Nourishing Tallow Hard Lotion Bars

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I’m loving my homemade tallow balm, but there’s just one problem. I can’t use it on my hands and still get things done.

Don’t get me wrong; tallow balm isn’t greasy. But it is soft and thick and wet, and that makes it not-very-practical to apply regularly to hands that are busy typing, touching, stirring, cooking, tasting, and cleaning.

At least, not unless I want to leave a trail of it everywhere I go. Which I don’t!

A hard lotion bar, on the other hand, can be applied to the hands regularly without gunking-up everything one touches. Why not combine the the best of both into one?

Introducing *tallow* hard lotion bars. :)

My recent experience with tallow

Before I get to the tallow lotion bar adventure, I want to tell you about my recent experience with tallow balm. Just to show you how in love I am with tallow.

I was in Arizona and got quite badly sunburned on my face, arms, and neck. It was painful and I was really red. It hurt physically, but it also hurt my vanity because I was due to attend a small business conference and I didn’t want to arrive looking like a tomato!

So I applied my tallow balm, hard lotion, and aloe vera frequently. Mostly I used tallow balm, liberally applied several times a day. Even to my face. My skin soaked it right up and absorbed it like it was drinking much-needed water. In addition to being burned, my skin was extremely thirsty because I was in dry Arizona.

What happened? The burn healed miraculously. I felt no pain after the first night. I had no peeling or dryness at any point — and I still don’t even now, two weeks later.

And how did I look? Well, still a little rosy for three to four days! But not as red as a tomato. My skin moved more quickly toward sun-kissed than usual.

I’m totally sold on tallow, so now you know another reason why I’m so eager to get it in a form I can use on my hands regularly, too!

Click here to read why tallow is so awesome for skin care, and to get my tallow balm recipe.

Making trial tallow bars

When the idea for a *tallow* hard lotion bar hit me, I emailed Renee at MadeOn Hard Lotion for advice. I knew that her DIY lotion bar kit — containing coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax — would be the ideal starting place for my tallow hard lotion bar, because… it makes a great hard lotion bar!

DIY Hard Lotion

Where to add that tallow, though? Tallow is soft like coconut oil and soothing like shea butter. Should I substitute tallow for the coconut oil or for the shea butter? Or, should I keep both coconut oil and shea butter in the original recipe, and add tallow, too? (The beeswax wasn’t going anywhere because that’s what makes the lotion bar firm.)

Renee and I emailed back and forth about possibilities, and I came up with three trial recipes. I used her DIY kit for the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. And my own grass-fed tallow.

Note: in my trial recipes, 1 part = 1/3 cup.

Recipe #1

  • 1 part organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 part tallow
  • 1 part beeswax
  • essential oil* (optional)

Recipe #2

  • 1 part organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 part beeswax
  • 1/2 part shea butter
  • 1/2 part grass-fed tallow
  • essential oil* (optional)

Recipe #3

  • 1 part shea butter
  • 1 part grass-fed tallow
  • 1 part beeswax
  • essential oil* (optional)

*About essential oils: They are concentrated, so use sparingly. I’d suggest starting at 3 to 6 drops of straight essential oil(s) for a batch this size. Scale up or down as needed. I used my Skin Care blend of oils, already diluted in a cucumber oil base, so I added 1/2 teaspoon.

Instructions for all recipes: Melt all ingredients together, except essential oils, until just barely melted. Add essential oils and stir well. Pour into molds (you can use practically anything). Let cool and harden. Pop out of molds. (Uh, yeah, it’s that easy.)


You might need to freeze them to assist the popping out — I didn’t.


Curious about my markings? :)
T = tallow / C = coconut oil / B = beeswax / S = shea butter
dot = half as much quantity as the others

How to use a hard lotion bar?

Easy! These instructions are straight from the expert, Renee at MadeOn Hard Lotion:

You gently rub it in your hands to apply hard lotion. Your normal body temperature causes the lotion to soften on contact with the skin. The ingredients will start to immediately meld into your skin. It only takes a few seconds to coat the skin and only a small amount of the lotion bar is necessary.

Which recipe turned out best?

To be truthful, they’re all very similar and I like them all. It is hard to tell much difference!

They’re all slightly more wet feeling than the original hard lotion bars. This is from the tallow. However, the bars are a huge improvement over the balm when used on hands. Which is, after all, what I wanted to achieve. :)

They smell slightly sweet from the beeswax, and not meaty at all. (My tallow is mild.)

Recipe #1 is my least favorite (though I still like it a lot). It is a smidge more “greasy” than the other bars, and I presume that’s because there’s no shea butter (which balances out the oiliness of tallow or coconut oil). However, this bar is easier overall to make because coconut oil and beeswax are more readily available, whereas shea butter is more of a specialty item. Perhaps I’m off base on this, but that’s how I would feel when shopping for ingredients.

Recipe #2 wins in both feel and smell. My tallow is mild but because it is used in the smallest quantity in this bar, the other oils’ sweet smells really shine. Also, this is the least “greasy” bar. Again because tallow is used in the least quantity (1/6).

Recipe #3 is a winner in terms of having the highest concentration of tallow (1/3) while still keeping a great feel and great smell.

My verdict: I’m going for #3 for myself but will be giving #2 for gifts! :)

Tallow balm or tallow bar?

These tallow bars don’t replace my tallow balm. No way! I will continue to use tallow balm on large areas of the body that are usually covered (it spreads really well) for both moisturizing and medicinal properties. The tallow bars are great for hands, feet, or parts of the body that touch or get touched a lot.

I’ve given both tallow balm and tallow bars as gifts recently. I consider the person who will be using it, the possible uses, and choose according to what I think will be best. Or I give both. :)

Want to give this a try?

DIY Hard Lotion

Depending on which recipe you choose, you’ll need coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax, and grass-fed tallow.

You can get the first three items on your own or via the DIY hard lotion kit from MadeOn Hard Lotion. Renee’s giving you all a special deal — save $2 with the coupon code gnowkit (good thru June 30, 2013)!

I’d suggest checking locally for grass-fed tallow. If you can’t find anything, try US Wellness Meats.

Let me know how it goes — plus, which recipe works best for YOU. :)

P.S. Just a reminder! Today is the last day to sign up for the Heal Your Gut online class. Here’s more info.



This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    Oh you beat me to it! :) I’ve been making Renee’s hard lotion bars with the DIY kit for over a year now and love it! I had thought about playing around with subbing in some tallow after reading your previous post about the tallow balm. At least now I don’t have to play around with it…I can just use your recipe!

  2. Joy says

    What great timing that this was just posted on FB. I am preparing to use my DIY kit in the next couple days and also just read a post on how great tallow is for the skin. I’m definitely going to try recipe #3. Win-Win. 😀

  3. Melanie Haley says

    I just rendered some tallow today and took that opportunity to make these and add some essential oils for treating eczema. So far, we really like them! They smell incredible and soaked right in without feeling greasy. I used recipe #2. If we end up liking these really well, I’ll probably put them in deodorant containers next time! Thanks so much!

  4. Susan Wheeler says

    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.

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