Whipped Tallow Body Butter

Want glowing skin that is hydrated, moisturized, replenished, and protected? Try making this completely natural DIY homemade whipped tallow body butter moisturizer. This recipe combines tallow with cocoa butter and beeswax making your skin smell like chocolate and feel as amazing as it smells.

whipped tallow body butter in jar

You can use this all year long, but it especially shines in the winter. During warmer months, I use this sparingly and only at night before bed.

What Is Tallow?

Tallow is a saturated animal fat made primarily from rendered cow fat. However, we can call fat from other mammals (like sheep and bison) tallow too, with pork being the notable exception, pork fat always being called lard.

Beef tallow is 50% saturated fat, 42% monounsaturated fat and 4% polyunsaturated fat.

In its original form, it is a hard, waxy, dry, crumbly substance.

After rendering (literally just melting it on low heat and straining out any meaty bits) it becomes an amazing, healthy cooking fat that can be used in any recipe calling for oil or fat. As it is a fairly neutral oil, there is a noticeable scent but it is not overpowering or offensive — much like leaf lard. The fat will smell pleasantly clean. It has a very high smoke point and stored in the refrigerator, it lasts forever without oxidizing or going off, unlike many plant oils.

Lots of people following Paleo, Primal, WAPF, and Keto diets/lifestyles are already familiar with the benefits of tallow as a cooking fat.

Tallow is a very traditional cooking fat and a primary ingredient in the traditional Native American preparation of pemmican.

Tallow is also an incredible moisturizer and my go-to come winter for skincare.

I only use it on my face at night as the last step in my skincare. I recommend you do the same as it can be heavy for daytime usage. For the rest of your body, go nuts at any time, it’s wonderfully moisturizing and soothing. Your skin feels hydrated, baby soft, and utterly replenished.

Tallow was also traditionally used to make soaps, and still is, although it is very hard to find this now. I will cover tallow soap making in another article.

The best part? Tallow is a byproduct, one often going to complete waste. Yes, it has its place in industrial usage and even animal feed, but I would rather it regain prominence in our kitchens, to be honest. This is a nourishing ingredient and we can be using it inside and outside our bodies.

Tallow is still incredibly cheap to purchase, even the pastured grass-fed stuff that I get from my butcher.

A little bit goes a long way for skincare, so the amount you make should last you throughout the winter.

Tallow For Skincare

Our cell membranes are made up of saturated fat, just like tallow.

As our unsubstantiated fears of fats, including saturated animal fats, fade into the oblivion where they belong, so many of us are rediscovering tallow both as a cooking fat and for skincare. Tallow excels in both of these areas.

And why not? It works incredibly well. And it would just be wasted otherwise, which is ridiculous and wrong.

Does Tallow Clog Pores?

Maybe?

Your mileage may vary so do a patch test if you plan to use this on your face.

For me — an oily-skinned person prone to pore clogging, it is absolutely fine.

Again, you are an individual and things may work differently for you than for me.

It is highly unlikely you will have issues using tallow on the rest of your body. This recipe uses cocoa butter which for many people can be comedogenic. I strongly recommend either making a small amount without the cocoa butter to be used exclusively on your face, or patch testing the cocoa butter/tallow mixture on your face before using it.

Using Tallow For Oil-Cleansing

Tallow is a perfect oil for oil-cleansing.

It will get deep into your pores, dissolve your makeup, and potentially dislodge any hard clogs too.

Try it out for yourself.

Tallow For Hair Care

You can use this whipped tallow once a week for an amazing deep hair conditioner.

I massage it into my scalp, wrap my head in a microfiber towel, and then go to sleep and let the tallow work its magic overnight.

I do not comb it through entirely, as I would be rinsing it out of my thick waist-length hair for literal hours the next morning.

Tallow fights scalp dryness and flakiness that can be a serious problem, especially in the wintertime.

Where To Find Tallow

Call your local butcher.

The popularity of tallow and animal fats have thankfully skyrocketed so you can find it so much easier now.

If you cannot find it near you, then check out some online sources.

Rendering Your Own Tallow

Rendering your own tallow is cheaper than buying it already rendered.

As I said, tallow is just melted beef fat that is then strained for an impurities/meaty bits. You can easily do this at home.

Just put the fat into a pot on the lowest heat and let the stovetop do the rest. Pour through a colander afterwards, and you are done.

I’ll explain in greater detail in the instructions for the whipped body butter.

Essential Oil Skin Safety

I’m firmly against the use of essential oils in skincare. There is a lot of data out there showing them to ultimately be irritating to the skin and thus pro-ageing, which is not something any of us want.

Even some of the essential oils used to treat acne that show promise (like tea tree oil) are still irritating and not as good as some other acne-fighting ingredients.

And they are utterly useless for anti-ageing.

In terms of essential oils for ageing skin, none can successfully deal with the appearance of wrinkles, brown spots, loss of firmness, or address the need to exfoliate the skin, especially in comparison to the hundreds of beneficial, non-fragrant plant extracts and vitamins that have no risk of causing irritation. (From Paula’s Choice, read more by clicking here.)

