When I first heard of tallow balm I was a little skeptical, the idea of slathering beef fat on my face was a little off putting.
The more I learned about this traditional balm and it’s benefits, though, I started to feel like I was missing out. Once again, simplicity and traditional wisdom for the win.
Following you’ll find what I’ve learned about tallow balm, what we use it for, where to buy it and how to make your own for the DIYers.
What Is Tallow
Tallow is rendered animal fat, beef tallow is rendered beef suet, aka cow fat. Glamorous.
Not all beef tallow is created equal, it’s important to note that tallow from pastured cows have a healthy and beneficial list of vitamins and lipids that are bio available both in topical and internal uses. IE as skin care or cooking/eating with.
Tallow: Your Skins Hero
Tallow is rich in lipids and fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K found naturally and in plentiful quantity in youthful, healthy skin. (These are the same vitamins that Dr. Weston Price found to be wanting in a SAD(Standard American Diet which you can read more about here and here.) It also has a similar molecular makeup as human skin which is why it’s easily absorbed and utilized by your body’s largest organ (your skin).
In regard to this compatibility of tallow with the biology of our skin, we should note that we are animals rather than plants, so the modern taboo against animal products in skin care products would seem unfounded and even illogical. In addition to containing very little saturated fats, plant products do not have the same levels of other nutrients needed for healthy skin. 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. -Weston A Price Foundation
Tallow is a single , nutrient dense ingredient, readily available for your body’s use.
What We Use Tallow Balm For
Sunburns – If you’ve just spent a day in the sun and are feeling a bit crisp, layer tallow balm on and you may be amazed to skip the peeling/burning altogether. (It should go with out saying it is best to avoid being sunburned altogether :))
Diaper Rash- Nutrient dense healing goodness all over baby’s bum, you bet! Works like a charm wit no questionable ingredients.
Anti-aging cream – Believe it, this is called bovine botox for a reason. There was a story I read and I think that was one of the stories that convinced me how potent this stuff is before I ever tried it for myself. The story goes like this: A lady in her 50’s met with a friend at a class reunion. Her friend asked her if she had work done on her face. Beaming, the lady replied the only thing she started doing was using tallow balm. Her friend in disbelief stated she looked years younger.
Dry/Chapped Lips – It’s my winter go to for chapped lips. Works as good or better than any chapstick I’ve ever tried.
Eczema, Psoriasis – When my son was a few months old he developed the worst skin some form of eczema, and though I tried pin pointing things with diet as well, the thing that kept it cleared up was the tallow balm. I used it regularly, and if I neglected it, it always came back. It lasted that was until he was over a year old. There are countless testimonials other than mine as to the healing benefits tallow has for these skin conditions.
Dried Chapped Wintered Skin- Tallow Balm works wonders for this. And just last week it proved lifesaver again. My daught er had red, chapped hands that were raw. She came crying to me about them. I slathered them with tallow balm for two days and the second day they were all healed up.
Body “Lotion” – I feel a little redundant writing this one down, but just in case there’s any question. We don’t use lotion, we use tallow balm in it’s stead. It works wonderful everywhere.
Minor Cuts/Wounds Bug Bites/Stings – If you have severe wounds I’d recommend you go to the hospital. For all minor ones that you don’t need to go to the hospital for, tallow balm speeds up recovery. From paper cuts to a minor kitchen accidents or minor burns, it soothes and heals and aids in a speedy recovery. Paired with fitting essential oils it’s great for bug bites/stings as well.
Makeup Remover – As previously stated it’s a wonderful facial moisturizer/ anti aging cream. I tend to alternate between tallow balm and coconut oil as a make up remover. Honestly, it’s whichever is closer. It cleans make up off and is a nice eye lash treatment too.
Where To Buy Tallow Balm From
A quick google search would probably yield many different sellers. Since I don’t buy mine I would personally recommend Radiant Life as they are a company I really trust.
Vintage Traditions is another reputable one I’ve heard a lot of good things about.
The price may seem a bit hefty, but I can definitely attest that a little goes a long way.
EASY DIY Tallow Balm Recipe (including how to render beef suet)
4 parts tallow
1 part olive oil
essential oils of choice
There are a variety of essential oils that are great for the skin. Lavender, tea tree, geranium, cedarwood and frankincense are a few popular choices. I usually have a few different kinds on hand. One for babies one for the men, maybe a seasonal one, and my personal mood which varies.
To Render Suet into Tallow
I buy my beef suet in 3-5# packages.
Using a large knife and cutting board cut suet into small chunks. This won’t be the prettiest. I get enough to fill up my large crock pot. Turn crock pot on low. Depending on crock pot it can take 8-12 hours for suet to liquefy. The tendons, groins and gross looking pieces will rise to the top. (This is the worst of it) I spoon out the big pieces and then pour the rest through a sieve/collander.
I then transfer the rendered and strained beef tallow into mason jars. This will be stable at room temperature. I usually get 3-4 quarts and as I wont need that much I store it in the fridge or freezer for better keeping.
To Make Tallow Balm
I wait for a jar of my newly rendered beef tallow to cool enough so that it’s still liquid and warm, but not hot. I use 2 and 4 ounce jars. I pour warm tallow into jar of choice a little more than 3/4 of the way full. I then add organic cold pressed olive oil and essential oil of choice. How much depends on personal preference and size of jars.
Give it a stir and let set.
When cooled completely it will be solid.
Tallow by itself will be hard and possibly crumbly when cold.The addition of an alternative oil, in this case, olive oil, makes it into a creamy balm while also adding additional healing benefits to your salve.
You can play around with this recipe adding more or less olive oil to get the consistency you prefer. Less will make it harder, more will it softer.
You can also try out different oils instead of using olive oil.
Castor oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are all good suggestions. I plan to try castor oil out the next time I make tallow balm.
Have you ever tried tallow balm? Do you want to try it?
If you try this recipe out as is or use any of the alternative suggestions let me know how it turns out.
If you know a friend who needs to clean up their skin care regime or found this helpful please share!
When I first discover or want to know more about something, the reviews and real life stories are what I skip straight to. I know those are the people that won’t be trying to dupe anyone.