Hypoallergenic Lotion Bar Recipe

Perfect silk lotion bar recipe DIY

We use lotion bars all the time at our house. The concept is great- a bar that looks like soap but that you use on dry skin like lotion. I’ve even customized them to make sunscreen lotion bars, bug off lotion bars, and pain relief lotion bars.

All of those recipes are natural and safe even for sensitive skin and babies (though I wouldn’t use the pain relief on on small children), but I’ve had several readers ask about what to do if they couldn’t use coconut oil due to an allergy. After some experimentation I figured out another lotion bar recipe that is our new favorite and that is excellent for any skin issues.

It uses a surprising ingredient… tallow!

Why Tallow?

I first thought about using tallow in skin care after seeing it on the Weston A. Price website and then seeing that Mommypotamus also uses tallow in her skin care.

From the WAPF:

“As we have already seen, our ancestors overwhelmingly used tallow for skin care. For example, a book of “recipes” for all facets of life, written by Dr. A.W. Chase, MD in 1866, lists ten formulations of salve, eight of which contain tallow, in addition to other natural ingredients.17 This same medical doctor quotes the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal of his day on using pure tallow for a “very common and very painful affliction,” an ingrown toenail. Even though this use is a very specific one, it is included here as being a strong testimonial on the healing power of tallow:”

Modern science supports its use too:

“From biology, we know that the cell membrane is made up primarily of fatty acids, a double layer, to be exact. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membrane. Since saturated fats tend to be more solid than unsaturated fats at a given temperature, they help give the cell membrane its necessary stiffness and integrity for proper function.20 The monounsaturated fats, while not as “solid” as the saturated fats, are more so than the polyunsaturated fats which are also present in the cell membrane in their own proper proportion, although the modern diet leads to a disproportionate amount of the polyunsaturates. 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,21 so it makes sense that it would be helpful for skin health and compatible with our cell biology.

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.

Tallow (especially tallow from grass-fed animals) also contains fats like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-cancer24 and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as palmitoleic acid, which has natural antimicrobial properties.25 Dr. Mary Enig cites a 2006 study on fats showing that CLA, which is found in high concentrations in tallow, has significant anti-cancer effects, and that supplying tallow increased those effects due its palmitic acid, another fatty acid.26″

What We Noticed

I admit that I was a little apprehensive about using tallow on my skin at first, but after trying it, it is now a regular part of my skin care routine. It is amazing how silky it makes skin and it is really effective at soothing skin irritation.

I’ve also found (probably due to the natural SPF in the shea butter and the fat soluble vitamins in the tallow) that these lotion bars are an excellent mild skin protector for short term sun exposure and they seem to help the skin tan without any redness (this coming from an Irish girl).

Tallow lotion bars also seem to really help skin healing as they have worked wonders on my son’s eczema scars and a scratch on one child’s face (a gift from a sibling).



  1. Combine all ingredients except essential oils in a quart size glass mason jar and carefully place this jar in a small saucepan of water on the stove.
  2. Turn the burner on and bring water to a low simmer. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the essential oils.

How To Use Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars

Store in a cool or dry place for up to six months (I’ve even had some last as long as a year).

To apply to skin: hold bar in hand and carefully rub on dry skin. The heat of the skin will transfer some of the lotion bar to the skin. I store my lotion bars on a small plate on my dresser and bathroom counter.

Carefully pour into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in. I used these silicon loaf molds, though any mold would work.

Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.

Don’t Want To Make Them?

If you want to use lotion bars but don’t have the time/ingredients to make them yourself, I found a great small business, Made On, that makes all kinds of lotion bars, soaps, natural baby products and hair products that are up to my standards. Their website is HardLotion.com and they have agreed to give Wellness Mama readers a 15% discount on all orders with the code “wellnessmama” at this link. (Note: Affiliate link… the price is discounted for you and I get a small commission to support my blog!)

Do you make lotion bars or purchase from the store? Ever used tallow as an ingredient in your skin care? Share below!

