How To Make Tallow Balm

Heather Dessinger

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Years ago, when I misplaced my regular moisturizer in a move, I discovered by happy accident that tallow is uniquely compatible with our skin’s biology, leaving it supple and nourished after use. Rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K along with a saturated fat ratio that closely resembles what our cells use to maintain integrity, it absorbs easily without leaving a greasy residue behind.

I’ve used this tallow balm for dry/chapped skin, diaper rash, and sunburns, and many of my friends swear by it for soothing eczema. But don’t think of it just as a “boo boo” balm – it makes an amazing daily moisturizer for the face and body. You can also slather it on your feet and throw some socks on for an intensive moisture treatment.

What To Buy If You Don’t Want To DIY

If you have tallow on hand – either homemade or purchased – it’s super easy to make. However, if you don’t have easy access to tallow or are short on time, my friend Emilie sells pre-made tallow balm blends that smell amazing.

Although I love to make my own so that I can customize my essential oil blend, there are times when I’ve got too much going on and order from her instead.

tallow balm

She’s carefully formulated the essential oils in each balm to be safe for use on the face and with children. If you want to try it out, click here and use HEATHERD10 at checkout for 10% off your first order.

Wondering what essential oils to use?

For skin balms I prefer oils that support skin repair and renewal, elasticity and firmness, and even skin tone, such as

Two pre-made blends that would also work beautifully are Anti-Age (which smells amazing) and Soft Skin.

Note: The essential oils marked with an asterisk (*) should be avoided if pregnant or nursing. For a longer list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy/breastfeeding click here, and for a list of oils that are considered safe for pregnancy/nursing click here.

What type of tallow is best?

Tallow obtained by scooping the fat off the top of a chilled container of beef broth will likely have more moisture than traditionally rendered tallow. For that reason it tends to go bad quickly. Stick with the traditional process and your finished product should last about a year at room temperature.

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How To Make Tallow Balm

Makes approximately 1/2 cup – I fill a 4 ounce jelly jar to the brim when I make a batch.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 ounces tallow by weight – about 1/2 cup melted (Buy it here or render your own tallow using this method)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 27 drops essential oil for face application, or up to 54 drops for body application – optional, see suggestions in the post above. If you’re making this balm as a natural diaper balm for babies under two, use up to 8 drops of a child-safe essential oil.

Instructions

Melt the tallow gently over low heat, then pour into a large bowl and mix in the olive oil and essential oils. Allow to cool for about an hour, then whip with a hand mixer until it looks like frosting. Whipping gives it a lighter consistency that makes application easier. Place in a clean jar and use as needed. Shelf life is about one year.

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About HEATHER

Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

Leave a Comment

103 thoughts on “How To Make Tallow Balm”

  1. I am loving my tallow balm, though I haven’t tried whipping it yet. I use a combination of lavender, geranium and vetiver in mine. It smells SO good! I was thrilled to find something to do with the tallow I rendered when we butchered that is so simple! I had planned on making soap but just haven’t worked myself up to that yet.

    Reply
    • When you render your tallow, how do you get rid of the meaty smell? I have made this balm but the essential
      oils don’t cover up the meaty smell. What do you do?

      Reply
      • 5 stars
        Hi Anna, the first time I made it I had the same problem. I have just done another batch and I slow cooked it with the lid off for about 12 hours. Rendering on a really low heat definitely helped with the smell

        Reply
        • Look on Bumblebee Apothecary site – she has a process where you purify the tallow several times with salt and water in crock pot / slow cooker. Works really well 🙂

          Reply
      • I use to make my own years ago. I would always rend it 3 times scraping bad or jelly off the bottom each time after cooled in the fridge and it never had a bad smell. Some online tallow has been disinfected in some way so I did not care for it. Fresh is a must as you don’t want to rend spoiled stuff.

        Reply
    • Hi Heather
      Have just made homemade tallow.(gee it smells lol)
      Have added all your ingredients plus some
      1 cup tallow
      2 tblsp manuka honey
      4 tblsp olive oil
      120ml aloha vera aprox
      2 teaspoons Rose Essence (to add nice aroma).
      Have melted cooled beat to frosting and jared up.
      Made this to see if psoriasis eases. Fingers crossed will work.
      Regards
      Sharonne.

