Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body and it readily absorbs many of the things it comes in contact with whether bad or good? This is why some drugs can be administered via a patch! It takes a mere 26 seconds for your skin to absorb an applied substance.
It is pretty hard to find a commercial skin care product that is devoid of harmful chemicals these days. Most contain petroleum based chemicals, known hormone disruptors like parabens, known carcinogens used as preservatives like BHT and titanium dioxide. Almost all of the ingredients are chemicals, even in organic and natural products. They note on the packaging that the chemicals are plant derived, however, according to the Organic Consumer Association,
“A visit to any health food store unfortunately reveals that the majority of products in the personal care section with ‘organic’ brand claims are not USDA-certified and contain only cheap water extracts of organic herbs and maybe a few other token organic ingredients for an organic veneer. The core of such products is composed of synthetic cleansers and conditioning ingredients usually made in part with petrochemicals. According to market statistics, consumers are willing to pay significantly more for products branded ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ which they believe do not contain petrochemical-modified ingredients or toxic contaminants…When it comes to misbranding organic personal care products in the U.S., it’s almost complete anarchy and buyer beware.”
The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to make your own skin care products free of harmful chemicals. I have been experimenting with homemade beauty products since I snagged a copy of Mommypotamus’ DIY Organic Beauty eBook a few months ago. One traditional skin care ingredient that I never would have thought I would experiment with is tallow (what is tallow?). We might think rubbing tallow on our skin is crazy given that it is an ingredient completely absent from today’s commercial beauty products. However, this was a common skin care ingredient in traditional societies and even in America. Sadly, the use of tallow in skin care started to decline as our consumption of animal products started to decline.
What Makes Tallow So Great?
I think this goes without saying, but humans are mammals not plants! Tallow closely resembles our own human cellular makeup. It contains 50-55% saturated fat like our cell membranes do and it is also very similar to our own skin’s sebum, the waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs our skin. So we can just toss modern taboo against rubbing beef fat on our faces out the window. I can tell you I have been using tallow lotion bars on my face and body for about 6 months now and have seen a reduction in redness and acne on my face and my skin is soft and supple.
I love my firm lotion bars which are excellent for travel, however, I wanted more of a cream. I still wanted to use tallow as a principle ingredient and had seen many recipes for whipped body butter but none of them contained tallow. I figured it was a worth an experiment and I am happy to say that experiment worked. I applied this body butter to my feet last night and slept in socks and boy are my feet amazingly soft this morning! Don’t walk, run to make this if you want to get your feet and body ready for summer! The addition of peppermint smells incredible and I think wakes up tired feet. You can replace the peppermint oil with whatever essential oil you like best.
Whipped Peppermint Tallow Body Butter
- 1 cup of shea butter
- 1/2 cup tallow (how to render beef tallow)
- 1/2 cup of jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oi
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil (optional) (where to buy)
Using a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a pot of simmering water, gently heat shea butter and tallow until melted. Remove bowl from heat and stir in jojoba oil.
Allow to chill in an ice bath for about 5 minutes and then stir in the peppermint essential oil and . Allow the mixture to continue chilling in the ice bath until it is thoroughly chilled.
Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the body butter mixture until stiff peaks form.
Scoop the mixture into airtight glass jars and store away from direct sunlight. If stored properly with the vitamin E oil added, this body butter should keep about 1 year but I bet you will use it up more quickly than that!
Further Reading from Around the Web
- Attend one of my Essential Oils 101 classes here!
- Over 25 Uses For Peppermint Essential Oil
- 20 Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil
- How To Buy Therapeutic Essential Oils
- 50 Uses For Essential Oils