Once an essential skincare treatment valued for its abundance in calming and healing properties, traditional tallow has fallen from favour. Tallow contains fat soluble vitamins and steric acid that are not found in this form in non animal sources. With fantastic soothing, moisturising and healing properties it’s a wonder that this isn’t a more lauded ingredient, but understandably with commercial farming and animal welfare and dietary issues animal fats have been out of vogue.
Eczema sufferers and those with dry, itchy, problem or irritated skin could well benefit from seeking this out and trying. It may just result in a change in your skin maintenance routine, allowing a break from chemical laden products as it has for my own 3 year old.
Make your own tallow for use in your own skin salves, balms and butters by following our step by step guide below.
Or, see the Leafie.com Tallow range of Organic 100% grass-fed high tallow content skincare products specifically for problem skin:-
How to render Tallow
1. Source carefully
Source only high quality tallow from 100% grass-fed animals (cows or sheep), certified organic wherever possible. Check if your local organic farm or organic butcher supplies tallow, or obtain the interior fat (suet) and render the tallow yourself using our step by step guide.
2. Getting started
Clean and sort the suet, removing anything that isn’t white and dry. Run the prepared suet through a mincer, manual or automatic, or cut into small pieces, the smaller the better.
Prepare your equipment, clean and sterilise; 2 large pans (ceramic, stainless steel), 2 stainless steel colanders, organic non-dyed cloth filters or paper coffee filters, your end receptacles (sterilised glass jars will work well).
3. Slowly slowly
Place it in a colander or a vegetable steamer above 4 inches of water inside a large pan. Put the gas on the stove at mark 2 and simmer gently for 12-16 hours depending on quantity and cut size.
Leave the pot on the stove until all of the tallow has melted out of the suet, mashing and stirring occasionally during the process. The tallow will drip out into the pot. It is important that this is a slow gentle process that will protect the structure and retain the tallow’s beneficial properties.
Leave to cool for several hours until the tallow no longer hot but is still a warm liquid. This allows any sediment to rest and ensures that you aren’t handling a super hot oil.
With the tallow in the liquid state but as cool as possible (around 120°F or 49°C) filter by pouring the oil through a cloth or coffee filter (preferably organic) placed in a colander over a new pan. This separates out impurities and sediment.
Further filtering will ensure the tallow will be free from impurities and ready for use. Warm the oil gently for 40 minutes allow to cool once more and repeat the process with a new filter and clean sterile containers.
5. Blends and aroma
Time to blend in your chosen oils. You could experiment with different organic cold pressed oils, waxes and butters; shea butter, beeswax and hemp oil are excellent, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil can be used but some people can react to these oils on the skin. Melt separately over water and add the oil to your liquid tallow. Up to 5% for a firm high tallow content intense salve and increase the blended oils for easier application balms and butters.
Once you have your finished liquid blend add in your preferred essential oils 5-10 drops per 500ml. I always choose therapeutic grade essential oils known for skin calming properties, such as lavender. Fragrance is not essential but it will neutralise the distinct tallow odour.
Pour the still warm golden liquid into a glass measuring jug. From here measure and pour into your pre-prepared containers of choice, leave the lids off until the oil solidifies. Leave in the fridge to set over the course of a day this gives the balm a smoother consistency than letting it solidify at room temperature.
Once set, secure the lids tightly, label and date your batch. The finished product when set should be white and waxy. Pure rendered tallow is very stable and can be stored in a cool dark place or refrigerated until use.
Now all that is left is to enjoy your own natural skin treatment!