      Reply
    • 5 stars
      Just wanted to stop in and mention for people having a hard time getting it to whip…..you absolutely HAVE to get this in a chilled state. Not rock hard chilled but I doubt it would get rock hard since you’ve added olive oil (a liquid fat) to a hard fat (tallow). Mine didn’t whip either after cooling. I popped it in the fridge and it was quite stiff when I took it out (start slow as beaters may skid slightly over surface) and it whipped up beautifully. Turn to high for max lift!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for the recipe! I have made tallow balm twice but each time it’s not quite right. I think I haven’t been using enough olive oil. Also, I bought crunchy balm original, sweet girl scent, and frankincense a few months ago and I love it. I’m almost out of the frankincense balm so I need to order more.

    Reply
  3. Love tallow balm. It is amazing for your feet. I’ve made my own but never thought of whipping it. You definitely need some essential oils otherwise you kind of smell like meat ?

    Reply
  4. I love tallow balm! Tallow is one of my favorite oils and I use it in everything from soap to solid lotion bars to deodorant. However, I usually use tallow, shea butter coconut oil and olive oil when making whipped butter; but I would love a softer balm for the winter.
    Thanks for sharing! <3

    Reply
      • I know this is a super old comment, but I’m leaving the answer here for the benefit of people cruising the comments. I’ve been making this balm for years. It is the best! You absolutely CAN make it ahead, whip it and freeze it. I don’t like to keep large amounts out at room temp plus dipping fingers in (though it does last a good while at room temp since there is no water content and also I add vitamin e to mine). I use disposable condiment to go containers with snap on lids (cheap at grocery store), and I add whipped tallow balm to each, snap lids on, mark them, put in Ziploc bag all the little containers and freeze. When I need more I take one out, and it thaws to perfection. Fresh and I only have to make the recipe couple times a year!

        Reply
  5. Which of the crunchy balms would you recommend for “older” skin? I sent them an email asking for advice and have not heard back. Would like to order some and was just wondering if one is better than another.

    Reply
  6. After reading this article, I immediately placed on order with Crunchy Balm (using your promo code, thank you!) and tried it last night on the eczema on my arms and this morning woke up with it smooth as ever! It’s not completely gone, of course it takes some time.. but I was so happy to see progress!

    The smell is a bit overwhelming (I bought the original so some of the tallow smell is masked by oils but I can still smell it once applied) but I used it at night right before bed so I kinda had to get used to it and once I fell asleep it was fine. Hoping to see more results after a few more days of using it! Thanks Heather 🙂

    Reply
  7. This sounds great. I can’t wait to make it, but which essential oils would you recommend for my daughter who has eczema? Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Skin frosting! I am in love! Heather, I’ve been struggling with using hard, grainy, beef tallow straight out of the jar for years. This recipe is divine and will now and forever be my go-to moisturizer! It is so smooth and silky! Like butter! Thanks for sharing all of your healthy and amazing concoctions 🙂

    Reply
  9. Just placed an order for 1 of each of the Tallow butters, could not decide on which one, also used your promo code. I have stumbled onto your site in regards to the tooth whitening info, and yes that truly does work. Thank you for having such an honest discussion on products and items. Thanks

    Reply
  10. Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to try making it! However, I can’t easily find beef tallow where I live and I’m not willing to devote the little time I spend at home to rendering fat. The butcher I go to makes lard from pastured pigs. Can I use that instead or is it somewhat less optimal than beef tallow? Thank you in advance for your response.

    Reply
  11. Hi Heather! I recently purchased your DIY Organic Beauty e-book, and I am loving it so far, still a lot to explore! I just made tallow using your recipe to render tallow. I am about to make this lotion as well, but I wanted to ask you regarding aging skin. I am 45 years old and I am noticing lines around my eyes and mouth area. What essential oils would you recommend for that? I also notice the elasticity of my skin is not what it used to be! Is there anything you would recommend for that? Is Collagen Protein something I need to look into? I truly appreciate the wealth of knowledge you bring in every one of your recipes. The knowledge I have acquired from your blog is so powerful and essential to my family’s overall health. Thank you!!

