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My Secret to Flawless Skin: Whipped Tallow Facial Cleanser

My Secret to Flawless Skin

You’re probably panicking. Please don’t. I’m sure you thinking I’m totally crazy – telling you to put beef fat (aka Tallow) on your face AND telling you that it will actually improve your skin!
I’m not the only one sharing the news that tallow is amazing for your skin, fellow bloggers like Cave Girl Eats,  Mommypotatmus & Frisky Lemon using tallow on their skin too!

What is TALLOW…

It’s probably best that we start from the beginning – for those of you who are still new to real foods & healthy fats.

Tallow is rendered Suet.

Suet is  the hard white fat on the kidneys and loins of (beef) cattle… you melt the fat (aka Render) in to a liquid and strain to remove the solids… when the strained liquid fat solidifies it is tallow. For a more details, check out my post on  How to Render Suet into Tallow or if you’d rather just buy already rendered tallow click HERE to buy it online.

Why should you use TALLOW on your SKIN…

From the SKINtervention Guide by Liz Wolfe of CaveGirlEats:

“The Fatty Acid profile of grass-fed, pasture-raised tallow (yes-tallow!) is incredibly close to that of the human skin cell. Tallow has been used as a nourishing moisturizer for centuries…”

From Mommypotatmus:

“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.” 

From Traditional Nourishing and Healing Skin Care by Andrew J. Gardner

“Another strong indication of tallow’s compatibility with our skin biology is its similarity to sebum, the oily, waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs our skin. Indeed, the word “sebum” actually means “tallow” in Latin and began to be used in this biological sense around the year 1700….”

“In regard to this compatibility of tallow with the biology of our skin, we should note that we are animals rather than plants, so the modern taboo against animal products in skin care products would seem unfounded and even illogical. In addition to containing very little saturated fats, plant products do not have the same levels of other nutrients needed for healthy skin. Tallow contains the abundant natural fat-soluble activators, vitamins A, D, and K, as well as vitamin E, which are found only in animal fats and which are all necessary for general health and for skin health.”

How I got Started using Tallow to Cleanse my Face

For nearly 2 years I’ve used my Whipped Coconut Oil Facial Cleanser and I was overall very happy with my skin. Then we were blessed to receive FREE beef organs and suet from a friend (he helps butcher beeves, the organs/fat were not wanted by the customer and would have been thrown away -Lucky For Us!!) With a surplus of beautiful, rendered tallow, I started researching other ways to use it.

I created a Whipped Tallow Body Butter and I was completely impressed with the moisturizing capabilities of tallow on my skin. My hands and feet were never softer. Since it worked so great on my body, of course I started using it on my face and although I was happy with my skin – my skin literally started GLOWING after I used the tallow as a facial moisturizer!

Now, I use TALLOW as the main component in my Oil Cleansing Method of washing my face, along with Organic Castor Oil and Essential Oils – and I finally have the FLAWLESS skin I’ve always wanted!!

What is Oil Cleansing and How does it work?

Acne.org explains the benefits of oil cleansing: “Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.”

Creating Your Optimal Recipe for Flawless Skin…

Each of our bodies is unique and we all know that there isn’t one facial cleanser that will work best for everyone. My Whipped Tallow Facial Cleanser isn’t any different! But don’t worry, it’s not complicated to figure out your own unique blend that works perfectly for your skin!

Step 1: Tallow – everyone will start out with 1/2 cup of tallow as a base for their Facial Cleanser. Put it into a bowl and WHIP it with your stand or hand mixer – trust me it will get all whipped up and beautiful. (most of us have whipped cream cheese, shortening, butter, or even egg whites – that’s the same idea)

Step 2: Add Castor Oil – The amount of organic castor oil you add  in your whipped tallow (step 1) is determined by your skin. Although Castor Oil is an Oil it is very cleansing and is the component that can dry out your skin if you use too much. Here is a general guideline to use:

      • Dry Skin – 1 teaspoon Castor Oil
      • Balanced Skin – 2 teaspoons Castor Oil
      • Oily or Acne Prone Skin – 1+ tablespoon Castor Oil

I always recommend starting out with LESS than you think you’ll need – you can always whip your cleanser up with additional castor oil later if you find the cleanser too drying. Before using an Oil Cleanser my skin was oils & acne prone, however as time went by my acne went away completely and my skin’s oil production regulated itself and my skin is now perfectly balanced!

