I just returned from a weeklong work trip to Washington, D.C., so apart from writing up my laundry detergent showdown results from my hotel, I haven’t had the time lately to write the million other blog posts I’ve got in my head. I have found time to do more experiments with the tallow I rendered a few weeks ago (the rendering post is one of many I need to write). My 2 year old daughter loves to help out, so we’ve been having loads of fun making stuff together.
If you aren’t familiar with the many awesome properties of tallow for your skin and are wondering why I’m doing this, there’s a great overview of the benefits here.
Since first learning about the benefits of tallow and rendering my own, I’ve been trying out variations using different oils (olive, sweet almond, jojoba, etc.) and proportions. I first made 6 different versions of balms to find my preferred tallow delivery system. With all this experimentation, my skin has never been softer!
After an ill-advised attempt at tallow bath melts (BAD IDEA), I remelted them and turned them into lotion bars instead. Since then, I’ve made a few variations on tallow hard lotion bars and tried my hand at making some whipped tallow cream.
Because I’ve been in experimentation mode, I didn’t stop to take any process pictures. But I’m sharing the recipes I used below in case you’ve got some tallow and want to give them a try. For each of these recipes, I used infused olive oil. If you’re not sure how to do this, you’ll find great instructions on Humblebee & Me.
*Note, some of the links in the recipes below are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, I receive a small commission on the sale.
Tallow Solid Lotion Bars – Two Ways
I can’t decide which is my favorite yet – #1 is harder and less ‘spready’, and #2 is softer and easier to warm up/rub in your hands. They both work great though for softening my hands without a lot of mess.
Tallow Lotion Bars #1
- 1 part tallow (I rendered my own, but you can also purchase it online. I’ve seen a lot of people recommend U.S. Wellness Meats, but I have not personally ordered from them.)
- 1 part beeswax
- 1 part liquid oil (I used olive oil I had infused with dried herbs – roses for this batch)
- essential oils of choice for scent
Tallow Lotion Bars #2
- 2 parts tallow
- 1 part beeswax
- 1 part liquid oil (I used olive oil infused with lavender and chamomile)
- essential oils of choice
Instructions for each are the same:
- Measure out your ingredients depending on the amount you want to make. The mold I was using holds about 10.5 ounces total, so for the first batch I did 3.5 oz (by weight using a digital scale) each of tallow, beeswax, and olive oil.
- Melt using your preferred method for these kinds of things – double boiler, microwave (use heat safe glass, like a Pyrex measuring cup!). If you do use the microwave, do it in 20-30 second bursts, stopping each time to give everything a stir.
- Once everything is smoothly melted, you can add essential oils if you’d like. For batch #1 I used rose EO and for batch #2 I used lavender. Rose isn’t cheap, so I used very little, instead relying on my rose infused olive oil to provide some scent.
- Pour the melted oils into whatever container/mold you’d like to use – muffin tins or silicone molds work well. I made mini lotion bars in silicone molds meant for ice cubes.
- Allow the lotion bars to harden and then pop out of the molds. For now I’m keeping mine on an old saucer, but I’m looking forward to finding cute tins or something to keep them in.
Whipped Tallow Cream
- 3 parts tallow
- 1 part oil (I used green tea infused olive oil)
- Weigh out your tallow and oil. For this batch I was just trying to make enough for a 4 oz mason jar, so I did 3 oz of tallow and 1 oz of olive oil.
- Warm tallow and olive oil gently to melt the tallow. I just did mine in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between.
- Once melted, pour your oils into a bowl to solidify a bit. I poured mine right into the bowl of my stand mixer since that’s what I was going to use to whip.
- Once the oils are at sort of a soft solid state, whip using either a stand mixer or hand mixer. If you’ve ever made buttercream frosting, that’s about what you’re doing here. Although I wouldn’t recommend eating it!
- I had never done this before, so I just whipped and scraped down the sides of the bowl, turned it on and whipped some more until I got a nice light and fluffy consistency. If it isn’t whipping well, it could be your oils are still too soft. Chill a bit and try again. While mixing I added some lemongrass and jasmine essential oils to go with the slight green tea scent from my infused oil.
My tallow cream didn’t whip up quite as light and fluffy as some pictures I’ve seen of whipped body butters. It’s possible I needed the oils to be a bit more solid. But still, it turned out pretty fluffy and more lotion like than my typical balms and body butters. You only need a small dab and it glides on and absorbs quickly, leaving my skin super soft. Excited to try a larger batch for gifts.