This hypoallergenic lotion bar is completely natural and safe with shea butter and tallow, a secret skin-nourishing ingredient.

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. I’ve been making lotion with tallow (the new/old rage!) and I’m LOVING it! What do you think about adding the non-nano zinc oxide to this for a sunscreen?

      • in with the beef tallow lotion?

    • Hi Kati, can I also use pork lard? I just got a big bag from the farmer 🙂

        • I have a friend who is allergic to nuts, coconut and has reactions to any milk or oat skin product. Do you have any recipes that don’t have any of these?

          • She could make these with olive oil, tallow and shea/cocoa or mango butter if she can tolerate those.

  2. Funny you write this now–just a few weeks ago I rendered my own beef tallow (!) and made lotion using 7 parts tallow and 1-2 parts olive oil following the recipe here: http://www.vintagetradition.com/how-to-make-tallow-balm-at-home.php. I made it for my daughter who has stubborn eczema spots on her chin. I still haven’t been able to sort out the underlying cause (she hasn’t had grains or legumes or dairy), and this seems to be the most helpful remedy of all that I’ve tried. Our current theories are that she is sensitive to pectin in apples or salmon. Eggs give her a red hives-like rash all over her belly/back and legs–the tallow took care of that in no time. Also, since it is so fatty, it helps provide a protective barrier on her chin from moisture (food, drool..all the other stuff that gets on a baby face) while it is healing. I didn’t quite add enough essential oil, so ours smells a bit like tallow still, but we’re getting used to it. I am quite impressed at how well it works!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      I know it’s been more than a year since you posted, but I just want to share my solution in hopes that it’ll help your daughter. I had my son’s food intolerances tested in 2012. He is intolerant to eggs, soy, and fruit combined with sugar (must be consumed 3 hours apart). As long as he stays free of those foods, his skin is absolutely perfect!

      Hope you can find relief for your daughter!


  3. I bought some two-ounce twist-up tubes and I’ve made lotion bars to give as gifts, keep near the changing table, and toss in the diaper bag. Your lotion bars have saved my toddler from his severe full-body eczema. He still gets itchy and scaly, but even the prescription creams couldn’t stop the patches from oozing and getting infected. The lotion bars do the trick. Thanks for helping out my little guy!

    • Jojoba oil also works amazingly well – it’s clearing up terrible dishidrotic eczema on my hands right now (coconut oil, acv, peroxide, store bought lotions, etc did NOTHING). Just in case you hadn’t tried it and are ever in a pinch – very easy to use. 🙂

  4. Can this be used for the face too? Or is there something else you’d recommend for a daily moisturizer?

  5. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely try this out. I love lotion bars…

  6. Does it really have to be from grass fed cows? I emailed a local farm with grass fed cows and they said that since grass fed cows are leaner than grain-fed, they need all the extra tallow for their grind and can’t sell any.

    • It will still be great for the skin from any cow, but grass fed is preferable…

  7. have you calculated your cost per bar?

  8. I have never used tallow, does it have a strong odor? If so, can the smell be masked completely with essential oils (I would like to use a grapefruit oil if it would work)? I know my daughter will not use the lotion bar if it has any off-odor, but this sounds like a great recipe!

    • Some brands are stronger smelling than others, but you can find tallow that doesn’t have a smell. essential oils do usually mask it though…

      • Great, thanks for your response! Do you know if all grass-fed tallow is odorless, or what other factor(s) make the difference; I would really like to find some! How is the smell of the tallow from U.S. Wellness?

      • I’ve just tried making this recipe with good quality beef dripping ( completely clear, no sign of juices or proteins left, just pure fat) as couldn’t find tallow. Doesn’t smell and is actually overpowered by the smell of the Shea butter and chamomile and lavender essential oils. Can’t wait to use myself and try on fiancé’s eczema.