Step 3: Essential oils – The addition of a few drops of essential oils not only further enhances your skin, they also provide scent to your cleanser – I encourage you to choose essential oils that you enjoy smelling … and let’s be honest tallow doesn’t have a luxurious aroma by itself! Here’s some suggestions for Essential oils based on skin type:

      • Acne – Melaleuca, lavender, bergamot, cedarwood, sandalwood, helichrysum
      • Oily – Melaleuca, helichrysum, lavender, clary sage, bergamot, geranium
      • Sensitive/Soothing – roman chamomile,  helichrysum,
      • Dry/Anti-Aging – geranium, lavender, rosemary, sandalwood, roman chamomile

I use  about 10 drops of lavender in my whipped tallow facial cleanser. Feel free to experiment with oils keeping in mind that less is more 🙂

How to Use Whipped Tallow Facial Cleaner  to clean your face:

Ok now that you’ve whipped up your facial cleanser, you probably wondering how on earth to use it to cleanse your face right???

      1. With your fingers scoop out some of your whipped tallow facial cleanser and gently rub/melt it onto your face. Cover your entire face with a light layer, massaging lightly. (NOTE: if you have stubborn eye make up on, use straight coconut oil as a makeup remover prior to cleansing your face – just massage a little coconut oils over your makeup to dissolve it and use a tissue to wipe it away)
      2. While the oils are on you skin, saturate a wash cloth with warm water, ring gently. Press the warm/wet washcloth on your face – allowing the oils to be steamed into your pores until the washcloth has cooled. Repeat several times rinsing/reheating the wash cloth.  (you can also do this step in the shower or at the sink)
      3. After you have steamed the oils into your pores several times, rinse/reheat your washcloth one final time and use it to gently wipe off your face. Do not scrub! Pat your face to dry with a towel. You face is not cleansed and moisturized.

How often should you use your Whipped Tallow Facial Cleanser?

I only use my whipped tallow facial cleanser to cleanse my face. I do not use any other cleansing products on my face. I cleanse my face once a day, at night right before bed. In the morning I simply splash my face with water to freshen it up and/or spray lightly with my Homemade Facial Toner (recipe coming soon!)

If you need to wash your face more often than once a day because you’ve gotten dirty (i.e. after working out or in the garden) I recommend using either warm water only on a wash cloth or just straight tallow (can be whipped w/essential oils) following the same process outlined above.

What to do if your skin is too Dry or Oily after cleansing?

I suggest you use your Whipped Tallow Facial Cleanser for at least a week BEFORE adjusting your blend. It will take a little time for your skin to adjust.

      • DRYNESS: If after cleansing your face you notice that you skin is too dry or you have dry patches, tallow or coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer on the dry patches. The dryness is caused by too much castor oil in your oil blend, you’ll want to add additional tallow and re-whip if the dryness is occurring on your entire face.
      • OILINESS: If you skin is overly oily after you’ll want add MORE castor oil and re-whip.

Now that you understand the amazing properties and the process, aren’t you excited to get started using my Whipped Tallow Facial Cleanser??? 

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  1. Thank you for this recipe! Before I buy castor oil to make this, (I have all other ingredients on hand), is there a substitute you recommend? TBH, I am a little nervous about using castor oil anyway. Thank you for your time and help.

    1. You can modify this recipe to use any cleansing oil you’d like. I recommend castor oil.

  2. My tallow is very grainy. Is this normal? I whipped it and when I applied it to my face it stayed grainy and I had to use the washcloth numerous times to get it all off. Maybe it’s not a good batch?

    1. I haven’t encountered that personally, perhaps it needed whipped more like when you make icing and it is grainy?

    2. Try putting it in the freezer when its in liquid state, it will solidify at once more uniformly reducing small granules from forming, then whip it when it is firm to the touch.

  3. Hello! I love this recipe. It has helped my skin issues which tend to be on the dry side and as well has my sisters’ skin, who has very oily skin. I’m wanting to add rose water to the cleanser. Do you think that is a good idea and how much would you recommend? I’m thinking a teaspoon, but I don’t know how it would effect the consistency.

    1. I’m not sure, since oil and water don’t mix AND water based additives can potentially soil the tallow…

      1. Ok great!! Glad I asked before! I will hold off on adding the rose water since I do not want to spoil the tallow. Thanks so much for that information!

  4. Do you this method when you have makeup on your skin or do you do it slightly different to ensure you get the makeup completely off?

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  7. Organic coconut oil with Grass fed Tallow, organic olive oil and lye is a better facial, body and scalp cleanser. And using a wash cloth is imperative to removing dust mites, parasites, bacteria and pollution our faces pick up throughout the day. I believe in washing the face at least once at night. If the soap is pH balanced the better..coconut oil is slightly acidic. Lye is alkaline. Another pH balanced option are natural cleansing clays.

