I get a few questions a week about what the Dodge family uses on our skin, so I am happy to share our “recipe” for my Whipped Tallow Body Butter! This homemade skin care mix can be used for diaper changes, sensitive skin, wrinkle and eye cream, face and body lotion, and even as an essential oil dilution carrier oil.
Yes, I said “tallow,” as in beef fat. Before you go running, there are a few things you should know!
1) It’s likely already in your skin care products.
“The main components in rendered animal fats are oleic, palmitic, stearic, palmitoleic, linoleic and myristic acid. In other words, if you see any of these terms in an ingredients list, you may be looking at a substance sourced from animal tallow (or another animal-based source), and would be wise to contact the company to find out the ingredient’s origin.
As well as in the food industry, tallow and other animal fats are used for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care products, inks, paints, coatings, adhesives, lubricant and soaps.” Source.
2) It’s fantastic for your skin, as Mommypotamus explains:
“Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats. According to Nourishing Traditions, it is the saturated fats that give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity” necessary for proper function (p. 11). In a research article which I was privileged to preview before publication, I recently learned that:
“Healthy, ‘toned’ skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin.Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.” (emphasis mine) There are other points of biological compatibility, too, such as the fact that tallow and sebum consist primarily of a type of lipid called triglycerides. (“Sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin, so we are not the first to make this connection!)
Tallow contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not – Though I am still a huge fan of coconut oil (which by the way, has an excellent saturated fat ratio) and continue to plan to use it as sunscreen and a whole body moisturizer (because it spreads more quickly and I’m always in a hurry!), the skin on my face is visibly more toned with tallow. I think that may be because of the abundance of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E) that naturally occur in pastured tallow, along with the potent anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid." Source.
3) When you source your own, you ensure safety!
When you use humanely-raised, grass-fed tallow like the one we use, you can be sure that your homemade skin care products are free from harmful ingredients, which cannot be guaranteed by the vast majority of commercial brands. Get as close to the pure source as you can.
¾ cup tallow
¼ cup coconut oil
20 drops therapeutic grade Frankincense
40 drops therapeutic grade Lavender
yields 1.5 – 2 cups whipped
- In a double boiler, slowly melt tallow and coconut oil together. Transfer to fridge and let cool for a few hours, or cool for 45 minutes in the freezer (you want it nearly solid again).
- Begin to whip your mixture in a stand mixer on high until completely smooth and light.
- Add essential oils, mix on high thoroughly.
- Transfer to a large glass cosmetic jar.