making tallow for face cream!

I have dry skin. I have always had dry skin.

When I was 17, my friend Ana and I went to the makeup counter at Jordan Marsh to find out about moisturizers and such. The clerk was gushing over Ana’s skin… “ooooh, you have such lovely skin, such peaches and cream complexion“. True enough, but the snarky part of me was thinking “huh, she’s got a forehead covered in acne“. (Ana still seems to have very lovely skin…)

And then the clerk got to me.

Oh. My God. You are sucking up everything I put on you.

Needless to say, I’ve used old lady moisturizer on my face for decades.

I’ve been making my own body lotion for a few years now. It’s great stuff, and cheap to make. Only three ingredients-though I often add a bit of beeswax and also some essential oils. It isn’t the best thing on my face though.

When I was in Spain, I picked up some Argan oil, and it has been great… except now that it’s winter, I need a bit more. The regular face cream I have isn’t working for me anymore. With the dysosmia, it just stinks (smokey, heavy, wet, a bit fishy), and I have to immediately wash it off.

Yesterday, a friend was talking about making face cream… from tallow! And so we went to Bisson & Sons in Topsham to get suet to make tallow (they raise grass-fed beef).

tallow making (1) tallow making (2)

Basically, you get all the fleshy parts off, chop the suet into bits, and then heat it over a low heat for some time to get the tallow out of it. I chopped it up with a knife (some people use a food processor), and put it into the crock pot for about 6 hours. Zuzu was very interested in this…
tallow making (3)

tallow making (4) tallow making (5)

I cooked up the meaty bits for the dogs… they licked their bowls for a long time after finishing the kibble…

I forgot to get a photo of how it looked when it was done in the crockpot, but here’s what I ended up with…
tallow making (7)

The open jar is a little cloudy as it was squeezed from the cracklings. I may cook with it.

And in the morning, it was all hardened up,
tallow making (8)

I basically used this method, though I chopped the suet more finely. Here’s another link about how to do this. Both of these links talk about using suet for cooking. I suppose I could have saved the cracklings, but I didn’t this time around.

For tallow face cream, the general proportions are 10 parts tallow to one part oil (I used olive oil). You can add some essential oils if you want.

Now before you go ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, read this and this (though this latter link is regarding home made lard). Basically, unless you are making your own lotions and creams or using a vegan product, you are probably already slathering industrial waste from a rendering plant that renders hormone laden meat… and that would be the waste that wasn’t good enough for hot dogs, or that pink slime everybody was talking about a few months back.

The tallow face cream I made does feel really good, and yes, it does have a faintly meaty smell… even with the essential oils. After one use last night, I didn’t have the instant improvement experience that mommypotamus did, but I’ll give it a while and let you know later.

4 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Yarndude said,

    January 6, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Oh. My. God. I am so glad I use vegan lotion! I will for the rest of my life be paranoid about what is in my skin products. (Phew! My lip moisturizer is vegan, too.) From reading the linked articles, it sounds like tallow works wonders, but my vegetarian self is terrified that I’ve been inadvertently slathering animal remains on my body without knowing it. I’ll be much more cautious now.

  2. 2

    gale (she shoots sheep shots) said,

    January 7, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    wow. You are waaaay more DIY than me in the cosmetics department! I bet your dogs thought they’d gone to heaven.

  3. 3

    kmkat said,

    January 15, 2013 @ 12:41 am

    I have to ask: when you have the tallow-based cream on your skin, do the dogs want to lick it off? Our Misha is a licker, and she LOVES to lick my hands after I have put on lotion.

  4. 4

    dre said,

    January 16, 2013 @ 2:01 am

    Hmmmmm. This is relevant to my interests. I’ll be very interested to know how it works for you.

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