Slowly, we have been transitioning to a healthier way of life, including the products we put on our body. I’ve read about the possible problems about putting petrolatum (carcinogenic), parabens, BHT, methylisothiazolinone, and chemical after chemical on the largest organ of my body, my skin. For a long time I hesitated to buy a lotion because of this (and because of the high monetary cost).
Furthermore, my second son has ichthyosis, which makes his skin look like the most scaly skin you’ve ever seen.The dermatologist told us to give him as many baths as possible, which helps. I had tried store-bought lotion, but it only made him cry because of the sting it caused. I also tried the lactic acid lotion the dermatologist prescribed. That also made him cry. So I resorted to my standby olive oil and coconut oil mixture. This mixture helps, but in winter it is hard to apply because it feels so cold to him.
My solution: Tallow Lotion. I stumbled upon this idea a few weeks ago and ran with it. I decided to whip my tallow lotion to make it smooth instead of leaving it to harden into a lotion bar. It was very easy and a great use of the deer tallow we rendered from this year’s deer hunt. As I was looking for more information on why this lotion is good for you, I found this well researched article on animal fats in lotion which might interest you. The main reason I love this lotion is that it works. My winter skin loves it. As I rub it between my fingers, it warms quickly. With no sting and no chilliness, my son loves it too! I use it on my face and, though I can’t prove it, I believe it is helping my wrinkles (yes, I too am getting older). I’m thinking of selling it on a small scale, so let me know if you want some.
Do it yourself Tallow Lotion
1 cup tallow, beef, deer, sheep or goat (with the addition of lavender oil I did not notice the scent of the deer tallow)
2 Tablespoons olive oil or sweet almond oil
1/2 -1 tsp essential oil (be sure you test a drop on your skin first so that you don’t have a batch of lotion that will irritate your skin – e.g. cinnamon oil often irritates skin)
Place tallow in double boiler or other pan and warm it on low heat until it is just melted. Once melted, remove from heat and add olive or almond oil. Let it cool to room temperature then add the essential oil(s).
Once the tallow, olive or almond oil, and essential oil(s) are combined, pour the mixture into a container if you are not going to whip it. Otherwise, place your pan into the fridge until it is just hardened. It takes about 30 minutes. Then remove it from the fridge and whip it with a hand mixer until it is the consistency you desire (Usually 3 minutes for me). Scrape it into your final container and enjoy!
Side note for those interested in learning about healthy fats: My favorite book on the topic is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She includes loads of balanced research and many good sources for more information. If you’re an online reader, http://www.westonaprice.org is a good place to start since they have cited research behind what they are saying.