Hypoallergenic Silk Lotion Bar Recipe With Tallow

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Hypoallergenic Silk Lotion Bar Recipe With Tallow

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 omit the essential oils for use on babies and 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 how to make a more hypoallergenic lotion bar recipe that is our new favorite and that is excellent for any skin issues.

It uses a surprising ingredient… tallow!

Why Tallow?

Tallow is essentially fat rendered from beef. Sounds weird to use beef fat in a beauty recipe, but it can be beneficial to skin and has a long history of use. As my favorite bone broth company explains:

As a saturated animal fat, tallow almost looks like a hybrid of coconut oil and butter, but with a dry, waxy texture. It’s generally made from cattle fat, but can come from any animal, except pork — pork tallow is called lard. So, tallow is basically cow lard.

Beef tallow is:  50% saturated fat, 42% monounsaturated fat and 4% polyunsaturated fat.

The structure of our cell membranes is made up of approximately 50% saturated fats, which is very similar to the percentage of saturated fatty acids in tallow. Fatty acids are also the building blocks of healthy skin cells, which makes them an important nutrient for skin repair and regeneration.

This is a similar composition to our skin, which makes tallow a beneficial (albeit unlikely) skincare ingredient. Tallow also contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, which offer additional benefits to the skin. For similar reasons, other animal fats like duck fat, hump fat (from camels), and even lard have historically been used in skin care.

Of course, if you’re not a fan of using animal products on your skin, you can use any plant-based oil or fat in equal parts instead. Try mango butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, or coconut oil.

Tallow on Skin: What I Noticed

I admit that I was a little apprehensive about using tallow on my skin at first, but loved the way it made my skin feel. It is amazing how silky it makes skin and it is really effective at soothing minor 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. 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. They have worked wonders on my son’s eczema scars and a scratch on one child’s face (a gift from a sibling). Overall, I think that tallow-based skincare products are a great alternative to coconut-based products for those who are allergic and they don’t seem to have the same pore-clogging properties that some people experience from coconut.

How to Make Hypoallergenic Lotion Bars

This recipe only takes about 15 minutes to make!



  1. Combine all ingredients in the top part of a double boiler over a small amount of water.
  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.
  4. Transfer to molds to harden. These are the cute emoji molds I used. Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds.

How to Use Tallow 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.

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.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


116 responses to “Hypoallergenic Silk Lotion Bar Recipe With Tallow”

  1. Darby Gates Avatar
    Darby Gates

    Can this be made using avocado oil or almond oil in lue/place of the “butters”?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      The butters are much harder than liquid oil so the bar wouldn’t firm up just swapping oil for butters. It might work if with liquid oil and more beeswax to thicken but you’d have to experiment with the ratios.

  2. Alyssa Avatar

    I don’t have any molds but I have heard of people pouring the lotion mixture into a glass or metal baking pan and then cutting it into bars after the mixture has cooled. Would this work for this recipe?

  3. Lisa Avatar

    Hi i am looking into making natural shampoos and oil combinations for natural hair wearer’s. Ive run into a problem with how to make it sudsy and clean the hair and where to find it? Please help.

  4. Shanna B Avatar
    Shanna B

    I mix tallow with olive oil and one essential oil (peppermint, sweet orange or spearmint) for hand lotions and lip balms. Added beet root powder for a tinted pink balm. Sometimes I add a little beeswax, sometimes not. Various consistencies are nice for different uses.

    I literally stumbled onto tallow because I feed my dogs a raw diet and got some whole kidneys, with the fat on them. I thought to look up what I could do with the fat and discovered all of the uses for it.

    Then I stumbled onto making lotion and balm only because while I was cleaning it up it after making my tallow, it sticks to everything! and at one point I just rubbed it into my hands rather than wipe my hands off. I was shocked when it felt silky… fast forward to now I have all kinds of balms. and lotions that I make using the tallow.

  5. Stacey Avatar

    Can you tell me whether melting all of the ingredients in a microwave is a good substitute for the double boiler? I have a nickel allergy and can’t use metal pans, and the only double-boiler that I have access to is metal. Thank you.

    1. Melissa Avatar

      I don’t have a double boiler, but instead, I put one of our glass mixing bowls over our metal pan with water in it. I boil the water and the steam melts what is in the glass bowl just as if it was in a double boiler. I’ve also seen people use mason jars to put into simmering water in their regular metal pans and it does the same thing. So, if you have something glass like that made to withstand some heat, you should be good to go!

  6. suny Avatar

    Would bacon grease work in place of the beef tallow? Have you ever experimented with it?

  7. B. Franke Avatar

    Lard and Tallow are the “old school” way of moisturizing skin… but honestly they still work the best! We use a soap made with Lard and Beef Tallow… one of the most moisturizing bars of soap out there… too many people afraid to use anything that isn’t “vegan” but sometimes there’s just no comparison!

  8. Debra Avatar

    I haven’t done any of my beloved DIY for awhile ; these may get me back into the craft ! Would you please share some of your essential oil combinations ?

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