        • Hello Lizzie, sorry just come across this post, I know it was over a year ago now..!
          I was wondering about using beef dripping in place of tallow too, can’t find it anywhere, not even sure what the difference is?! How did it go? Did you like it?
          Thanks 🙂

  9. I’ve been looking at all your diy lotion recipes be it the bars, whipped or regular lotion type. I must say I love them but I’m at a loss trying to find the right one for my husband. He has sensitive skin and to top it off he is self-employed as a yard man. It wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that we live in one of the sunniest, most humid areas of south texas. A few days ago he started up with heat rash again so he went out and bought and “aloe vera” lotion. I tried it, and it immediately gave me a headache because of all the perfume in it. Well, he tried it that night and couldn’t sleep because he got an allergic reaction or something. He spent the whole night tossing and turning due to itch all over his body. Given the weather, which would be the best recipe to use? I love the idea of the bars because it is less likely little hands will get to it (my two-year old loves pumping lotion out of the pumps), but I don’t want to get home on a hot day and find it melted. 🙂

    • Lorena, my advice would be to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. Not only would that keep it from melting in the house, but it would feel really nice to apply as well as helping it to keep longer than 6 mos if need be

  10. Question….just made a few different lotion bars, I love the concept. My question is this, I see you need to store the bars in the fridge or not keep them very long….do my raw ingredients (mango butter, tallow, cocoa butter) also need to be stored in the fridge?

  11. I have a friend who’s allergic to beeswax (actually, anything having to do with bees…) Is there anything I can substitute for that part?

    • You could substitute the beeswax with carnauba or candelilla wax, both plant-based. However they are both harder than beeswax, so you’d use less and adjust the other ingredients.

    • You can use candelilla wax,or soy wax,or,if you want some color,using non-toxic crayons,like Crayola would also be a substitute.

  12. Hi , I love your, lotions, thanks for sharing your knowledge!
    Do you have a substitute for beeswax? two of my family members can’t use bee products. I have made your cocao & shea deodorant its fantastic, i would love to make your sunscreen, however, i don’t know what to sub for the beeswax.

    • Try candelilla wax or carnauba wax, both from plants. Carnauba is the hardest on earth as far as I know, so you may need less of it.

  13. Hello, I have a question. Do you happen to know how much the chemical profile of lard differs from tallow? I was wondering if I could substitute the lard that I had rendered from the organically raised pork for the tallow.

  14. Hi! I love your site 🙂 I def wanna try your lotion bars. I’m a vegetarian and i’d prefer to not use a beef product. Any suggestions for a substitute?

  15. I first discovered lotion bars at Lush. Their products are also natural. Hard lotion is great if you travel. Lush offers tins for storage and transport. Knowing now how easy it is to source and prepare and customize in my own kitchen I will be creating these for personal use as well as gifts. Katy, you’re as slick and smooth as a lotion bar – in all the best ways.

  16. I also wonder about lard/pork fat.

  17. is this have expiration also??.. how long?? thanks

  18. Thanks for sharing! I’m interested to know where you get your shea butter and beeswax. I was interested in making some lotion bars, but was overwhelmed with sourcing these items. Thanks so much!!

  19. I am wondering if you have a recipe or if a person could substitute with Beef Gelatin Powder for any of the ingredients.

  20. In case anybody is wondering, a cheap way to find tallow is to just ask a butcher for some fatty scraps. You could even get them for free.

  21. Hello. I am allergic to beeswax is there a suitable replacement, as I see is in many of you’re recipes? Thank you

    • Candelilla Wax is a vegan suitable substitute for beeswax. It is a plant derived wax with a much higher melting point. It is far harder and less pliable than beeswax so you will need to halve the amount necessary eg: 2 tablespoons of Beeswax = 1 tablespoon of Candelilla Wax.
      There is also Carnauba Wax which is a plant based wax, which you would use in the same way as the Candelilla wax. (yes, Carnauba is used in carwax products but as long as you buy pure product it is perfectly fine to use in cosmetics!)
      There is also Soy wax which is no harder than beeswax so can be used as an equal substitute. This wax is mainly used in candle making and personally soy products are not something I like to use/ingest etc. but it is an alternative choice for beeswax.
      Hope this helps!