    Reply
  12. Have you tried making multiple jars of the whipped balm? I am wondering if I can make several jars and freeze the extras. Will the consistency still be nice? I am trying to minimize clean up. I just rendered 11 pounds of tallow over the weekend. It is a simple process, but cleaning up is a pain!

    Reply
      • If you add some pure Vitamin E to your recipes it will act as a natural preservative. Depending on how much you use, it should extend the life of your product by months. There are other organic plant-based ingredients that can be used as preservatives but I prefer Vitamin E.
        If you make more than one batch of the tallow balm, refrigeration, not freezing, is usually considered the best method of extending their life.
        Good Crafting!

        Reply
        • I’ve read on many sites like Brambleberry that Vitamin E is not considered a preservative but can slow down oil based ingredients from growing rancid which I think would definitely add to the shelf life of this product.

          Reply
      • hello
        I realize this a an older post but I am struggling. I have made the tallow balm with fat I rendered and then I mixed in melted coconut oil and then whipped when cool, I LOVED the result!! However i have tried twice more to recreate and I keep getting gritty results! the tallow isn’t gritty and the coconut oil isn’t either (I also tried hemp oil ) and yet when combined they become gritty!! HELP thanks -c

        Reply
  13. can you replace the olive oil with coconut oil?
    how can you find tallow where the beef was not given antibiotics?

    Reply
  14. I rendered some tallow this summer, but the beef smell is overwhelming. How do you get the beef smell out? The essential oils do not mask it.

    Reply
  15. Hi There!

    Thanks for this recipe!

    I saw your note that the fat from bone broth will go bad more quickly? I’m wondering if you know how long it approximately lasts. I’m hoping to find ways to save the fat from my bone broth.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I use the fat from bone broth after doing a multi-step salt water cleaning that takes out most of the smell and creates a finer texture. You can google the process & experiment

      Reply
  16. Heather, would you ever use sea buckthorn oil in this? I heard that is really super for skin regeneration, is that right? And I was under the impression that once the fat was rendered, tallow doesn’t have the beefy smell any longer, was I mistaken? I LOVE the idea of this and cannot wait to make it! I’m gonna try this weekend.

    Reply
    • Sea buckthorn is amazing and I do use it in skincare, but just be aware that it has a deep orange tint so don’t use much if you plan on using it as your day moisturizer 🙂

      Reply
  17. I’ve been making tallow balm with deer tallow for the past couple of years, and refer to this recipe each time. My wife and daughters love it. Several people above have commented on the smell of tallow. When I render tallow, I use a large pot of water, and boil the fat for at least 30 minutes. Then I put the pot outside to cool until the fat on top of the water has solidified. I repeat this process, with fresh water, as many times as needed (usually 3) until I have pure white tallow without any unpleasant odor. I hope this helps. Thanks for the recipe Mommypotamus!

    Reply
    • I left a step out on the rendering process…..I start by rendering the chunks of tallow in the oven, and then transferring the liquified tallow to the pot of water. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Hi, thanks so much for this recipe. I made it using light olive oil. It is somewhat greasy so I am using it as a night cream. Perhaps the olive oil I am using causes it to be “greasy”. My Tbsp measure is 20 ml, and it looks like a large measure. I render my own tallow from suet. I will have to try the boiling trick to clean it thoroughly, although I love the musky smell of tallow!

    Reply
  19. Is olive oil non comedogenic? I’ve never used olive oil on my face as I’m prone to acne and have never tried it. I have tried tallow (alone), argan oil, rosehip oil and jojoba oil on my face with no issues. Could I mix argan oil in the recipe instead of olive oil?

    Reply
  20. Hi Heather! Thank you so much for posting this. My 1yr old has mild-medium degree eczema (never has gotten to the point of an open wound, except when she occasionally scratches too hard). We tried basic oils first, and a minimal/natural ingredient concoction that worked decently second, then Foderma (a fan favorite) which claims to be natural but still contains some questionable ingredients (and comes at a steep cost for a minimal amount). ANYWAY, looking at Fodermas ingredients, I thought I might attempt to make a simpler tallow-based version if it with similar active ingredients. Arnica oil was listed as one of those ingredients – have you ever made an skin care/balm with Arnica oil? Ivy extract was another, which I thought was for coughs (and unsafe for babies?). I only plan to use ingredients that I have a pretty solid confidence in being safe for babes. Thanks again for the recipe (and research/info)!

