I can't take credit for the genius of this. But I can tell you that I've tweaked this from its original word-of-mouth source and am totally digging it. I think you will, too. What on Earth am I talking about?
A do-it-yourself homemade skin soother made from extra virgin coconut oil, beeswax and tallow. You know, the rendered fat from sheep or cows? Tallow is pretty versatile stuff. If you're using tallow from grass-fed animals, that's even better, because those benefits transfer to your skin. Of course, folks have been cooking with it for ages--it's the epitome of being sustainable--but it also has been used to make candles, too.
I have to thank Hannah Weller, one of the butchers from Dundore & Heister, the super awesome vendor at the Easton Farmers' Market, for the inspiration. Actually, I need to take it further back than that, but suffice to say Hannah put together a salve last winter that was life saving. It had all of these ingredients plus a whole lotta love. Tallow is worth purchasing and keeps indefinitely if stored well in the freezer. I used their tallow, and you can buy beeswax from your local health food store, but many beekeepers who sell at farmers' markets have beeswax and will sell it to you if you ask. I got a big block of it for about 10 bucks from Stagecoach Apiary.
I shared this recipe with folks who attended my Heal Yourself at the Market class a couple weeks ago, but it's too good not to post, so here it is for anyone who wants to get into the world of do-it-yourself skin care.
This recipe makes one 4-ounce jar of a lovely balm, but if you want to make more and give them as gifts, simply double and triple the recipe as needed.
- 1 ounce extra virgin (unrefined) coconut oil
- 2 1/2 ounces beef tallow
- Scant 1 ounce beeswax, grated
- 3-4 drops of your favorite, high quality essential oil (lavender and tea tree are especially good for the skin)
Melt the coconut oil and tallow in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat. This should take just a few minutes. Once the fats are liquified, remove from the heat and add the grated beeswax. Then, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. (Disclosure: I distribute the amazing and effective Young Living essential oils.)
Transfer the mixture into a clean jar, seal it and place it in the refrigerator so it will firm up again.
The soother will be firm, spreadable but not overly soft. Keep it at room temperature.