Please be careful if you decide you add essential oils into this recipe because I frequently see them used recklessly in DIY recipes across the internet.

Many essential oils are also simply unsafe for skin use.

And yet I see them used in professional skincare lines and in bloggers’ recipes for moisturizers.

Did you know, for example, that orange, lemon, and lime, can cause phototoxicity if applied before exposure to the sun?

I found that out the hard way myself one winter in Mexico. I was drinking margaritas and lime juice was constantly getting on my hands and forearms. I awoke from a nap in the shade one day and looked down at my arms to see them covered in mottled dark brown spots covering the backs of my hands and my forearms.

I thought I had a rash or allergic reaction, but nope, it was the lime juice and oils from the rind.

Fragrant oils are just not worth it. I would rather enjoy them safely in candles, scented sachets, and other more appropriate methods.

I will admit to still using them on my temples occasionally for aromatherapy purposes, but that is as far as it goes.

In any event, I do not recommend adding essential oils into this recipe for these pretty compelling reasons.

The cocoa butter in this recipe already smells AMAZING.

What To Use Instead

There are lots of great alternatives to essential oils. I recommend the following:

  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Calendula Extract
  • Calluna flower extract (heather)
  • Algae Extract
  • Allantoin
  • Almond Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Jojoba
  • Borage
  • Aloe Extract & Juice
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil
  • Lanolin
  • Mink Oil
  • Emu Oil
  • Coconut Oil (potentially comedogenic)

My favourites are bolded. Some of these may be comedogenic (pore-clogging) and an issue when used on your face. Since I use this tallow for my face at night-time, I skip adding coconut oil, and use the exact recipe written here.

As a bonus, my ingredients of beeswax and cocoa butter smell amazing. But you can make a separate small batch of pure tallow to use on your face if the cocoa butter is comedogenic.

Sourcing Cocoa Butter & Beeswax

Use food-grade cocoa butter and try and find local beeswax, avoiding anything from China at all costs. Call up local bee people and see if they sell beeswax or can refer you to someone who does.

There is a VAST array of quality differences when it comes to ordering these two ingredients.

Cocoa butter can be difficult to source ethically, especially if it comes from West Africa. It should smell strongly like chocolate and chocolate only.

Beeswax will have a scent of honey, although it may be barely recognizable depending on the processing.

Here are brands I have personally used and recommend:

Cocoa Butter

Mary Tylor Naturals USDA Organic Cocoa Butter

Amson Naturals Unrefined Cocoa Butter

Beeswax

Dutchman’s Gold – Pure Yellow Beeswax Block

Mary Tylor Naturals Pure Organic Beeswax

Texas Beeswax

Whipped Tallow Face & Body Butter:

Whipped Tallow Body Butter

Want glowing skin that is hydrated, moisturized, replenished, and protected from the elements all winter long? Try making this completely natural DIY homemade whipped tallow body butter moisturizer. Cocoa butter may be comodegenic for the skin on your face, so I recommend patch testing or simply making a seperate small portion of pure tallow for use on the face alone.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Body Butter
Servings: 1 lbs
Author: The Peasants Daughter

Instructions

  • Cube the beef fat into 1-inch chunks and place into a stainless steel pan on the stovetop on the lowest heat setting.
  • You can add a tiny amount of water if you wish to prevent accidental scorching. But only add enough water to just barely cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Allow the fat to slowly begin to render.
  • Add the cocoa butter and beeswax once the beef fat is halfway melted. Do not raise the heat.
  • Allow everything to melt completely.
  • Prepare a wire mesh colander by lining it with a cheesecloth or muslin.
  • Pour the melted fats over the cheesecloth and allow it to strain completely into a medium-to-large glass bowl.
  • The leftover cracklings are edible and tasty, use as salad toppers.
  • Place the glass bowl into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove from the freezer, there should be a solid layer on top.
  • With an electric hand mixer, whip the fat until it turns into a lovely viscous body butter.
  • If using any other oils, like olive or jojoba, add them right before whipping.

Notes

At room temperature and stored in a glass jar with a lid, this body butter can be safely stored for up to 6 months — enough time to get you through a Canadian winter!
Refrigerated, this body butter will last a year or even longer.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 from 6 votes

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28 Comments

  1. Curious about a couple things,
    wondering why you choose to add the ingredients to the fat rather than rendering it first and adding the ingredients to pure tallow-is there a difference in the final product?
    and also curious why you opt for the direct-in-pan route rather than the double-boiler approach (i’m a “tragic scorcher” so double-boiler method is a personal safeguard, haha!)
    Kind regards,
    mel

    1. Hey Mel! You could do it either way and it will work the same, or at least it should.

      I’m going to update this recipe for other scorchers who have experienced the same thing. Stoves really do vary too much to risk it and just because I haven’t had that happen doesn’t mean it’s not a real problem. Thank you for the reminder to get on it.