  22. Do you think there is a difference if using tallow or lard? Would you happen to know why or why not using pastured lard would be good or not good. I know they use lard for soap.

  23. Which ess oils would be suitable? You said citrus aggravate – would any of the others be ok? Thanks in ad

  24. Can you add Vitamin E oil to this recipe? I see in the other lotion bar and lotion recipe, curious why it is not in this recipe. Thank you

  25. Hello all! I have been researching how to make my own soaps and I LOVE Wellness Mama. Just thought I would drop by because I found this awesome little shop on Etsy that sells pure Beef and pure Lamb tallow. I purchased from her, I believe in buying small when I can. Check her out 🙂 The shop is called The Tallow Chandler


  26. Hi. I’m addicted to your website – lol! I just got my first (of several) shipment of supplies. I accidentally purchased Great Lakes powdered gelatin when I bought their collagen. Any way to make this work in this recipe? Thanks!

  27. I am a bit confused on whether or not the tallow bars need to be refrigerated. The recipe says not but many comments talk about refrigerating them. Could you please clear this up for me.

    • It would depend on the source of tallow and how pure it was (and making sure there was no protein left in it). I’ve not refrigerated them.

  28. Where can you get a good beeswax to make this lotion?

  29. Hi there!
    Thank-you so much for all you wonderful recipes for skincare. I’m learning so much from your website, thank-you!
    I just had my first attempt at making these lotion bars on the weekend, rendering my tallow from scratch (now I understand the huge price difference from buying suet and buying tallow!).
    They turned out perfect in consistency – but I have one question. On the issue of smell – I read through everyone’s comments and I noticed it was mentioned it depends on the source of the tallow. The stuff I used was organic beef suet. I just found that the actual bar smells lovely, but once you put it on, after about an hour the essential oils seem to evaporate and all you can smell is the tallow. My partner kept saying I smelt like a steak!
    I really don’t want to waste all the tallow I made, seeing as it took such a long time.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!


  30. Curious if pouring the mixture into small mini mason jars would work and scoop some out each time? Is there a way to make it less thick?

  31. Hi All, stumble upon your website as looking for any help regarding Itching skin of my 2 year old daughter.
    My question is can we use anything thing in place of Tallow ? i mean any vegetarian alternative ?

  32. I would love to make lotion bars, but do not relish the idea of smelling like a steak once the essential oils wear off, (according to one of your followers who wrote in), can I use plain lard instead? Unless you can honestly say the tallow does not make you smell.

  33. I’m going to give this a try! Are your measurements using melted product or cold?

  34. I love this recipe! I got rendered grass fed tallow from Melrose Market in Seattle for ~$4 and it doesn’t have any smell. The wax protects my skin from moisture loss and the mixture of tallow and shea butter soaks in better than shea butter alone. These have really softened my skin and eczema – thank you for the recipe! I’ll be making another batch this weekend. I might try adding a teaspoon or so of jojoba oil as well

  35. How many bars does this make using 1/3 cup of tallow? If I order some on that etsy page a reader shared – it comes as a pound as the smallest amount.

    Also I’ve made lotion bars using coconut oil and it is a greasy mess when I try to sell it. It stays in a bar shape just isn’t very pretty. Is there a way around that? Would keeping it in the fridge till a show be the best idea?

  36. I was looking for some all natural recipes due to many allergies and was glad to find you! I wanted to comment on the candelila that some others have recommended on here and I am glad I looked it up before using. I found that Plants for a Future Web site and a couple others say LATEX I am very allergic to that and also that it is considered carcinogenic in its nature. Scary!

  37. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I was also thinking of not only making a lotion bar, but either regular lotion or whipped body butter with these ingredients. I would like to put some in a small travel bottle to carry in my purse. Would I just delete the beeswax, add less and whip it up or what? Also, what are your thoughts on using arrowroot instead of beeswax? I happen to have arrowroot, but don’t have a problem with buying beeswax. I also read on another site that tallow is good for ugly cellulite which makes sense. Another reason I’m anxious to make this and start using this. I have cellulite on my arms as well as legs and it’s embarrassing to wear short sleeves, whereas legs are easy to cover up.