  8. Hello…thank you for this post and recipe. I am going to try this with leaf fat from a pasture raised pig. I noticed the last sentence of the last step, step 3 says
    “You face is not cleansed and moisturized.”
    Did you mean to say
    “Your face is now cleansed and moisturized.” ?
    I dont mean to sound like a picky pants but I’m asking because I am not certain if you are supposed to moisturize afterward. This oil cleansing method is new to me. Thanks again for your information and recipe.

  9. Hi! Thanks so much for this great recipe. I have made it once and have now run out. I could not find tallow again (I am in Australia) but found ‘Grass Fed Beef Dripping’ – is this the same thing?

    Thanks so much for your help,
    Cheers, Ann

    1. I’m in the US and worry that I may not be the best person to ask. I’m thinking that it’s ok, but double check with someone local.

  10. I just started infusing tallow with botanicals and using for a cleanser/moisturizer. So far I’m in love with it! I’m wondering about adding castor oil. . . do you think that tallow on it’s own is fine on aging and dry skin (55 yrs old) or is there truly a benefit for all skin types and ages?

  11. hi. I have made this recipe for my son who is suffering from bad acne on his face. I use a tablespoon of castor oil. He washes his face nightly. I, also, have him apply some after he washes his face and reapply in the morning (have read on other sites to do this). He has been using if for a little over a week and not really much improvement. I was wondering if you think adding hemp oil along with the castor oil would work. I have read that hemp oil is good for acne as well as the castor oil. thank you in advance.

  12. I also got my cleanser a little granulated..not extremely smooth like i want it..i also added a part can of coconut cream 2 teaspoons of castor oil and a haf cup of tallow..i recommend 2 double the recipe so u have enough to whip it..as an afterthought it would be good to make a batch for your morning cleanser and add different oils later for night like sugar cane lemon lime juice Bergamot Sun sensitive oils..etc..but even only using this on my face n body..this stuff is nothing short of a miracle worker..face and body so yummy i cant stop touching myself!!

  13. Hi Hayley,
    I like your whipped tallow recipe. Aside from castor oil, can I add another essential oil like tea tree oil or witch hazel? Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are welcome to use any essential oil you’d like, but I don’t think Witch hazel will work since it’s not technically an oil.

      1. Oh no, my bad haha! But thanks for letting me know. Anyhow, I will definitely your recipe. Thanks for the reply Hayley!

  14. This is such a great post. Thank You! You really just helped step up my natural skincare game. And to everyone interested in trying – research some local grassfed beef farms in your area. I just emailed a local farmer and he is selling me 10lbs of beef suet For $10!! In stores, a small 11oz jar of rendered beef tallow is $9.00.

  15. Hello! I recently started using tallow as a night time mosituriser and am thrilled with the results. I’m still having acne, but not as much and would love try your whipped cleanser. Do you think using the whipped tallow cleanser and straight up tallow as a mosituriser afterwards would be too much?


    1. No. After you use the cleanser you may not need the moisturizer since your skin will not be dried out after cleansing.

  16. I noticed something in your number three of the cleansing instructions–After you have steamed the oils into your pores several times, rinse/reheat your washcloth one final time and use it to gently wipe off your face. Do not scrub! Pat your face to dry with a towel. You face is not cleansed and moisturized.
    I’m thinking that you meant to say “Your face is now cleansed and moisturized”. I just thought that might be a little confusing to your readers the way it is stated,
    I’m glad I found your website and am looking forward to reading more of it.

  17. I actually own a grass fed tallow company and never thought to try to whip some up and use it for oil cleansing. We make soaps and balms, and I know all the benefits of tallow of course, but who would have thought you could clean your darn face with it. My question is…would you think adding bentonite clay to the blend would give you an exfoliating best of both worlds experience or take away from the tallow oil cleansing?

  18. Frankincese is great for not only anti-aging, but for acne as well… but i’m sure its not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes scent.

  19. Great article. I have been researching the use of tallow in skin care items for some time now and really appreciate the details you provide on how to make the tallow cream. I also am intent on sharing one other article written on a website that sells tallow soap where the author goes into heavy detail about using tallow in skin care and why we experienced a past switch not to. Anyways, I just thought the author did a great job highlighting what you are also talking about and figured I would share…knowledge is power. (don’t know if you even accept links, but if you do, here it is.) http://www.soulsticesoaps.com/categories/why-grass-fed-tallow-soap.html

  20. Hello!

    Thank you so much for this informative post! I just started OCM this week and am already loving the results! I’m currently using pure coconut oil, but am going to purchase tallow, etc this weekend. I can get beef tallow rendered from suet or from back fat. Is there a difference that you know of?
    With the coconut oil I’m noticing that my skin feels rather tight after cleansing, and even more so in the morning after I rinse with water. I’m assuming I should use the dry skin recipe? Can I use a bit of this as a moisturizer on my tight patches or should I use a different oil?

