Trying to live a more simple life in terms what I put in my body is nothing new to me, but recently I’ve been thinking more and more about what I put ON my body. Between hair care, dental hygiene, all sorts of lotions and potions and the few make-up products I use, I realized I’ve been slathering my skin with all sorts of chemicals. Cave Girl Eats creator Liz Wolfe came out with a comprehensive Skintervention Guide – a how-to for all things Paleo and skin care – not too long ago, so I decided to get a copy for myself.
While I’m no stranger to trying a few of the methods in the guide, there was a metric ton of information that was new to me. Liz does a great job of communicating that most of what we put on our skin ends up getting absorbed into the body and the myriad chemicals in our cosmetics are chock full of nasties (endocrine disruptors are just one that comes to mind). Being a bio major in college and a self-professed science geek, this wasn’t a huge surprise, but what to do about it is where I gained the most value. I clicked through the guide fervently and focused in on a couple of changes I knew I wanted to make right away – using the oil cleansing method to wash my face, switching to a coconut oil / baking soda deodorant, making another attempt at baking soda / apple cider vinegar for hair washing and using a nourishing balm nightly on my face.
Then it hit me.
Almost a year ago, I’d purchased a pound of grass-fed beef tallow from US Wellness Meats, thrown it in the freezer and forgotten about it. Okay, that’s a lie. I hand’t forgotten about it. In fact, every time I’d open the freezer, I would see it sitting there, mocking me for not having found a use for it yet. A quick Google search landed me a simple formula for making tallow balm, and I was off to the kitchen to make it.
Luck has it that the recipe to make the balm also called for olive oil to help with a smoother texture. I just so happen to have a huge jug of high-quality Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my pantry, the perfect addition to the balm. Kasandrinos uses no chemical methods to press their oil and does not use any other oils as fillers, a common and shady practice that goes on in the olive oil business these days.
The tallow balm makes my skin super soft, and keeps it well-hydrated throughout the day without feeling greasy!
- 1/4 cup* grass-fed tallow (beef lard)
- 2.5 tsp olive oil (I used Kasandrinos)
- 2-3 drops of essential oil (I used lavender)
- Melt the tallow in the microwave in a glass container. I used a small mason jar.
- Stir in the olive oil and essential oil.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, until the balm hardens.
- Remove from the refrigerator and store tightly. After I clean my face at night, I apply a thin layer as a moisturizer.
*The approximate ratio of tallow to olive oil I used was 8:1.