  38. I have always loved this blog. I was so inspired by the success I had healing eczema in my daughter with tallow that I ‘went big’ and just opened an online shop featuring tallow-based healing balms, beauty cream, whole body emollient and 2 amazing FDA approved sunblocks powered by botanical oils and safe zinc. I think you will love it. Hoping to connect with you to send free product!


  39. Hi! I am excited to try your lotion bar recipe for my eczema! However, the recipe says “?” cups… what does this mean? Also can you recommend the best essential oils to use on eczema, and very dry, sensitive and reactive skin? Thank you so much!

  40. I want to try out this recipe, but the measurements are missing. Is it possible for you to let me know what they are? Thank you so much!

      • Thank you so much, Katie. 🙂

      • Thank you Katie!

  41. Can I add tallow on the sunscreen lotion recipe? Also, I have rashes on my back and I think this might help, I want to ask if it’s okay to use this lotion on parts that doesn’t rash? Thanks!!

  42. Hello,

    Can ‘tarrow’ be substituted in to any of the other lotion/lotion bar recipes? Or in the herbal face oil?

    Thank You

  43. My daughter has a beef allergy… do they make poultry tallow?

    • No… Tallow only comes from beef. You might try lard, which comes from pigs, but I am unaware of a rendered fat product from fowl. Maybe you might find duck fat somewhere?

  44. Hi, my husband hunts and we process our own meat. Could we use the fat from deer, elk or moose? It would be good to find a use for it.

    • Yes. As long as it is shelf stable it should work

  45. Do you think magnesium oil would mix well in this recipe? I love the idea of tallow lotion but I was also hoping to have a mag lotion. It would be great if both could be combined into one. Thanks!

    • Since it is water-based, magnesium oil may not work in this recipe. You can certainly try it, though. Make sure to mix it in very slowly.

  46. I am wonderingif there is a vegan alternative to this recipe. i love the bars myself but i have vegan friends who would love to try them!

  47. Is tallow the same thing as lard?

    • Tallow comes from beef, while lard comes from pork. Both will work in this recipe.

      • Thank you so much for clearing this up as I was wondering if the lard would work for this recipe because we just rendered a bunch of it about a week ago! 🙂 Thanks!

  48. When I read storage for beef tallow it said good for a month? Which is a good brand to use besides link

    • I just wanted to reply to Veronica that beef tallow, when properly rendered, can store on the shelf for up to one year before it starts smelling funky. It can last significantly longer if you store it in the fridge. I render grass fed tallow myself for our business so I have personal experience on the matter. And when I say properly rendered, I’m referring to not just rendering it once as most companies do. We render and purify (without altering the make up of the oil) three times before we sell our tallow. The reason is that after the first render, there is still little bits (ever-so-fine) of impurities that increase the rate to which the tallow spoils. Rendering it the full 3 times (wet wash render) ensures there is nothing left. Our tallow even has a much more faint odor then the many other tallows I’ve tried out there.

      Hope this helps!

  49. I use emu or ostrich oil to help heal my skin from dryness, burns, sunburn, etc. Would it be an adequate substitute for the beef tallow?

  50. Hi, have enjoyed your site for a while and was searching recipes for dry, dry skin. I’ve had especially bad bouts with rashes which have left scaly, dry skin that itches constantly. I was thinking about trying tallow in lotion bars and went to the site you said you get beef tallow from and am wondering if you have ever tried the lamb tallow from that same site? It is a tiny bit less than the beef, so essentially the same price. Also, I was wondering if I went to my local small family owned grocery that has a large meat department, what I would need to know to be able to purchase that locally? I haven’t really eaten meat for about 4 decades and know nothing when it comes to production or buying of meat products. Thanks so much,

    juli c. pealstrom

    • I haven’t tried lamb tallow before so I can’t say how it would work…