This particular moisturizer is chock full of good for you nutrients and smells wonderful! I want to say that it is very easy to make, but there are multiple steps before you get to the end product. I believe it is worth it and all of the steps are usable in their own right.
Are you wondering about the surprise ingredient? Before starting this journey, I would have scoffed at the idea of using this wonderful, nutrient rich ingredient. I would have told myself that I am absolutely bonkers and that there was no way I would ever do this…I’m not knocking anything any more, especially after our last three years of this mishigas. So, do take my suggestion with an open mind and let’s continue.
So what is it, Chick? Tallow. Yep. Rendered beef fat. I know, I know… The idea of smathering beef fat all over your body may not sound too appealing, but the benefits may outweigh the ick-factor.
I haven’t gone completely mad. I was on a search to increase my nutrients and vitamins. My body is desperate for nutrition. We all know I have issues with ingesting most things so I look to topical applications to aid in the introduction of nutrients, supplements and vitamins. Tallow is absolutely awesome. Heather from Mommypotamus recently blogged about the benefits of tallow for skin.
- Tallow is uniquely compatible with the biology of our cells. About 50% of the structure of our cell membrane comes from saturated fats, with remaining amounts consisting of monounsaturated and to a lesser degree polyunsaturated fats. According to Nourishing Traditions, it is the saturated fats that give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity” necessary for proper function (p. 11). In a research article which I was privileged to preview before publication, I recently learned that:
“Healthy, ‘toned’ skin cells with sufficient saturated and monounsaturated fats would undoubtedly make for healthy, toned skin.Interestingly, tallow fat is typically 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, with almost all of the rest being monounsaturated, so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.” (emphasis mine) There are other points of biological compatibility, too, such as the fact that tallow and sebum consist primarily of a type of lipid called triglycerides. (“Sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin, so we are not the first to make this connection!)
- Tallow contains skin nourishing ingredients that plant-based oils do not – Though I am still a huge fan of coconut oil (which by the way, has an excellent saturated fat ratio) and continue to plan to use it as sunscreen and a whole body moisturizer (because it spreads more quickly and I’m always in a hurry!), the skin on my face is visibly more toned with tallow. I think that may be because of the abundance of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,K and E) that naturally occur in pastured tallow, along with the potent anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid.
We were previously rendering tallow to use for cooking and to make our glutathione lotion (I promise, more about glutathione later). I took a short reprieve from glutathione after muscle testing “no” for it. This also meant that I stopped my thrice daily application of tallow. Within a week I started to become tired and lethargic again. I did not figure out the connection with lowered energy levels/lack of nutrients and the tallow, that was all the Hubs. Yipi was just fine, high energy and doing great. We did not stop the glutathione and tallow for her…and she eats more fat than I do, she eats more everything than I do.
Now, let me admit something….I don’t like the smell of tallow. I was actually relieved to stop the glutathione for a while because that meant no tallow on my skin… I wasn’t as thrilled with the drop in energy level from the lack of nutrients. After I began testing “yes” to the glutathione, I knew I needed to figure out a way to reintroduce the tallow without actually smelling it. Yay for new recipes!
This moisturizer smells wonderful, absorbs well into my skin, and really gives me some much-needed nutrients without the need to ingest anything. As I mentioned earlier there are multiple steps involved, but each step is usable in its own way.
Before making the moisturizer, you will need to make the ingredients:
- Calendula infused olive oil (or whatever oil works best for you)
- Tallow (from organic, grass fed cows)
You can search the web on infusing herbal oils or you can follow the directions I’ve posted here. This is very simple to make.
A little on Calendula from Mountain Rose Herbs:
Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.
Rendering tallow was new and a little intimidating to me when we first began. I went to internet land to learn how to do this (I would have asked my mother…but she would have just laughed at me…haha…I laughed at myself). It is very easy. We use the crock pot method, without adding any additional water to the crock. We don’t remove all the meat, bones, and blood…probably should and I probably will in the future but I don’t now. We just thaw it a bit, rinse it well, and chunk it into the crock pot on low to cook for a few hours. If you would like better instructions on rendering tallow look at these sites:
Everyone does it a bit differently. I hope that helps.
Now, on to the recipe:
- 1/3 cup Calendula infused oil
- 1/3 cup Tallow, liquid
- Organic Rosemary Essential oil, 10-20 drops
- Ceramic or glass bowl for flowers and oil (make sure it fits nicely into pot)
- Small pot, to be used as the base of “double boiler”
- A spoon or something to use for stirring
- Clean, sterilized glass container for storing oil
- Melt tallow in the double boiler (water in pot on low, with bowl on top)
- Remove from heat when liquid.
- Add calendula infused oil into bowl with the tallow, stir to combine.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, or so and add essential oil
- Pour into glass storage container
See? Easy peasy pudding pop…after you have finish the little bit of prep work. Both the Calendula Infused Oil and the Tallow can be used separately but they are heavenly together.
Testaments to the benefits of Calendula and tallow are the improvements and healing my mother is experiencing from her persistent and painful/itchy rash and the healing of my poor Yipiyuk’s backside and stomach (bloody, itchy blisters). I added a smidge of zinc oxide into Yipi’s mixture and used organic lavender essential oil instead of rosemary. I’m pretty happy with this moisturizing cream. I hope you will give it a try!