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DIY Tallow Face Cream

This DIY Tallow Face Cream has simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions that will leave you with an all-natural tallow facial moisturizer.

diy tallow face cream rough and tumble farmhouse

What is Tallow?

Tallow comes from animal fat, primarily of ruminants. This recipe calls for beef fat, but you can use tallow from deer, buffalo, sheep, etc. It is not the same as lard, which comes from rendered pig fat. It is a natural ingredient often used in traditional soapmaking, skin balm, etc. 

Where to buy tallow?

Finding grass-fed beef tallow can be a little challenging if you have never purchased it before. A good place to start is your local farmer’s market. They may have a beef vendor who has tallow available.

If you purchase your own beef directly from a farmer already, you should have the option to get the tallow along with your cuts of meat. 

For more information on how to buy beef directly from a farm check out this post. I take you through everything you need to know about buying beef for the first time from a farm. 

Check with local homestead or local food facebook groups as well.

Tallow can be expensive, especially if you purchase rendered tallow. This means it has been taken from its raw meat-type form, cooked down, and purified into a relatively odorless and clean product that can be used in soaps, homemade tallow balm, and tallow body butters like this one. 

Is tallow good for our skin health?

Tallow is made up of very similar fatty acids to our own skin. This allows for easier absorption when used as a moisturizer, cleanser, etc. This includes being high in triglycerides, and fatty acids like linoleic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in combating eczema and skin rashes like diaper rash. Source. 

However, tallow should be used with caution as it might not be the best choice for your skin in particular. 

Tallow is relatively high in oleic acid, which olive oil is also higher in. This might mean if you have acne prone skin, then tallow might not be a great option for you.

You will also see a lot of folks claim that tallow is noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores basically). 

Frustratingly I have been unable to find any sort of legitimate studies done on these claims. I have only been able to find an article by Huffington Post and one by the New York Post, each that quote dermatologists saying they either wouldn’t use tallow or would use it with caution. Though they do hold that tallow does have many natural skin benefits due to its chemical makeup that you often see in other forms of skin care products.

Every other source I have found about tallow and its benefits are from fellow bloggers or businesses that sell tallow products. 

In the end, like any sort of new skincare products, try just a little and see how your skin reacts. You also should be aware of how the additional ingredients in this butter might affect your skin.

tallow facial moisturizer rough and tumble farmhouse

​How do you render tallow?

There are a couple methods for rendering tallow, the wet method and the dry method. Personally, I like to use the wet method for tallow I intend to use for skin care. If you would like to learn how to render your own beef tallow check out this post. I find the wet method produces a cleaner, less beefy-smelling tallow than the dry method. 

Which oil should I add to my tallow cream?

This recipe calls for rendered tallow, liquid oil, and optional essential oils. Your choice in oils is going to depend on your skin type and goals for your own tallow recipe.  Here are my top recommendations for this recipe. 

Sweet Almond Oil

Almond oil has a high fatty acid content which will easily penetrate the skin and is good for all skin types. It has a low comedogenic score (2/5)

Apricot Kernel Oil

This oil is similar to almond oil and is very lightweight. It has tightening abilities/is slightly astringent to help draw skin cells together. This is another good all-around option in case you have nut allergies. Grapeseed is another good choice (comedogenic score of 1!)

JoJoba

Organic Jojoba oil (pronounced Ho-Ho-ba) is a waxier oil but still has a low comedogenic score (2/5) and is very popular for use in facial moisturizers. This one is a little pricier but my favorite choice if I have it on hand. Argan oil would be a substitute for jojoba, but it is more expensive yet! 

Oils to avoid

​Due to the heaviness of the oils and the higher comedogenic (pore-clogging) scores, I would personally avoid olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or flax oil.

melted tallow rough and tumble farmhouse

Essential Oils in Face Creams

This tallow facial moisturizer can optionally have essential oils added to it. However, it will work just as well without an essential oil blend. 

While it might be tempting to just pepper in drops of your favorite essential oil, it is important when using this tallow cream recipe on your face to stick to an essential oil rate of 1-2% at most. This means that essential oils should make up no more than 1-2% of the total weight of the recipe. This rate is also considered safe for pregnant and nursing women.

Before using essential oils, please be aware of possible negative side effects and general safety of that specific oil for children, pregnant and nursing people, and just general essential oil sensitivities.

Since this will be used on your face, we want to avoid any citrus oils that may interact negatively with sunlight and cause burning. Here are some oils to consider.

Generally Safe for Facial Butters

  • Tea Tree – Acne Prone Skin
  • Cedar
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Patchouli
  • Vanilla Absolut
  • Geranium
  • Rose
  • Ylang-Ylang

Essential Oils to Avoid

  • Citrus Oils in General
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Bergamot
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Jasmine
  • Oregano

One drop of essential oil does not necessarily weigh the same as another type of essential oil. It is best to weigh your chosen oil to get the right dilution percentage. Going based just on drops will not get you an accurate dilution rate.

I chose to go with rose for my face cream, which ended up working out to 30 drops of oil to reach 1.5 grams.

whipped tallow face cream rough and tumble farmhouse

​Simple Tallow Face Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 102 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) Rendered Tallow
  • 20 Grams (Approximately 1/4 cup) liquid oil
  • 1.5 grams essential oil (optional)
  • 4 Drops Vitamin E Oil

​Supplies

  • ​Digital Scale
  • Small Bowl Mixing Bowl
  • Hand Mixer (whisks can work fine too!)
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Small Glass Jar for Storing the Face Cream

How to Make the Face Cream

Weigh out 102 grams of solid tallow. Melt this in either a double boiler on the stove or pop it in the microwave for 20-second increments until fully liquid.

Pour this in a small bowl. 

Add in 20 grams of chosen liquid oil. For my recipe I used jojoba oil. 

​Next, add in 1.5 grams of your chosen essential oil. As I mentioned I chose to go with rose essential oil, which worked out to be 30 drops. Please weigh your oil, don’t just go based on drops. 

Lastly, add in 4 drops of vitamin E oil. This is a great moisturizer for dry skin and it also helps extend the shelf life of the other oils. 

Whisk using a hand whisk to blend together well.

Place the tallow mixture in the fridge for a few minutes. Once it starts to solidify just a little, pull it out of the fridge. Using an electric hand mixer or some very vigorous whisking, whip the tallow and oils together until you reach a fluffy and lovely consistency. Your face cream is ready!

It can also be used as a tallow body butter and applied anywhere you are experiencing dry skin. 

If you don’t care about a whipped consistency and prefer more of a solid tallow balm, simply pour the blended oils together in your storage container and let it firm up.

Store in a clean glass jar. It is shelf stable and should keep well at room temperature for up to three months.

Looking for more natural body care recipes?

Watch and Learn

More of a visual learner? Me too! Here is how I make this DIY Tallow face cream step by step.

Pin it for Later

tallow face cream for pinterest rough and tumble farmhouse

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