    1. For the long term — yes. It is ideal to refrigerate as it will last longer. I always portion out enough for at least a month to leave at room temperature.

  2. 5 stars
    About how much rendered fat does a pound of beef fat make after melting and removing the cracklings? Just crying to get my ratios of ingredients and I bought a jar of already rendered tallow. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, the fat I render from my butcher yields nearly an entire 1 cup full of rendered fat for ever 1 cup of packed (not loosely grated or shredded) tallow. There is not much in the way of leftover meat like there is with lard.

      Regardless, the recipe is very forgiving where ratios are concerned and I’m confident you won’t mess it up. Let me know how it goes!

      1. Thank you for the quick response! I’m trying to decide whether or not to use some beeswax, and I am going to add cocoa butter for a nice chocolatey odor. 🙂

        1. If you can, let me know how it all works out. I’m always curious about how Olathe recipe work out for others.

  3. I much agree about the use of essential oils in skincare! From my own physical responses to using them and discovering their effects.

  4. 5 stars
    Hello, thank you for the recipe! I was wondering if we already had rendered tallow what the measurements would be.

    1. The same! And you can always experiment with different amounts depending on what you have on hand and how much. More tallow makes for a firmer end-product but it still melts beautifully once it hits the warmth of your body.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing! I made two batches of this stuff. The first batch turned out beautiful with a nice white whipped consistency. However, for the second batch, I cooled it for too long, this made it too hard to whip, so I set it near our fireplace to soften up more. When I then went to whip it, it didn’t work well and seemed to be to melted, so I put it in the fridge again. The second time I whipped it it worked, but it did not whip nearly as beautifully as my first back and is a dark tan color instead:( Do you know why this would’ve happened, and can I remelt the entire thing and try again?

    1. I’m so sorry it didn’t whip up the second time. I genuinely have no idea why that would happen as I’ve forgotten mine and remelted it before. Sometimes with natural ingredients, they can just behave in funny or weird ways I guess. It does sound like you might have accidentally over-cooked the fat the second time around and that may be why this happened. Regardless, it’s still perfectly useable, it’s just unfortunate about the texture not coming out.

  6. I want to make my own face cream using grass fed tallow. Because of allergies I can’t use cocoa, beeswax or aloe. I am worried if I add any oils to it, that my acne prone skin will flare. Can I make it with anything else, or even just the beef tallow by itself? Is it possible to still whip it and get a creamy consistency if I don’t add anything to it?

    1. Beef tallow is by itself a very hard fat and the texture won’t be the same. That said, it does melt nicely once it hits your warm body temperature. I would definitely try just tallow (including the whipping part) but I would also patch test just in case it doesn’t agree with your acne.

  7. Hi!
    Have you ever made this without whipping it? More like a balm? Do you think that would work?

    1. Yes, I have! Usually, it’s because I forget about it and it sets up too cold lol. It will still work just as nicely on your skin.

  8. 5 stars
    I knoԝ this if off tօpic but I’m looking into starting my own weblօg and was
    curious what all is required tο get set up?
    I’m assuming having а blog like үours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very intеrnet smaгt
    so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice wouⅼd be greatly appгeciateɗ.
    Appreciate it

    1. I really recommend finding Facebook groups that are geared towards new bloggers and other blogs that can take you through the process from the beginning. It’s just too much to explain in a single comment. It doesn’t cost much to get started.

  9. Hi. I’ve not tried this yet. Can we use jars of tallow from grocery instead of rendering it ourselves? If so do you know measurements? Your recipe says 1 lb beef tallow, so about how much would I use from a jar of tallow? Thank you so much for help with this. Hoping this will help my husbands severe psoriasis.

    1. I know people who have used this for psoriasis actually so I hope it can offer you some relief too. You do not have to render tallow yourself, the jars you find in your grocery store are perfectly fine. You can use as much as you like depending on how big the jars are, it’s kinda foolproof. Start small and see how you like it.

  10. Is it possible to make the whipped body butter without the beeswax? Using just the rendered tallow and cocoa butter?
    My son is having a severe eczema flare up, we are using CLO, probiotics and would like to add tallow.

  11. Do you find you need a preservative with this since it contains water (aloe juice) and oils?

    1. The recipe contains no water or aloe. You only really need to add a teeny tiny amount of water if you’re nervous about scorching, but it will completely dissipate once the tallow has melted completely. I personally don’t add any as I use the lowest possible heat settings. As for oils, which I also don’t use, as long as they’re not diluted with anything you shouldn’t need a preservative. If you’re nervous about contamination, keep a small amount out for regular use and store the rest in the refrigerator. Also, a clean metal spoon instead of your fingers helps. Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share
    some stories/information. I know my audience would appreciate your work.

    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me
    an email.

  13. 5 stars
    Bookmarking this to make later this week. I’m so intrigued. Is there any weird smell at all from it being beef fat?