My sister makes a balm using 3 parts tallow to 1 part coconut oil. She loves it and she also adds organic vanilla extract for a delightful fragrance.

  26. […] case you missed my last post about how to make tallow balm, I am officially obsessed with this all-natural, nutrient-dense, good-enough-to-eat body product. […]

  27. Laura says:

    In your opinion, any reason I couldn’t try (organic, cold-pressed) sesame oil in place of olive oil? Thanks!

  28. Madeleine says:

    hey!
    Does anyone know if this works as a hair conditioner? I’ve heard that tallow makes the absolute best conditioner but cant seem to find a recipe…
    I’m used to using the average store bought conditioners and have to say I at least like the illusory softness they give the first day. Things like coconut oil seem to just make my hair greasy yet still rough. I’m wondering if tallow is the real silver bullet of natural hair care

  29. mt says:

    I see that some are referencing a lemon balm recipe; lemon E.O. is a phototoxic E.O. and should never be used in a way that will leave it sitting on the skin to then be exposed to sunlight.

  30. Leslie says:

    I fell in love with tallow when I won a Mommypotamus giveaway (Vintage Tradition) a couple yrs. ago. I have since found a few homemade, whipped, grass-fed tallow options through Etsy that I love (more affordable and seem equal in quality), but would love to make my own. Some that I have tried have apricot kernel oil in place of olive oil which seems to absorb better. Thanks for the directions!

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