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hey Leslie – the castor oil is the detoxifying and potentially drying ingredient. I use straight tallow as a facial and body moisturizer. Beef suet is sold as a mixture of fats, you really don’t buy it from different parts of the cow normally. However it wouldn’t matter if it was from the back or surrounding the kidneys. Best of luck to you! and keep in touch 🙂 Hayley

  21. hello

    I will 100% be trying this, really easy instructions too! However, thought i’d point out there might be a typo at the end of “How to Use Whipped Tallow Facial Cleaner to clean your face” where it ends with “You face is not cleansed and moisturized” It just doesn’t seem right with all the lovely things you have said about it 😉

    Thanks for the info!

  22. I love the whipped tallow. When I make it, it looks a lovely creamy texture, but the next day it was hard as a rock. Has any one worked out how to keep it creamy in winter without adding more oils?

    1. Heather – our house is pretty chilly (low 60s in the winter) and I don’t have any problem with it getting hard. Are you whipping it up enough? Maybe add in a little of another moisturizing liquid oil (apricot, jojoba, olive, etc)

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  24. Hello,
    My son has 2 skin conditions and he is allergic to lotions, seems to be fatty alcohol makes him break out, along with certain foods. I was thinking when my husband gets his deer this year we could try using deer tallow for skin care. Do you think that would work well? I can’t imagine it would be great for cooking, but for skin care it should work the same?
    You can only use the stuff near the kidney and loins or all the deer fat? He does the butchering stuff so that might be a dumb question.

    1. Hey Christina – you could totally use rendered deer fat! We make and enjoy lots of deer bone broth after hunting season. I haven’t cooked with rendered deer fat because typically there isn’t much fat on a deer, but I don’t think there would be any reason not to try it. Let me know how it works out.

    1. I use tallow because it’s very similar to oil our skin naturally produces. I haven’t researched/tried lard – it’s much more expensive and we save it for only the best uses.

  25. Hi, I was just wondering if I had to use castor oil, or if any other oils would work just as well, like olive oil or coconut oil?

    1. Castor Oil is an essential part of OCM. I strongly recommend using it – you can try just plain tallow but it may not loosen dirt as effectively.

  26. Hi, thanks for the post. Ive been using oil but I’ve also been using proactive, alternating. I’d like to be able to do completely an oil regimen at some point. My skin peels on a weekly basis. Hopefully this will help. My question is, is you have sensitive/dry and oily skin different areas, and you want to take care of maturing skin (I’m 33), what kind of essential oil blend could I add?
    Also, is doterra oil really that much better than what I can buy in a health store?
    Any advice or feedback you send is already grately appreciated!

    1. Erica – I had acne prone combination skin before switching to OCM – dry cheeks and oily T zone. Now my skin has completely regulated and is one even complexion. And as for “maturing” skin @33 — bite your tongue! I’ve got a few years on you any skin is BETTER than when I was in my 20s!

      Is doTERRA better than store brands – YES. I’m very frugal — I have to be, I am a full time homesteader & blogger so I need to get the most BANG for my buck and the EOs from our local co-op or amazon that are more budget friendly didn’t work for us at all.. where as the doTERRA’s EO are fabulous. I’m also very very picky about any product that we use — doTERRA’s EOs are better than organic and certified therapeutic grade.

      I’m using lavender in my whipped tallow cleanser right now, but at nearly 37 I’m constantly told how great my skin looks and I’m not seeing fine lines and wrinkles. However if I wanted to OOMPH up my skin care routine I’d use IMMORTELLE Anti-aging EO Blend from doTERRA (it’s in a convenient roll on) It nourishes & protects skin for a youthful, smooth, radiant looking complexion. It contains Frankincense, Sandalwood, Lavender, Myrrh, Herichysum and Rose oils. It helps to reduce the appearance of find lines and wrinkles. And helps reduce inflammation which is a contributing factor to again skin. http://bit.ly/mydoterra

      I’m here if you have any other questions – don’t hesitate to ask!!!


      1. Hi Hayley,

        Thank you for this – I can’t get my tallow to whip up nicely though. I’ve tried melting it several times to different points (I’m blending it with avocado oil), but it’s not getting that nice whipped texture. I’ve tried both my Kitchenaid mixer and a hand blender.

        1. Marilyn – why are you melting it? To whip tallow or coconut oil it does not need to be melted.

          When you are blending a liquid with an solid – the ratios you use will determine if it’s able to whip. How much of each are you using?

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