    Reply
  21. This is great, 2nd time I’ve made this, and I love it. My legs always suffered from dry skin and it’s instant relief.
    My second attempt at whipping was not very successful, so I added Emu oil to the mix, which helped to make it a more softer buttery texture. Aboriginals in Australia have always used Emu oil for skin healing and skin conditions, and I had some in the cupboard..

    Reply
  22. I have just made a batch with Sambar deer fat (I’m Australian and we hunt Sambar), olive oil and Shea oil. I used the essentials oils Lavender and Eucalyptus for scent. Unusual combination of essential oils but I love them combined. 80% Lavender and %20 Euc. I’m loving this balm. It is not greasy and richly moisturises my 60 yo skin.

    Reply
  23. I’ve made lotion bars with tallow, and like using them alot! Is there any reason NOT to use them on lips? I’ve been using my lotion bar on my lips and have been amazed at how it has helped my chronically chapped lips – I live in a desert climate. I was thinking of making the same tallow formula, with less essential oil and putting it in lip balm tubes. Any thoughts?

    Reply
  24. I recently made a tallow cream, no matter how much frankincense I add smells terrible. I heated it up in a microwave does that make a difference? I was wondering if you had any tips for avoiding this strange odor.

    Reply
    • You must have clean tallow to start with. Heat and skim the impurities from the tallow. You can put a small amount of vinegar in the water you are heating your tallow in . Cool the water tallow mix in refrigerator. Pour off the water when tallow has solitified. Use a coffee filter or layers of cheese cloth to pour your re heated tallow thru to filter out even more impurities. Clean tallow is key

      Reply
  25. We recently came into some pig lard. I understand it has a shelf life of only about a month, much longer if Frozen. I’m curious as to how long it would last if you make it into this creamy whipped lotion? Please advise.

    Reply
  26. Hi Heather
    I used 2 tablespoons of Avocado Oil instead of the Olive Oil with the Tallow and it did not whip even after a few hours.
    So i am going to melt it down, and add some melted beeswax with it to see how it goes.
    I think the Avo Oil is not fatty enough to thicken……
    Any ideas besides this one will be appreciated 😉
    Joy

    Reply
  27. Hi Heather,

    I have a question. I get tons of fat when I make beef bone broth. I understand how its wetter and tends to go bad quickly, but my solution is to take it off the top of the broth when it is chilled and then boil it again to separate out the moisture. When I pour the fat into a jar, the liquid settles at the very bottom and the pure fat is on the top. Do you think this will still make the balm go bad easily?

    Reply
  28. I have tallow that has been pressure canned; does this cause loss of nutrients? Also wondering if carrot seed oil can be used.

    Reply
  29. 5 stars
    I’ve been receiving your emails for years and I’m always amazed with your information. I’ve also tried a lot of your DIY recipes and love them. Thank you for sharing such awesome information with us.

    Reply
  30. 5 stars
    This recipe worked perfectly. It has been a year and it still has not turned rancid. I did read an excellent tip in the comments to boil the rendered tallow and let cool, once hardened, scoop tallow off the top of the cooled water. Discard water. Repeat if necessary. This process will help to remove any left over meaty smell in the tallow. It’s not an offensive smell…just a little pot roast-y. Love this and will make again. Thank you!

    Reply
  31. Hi Heather,
    Thank you for the informative post about DIY Tallow Balm. I would like to make my own formula in which I add a few other oils such a squalane, emu and CoQ10. Do you happen to know of a resource that will teach me how to scale my ingredients for a safe outcome?

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  32. Oh man! I wish I’d known this years ago. I had 50 pounds of Tallow for soap making. I still have a gallon of it. Haven’t checked it in a while.

    Reply
  33. Hi Heather!

    When making the tallow have you every used coconut oil instead of olive oil? I love that light coconut scent and wondered if you have tried this. THanks for your time! 🙂

    Lindsey

    Reply