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Tallow as body butter?

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Kateri

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I’ve seen people online lately using whipped tallow as moisturizer, or including it in lotion bar recipes. Now I’m fine using animal fat in soap, since it’s not really a glob of animal fat anymore once it’s saponified. But have any of y’all tried it in a balm or butter type application? The people using it seem to really love it, but it seems like it’d be kind of gross marinating yourself in tallow or lard. But maybe I just don’t know and I’m missing out.
 

AliOop

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE tallow balm. My understanding is that tallow is closest of all the animal fats to our skin's lipid profile.

On my skin, it absorbs easily, is non-greasy, and makes for very soft skin. IMO, it does need to be mixed with a liquid oil to be spreadable. I have mixed it with jojoba, argan, meadowfoam seed, and chamomile-infused or calendula-infused avocado oil. While I like the first three the best, I often default to avocado due to cost, or because it is what I have on hand.

Well-rendered tallow should have almost no smell, but I use EOs in mine anyway: chamomile, lavender, rosehip seed, geranium, litsea cubeba - any non-sensitizing EO. As someone who is very reactive to even diluted EOs on my skin (rapid heart rate, raised BP, etc.), I generally add the lower end of the skin-safe usage rate found on EOCalc.com or Tisserand.

ETA: Sweet almond oil and apricot seed oil are other nice oils to mix into a tallow balm!
 

amd

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There is a local-ish maker (she's 90-ish miles away) who makes buffalo tallow products - lotions, body bars and such. She has enough of a following that she has a brick & mortar at the mall.
 

DeeAnna

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So check into the hype around emu products. If people go gaga about the wonders of emu oil, they shouldn't have any reservations about other animal fats.

I have used lard and tallow in lotions. Usually one or the other. I like tallow a little better in lotion because it feels a drier on my skin. I don't care for lotions that feel greasy, but that's just a preference thing.
 

Adobehead

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Okay, now you have gotten me interested. If I put Tallow in my lotion formula, how much should I use? 20% of the oils? Any suggestions?
 

DeeAnna

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If you have a lotion recipe you like and have solid fats in the formulation, sub tallow for some or all of the other solid fats. That's what I've done.

If your recipes are all liquid fats, then your 20% idea is a good place to start. Be aware that you might also want to reduce any non-fat thickener (cetyl alcohol or stearic acid are common ones). Adding the solid fat will thicken the lotion somewhat, so you'll need less of another thickener.

There's no one answer that is right for everyone. Try my suggestion or try 20% of the total fats, see what you think, and tweak from there.
 

Terri E

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For me, I like 6-8% in my lotion, 30% in lotion bars, 15-30% in emulsified sugar scrub and 50-75% of my hard oils in body butter :)
 

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