Tallow lip balm is easy to make, fun and may even save you money if you happen to have most of the ingredients around your house already!
Lip balm is an essential basic for many of us, and a great product to make at home when you can. Most of us use it and go through a stick quickly, especially in the winter months when we’re constantly battling dry lips. Now you can make your own and never run out.
Please join me in welcoming Stephanie Lederman, owner and creator of North Mountain Naturals, who specializes in tallow-based cosmetics. She is here to share this DIY tallow body care recipe with us and we are fortunate to have her insight and expertise!
Lip Balm with Beef Tallow?
Plant oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and the like, are wonderful in their own ways, and I use these oils in my formulations as well. However, beef tallow is a true powerhouse ingredient because it is packed with nourishing fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Grass-fed beef tallow is also a more sustainable choice. (source) While most of the plant oils we purchase online or in stores are imported from various areas of the world, chances are you can procure raw suet (beef fat) from a farm in your local area. From there, you can render tallow at home! Conversely, most plant oils require expensive specialized equipment and/or chemicals to extract. (source)
I find it hard to recreate the velvety, buttery consistency of lip balms made with tallow and other rich animal–based ingredients such as lanolin and beeswax by using plant-based options.
When I try vegan lip balms, I the consistency to be oily and thin. They are too quick to disappear from my lips.
The formula I share in this post is packed with nourishing ingredients (both plant and animal sourced), and also has a buttery consistency that is not oily or thin in the least.
This recipe for beef tallow lip balm took a lot of trial and error for me to feel satisfied with. I’m really proud of it and I think you’ll love it too!
How to Render Tallow
To be completely honest, I have only rendered my own tallow once, and it was a bit of a calamity. Not because it’s a difficult process, but because I made one stupid decision (sometimes that’s all it takes…).
The process is simply to chop the suet into manageable chunks and melt it down in a stockpot or slow cooker on a very low heat, so as not to burn it. Then you’ll strain it, pour into containers of choice and allow it to harden completely before use.
You’re probably wondering about my calamity. Well, when I rendered my own tallow, I had made it to the straining process. I was making a large amount so I wanted to store it in a bucket for ease of scooping. I stupidly poured the very hot liquid tallow into a bucket that was not meant to handle such heat, and…the bucket busted. Yup…molten oily, slick fat ran all over my kitchen counter top, down the sides and onto the floor. I had a fantastic time cleaning that mess!
Needless to say, I purchase a pre-rendered tallow now. You live, you learn.
Luckily, you don’t need to follow in my footsteps. Instead, there’s Jessica’s step-by-step tutorial on How to Render Beef Tallow to the rescue!
I would definitely recommend giving it a go (with the proper equipment and guidance) at least once.
How to Make Tallow Lip Balm
Making natural lip balm at home is a very easy process!
This is a list of the ingredients you need:
The lanolin and beeswax work to form a protective barrier over your lips which locks in moisture and won’t easily rub off. Together, they are a powerful duo!
Grab your tools and get started!
You need the following equipment:
- Small saucepan
- Small glass measuring cup
- 12 Standard size lip balm tubes (0.15 ounce each)
Step 1: Measure ingredients
Begin by weighing all the ingredients into a glass measuring cup. Reserve the essential oils aside. We’ll add those in later.
Step 2: Melt the ingredients in a makeshift double-boiler
Heat a small amount of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the measuring cup into the pan. This creates a double-boiler in which you can gently melt the ingredients. The water should be just barely simmering.
Allow contents to melt completely. Stir occasionally.
Step 3: Remove from heat and cool slightly
Remove the cup from saucepan and place it on a kitchen towel. Stir gently and allow to cool slightly (30-60 seconds).
Step 4: Add essential oils
Add in your essential oils and stir until well combined.
Step 5: Pour into containers and leave to set
Pour immediately into tubes, let them sit out (caps off) until fully solidified and cooled (a few hours or over night), and then they’re ready to use!
How to Store DIY Lip Balm
The best and easiest way to store this tallow lip balm recipe is in the classic twist-up tubes.
You can also store DIY lip balm in tins if that’s all you have on-hand, but it may be difficult to get a sufficient amount of product out with your fingers, as this formula is pretty stiff.
If you have tins and want to experiment, you can try reducing the beeswax quantity to make it a softer consistency.
Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to buy lip balm tubes.
I suggest storing your homemade lip balm in a cool dry place for best results, especially if you’re not actively using it.
It’s easy to make a batch, pick one to use right away and save the rest for later use.
If you have a tube that you are pulling out and using regularly, you can keep it in your purse or wherever is convenient for you. I might avoid a hot car though, just in case it does melt.
I always keep one tube of homemade tallow lip balm in my purse and have never had it spoil or melt on me. Generally speaking, tallow is very shelf-stable for long periods of time. (source)
How Long Does Lip Balm with Tallow Last?
It is most likely, you will go through the natural chap-stick fast enough not to even need to think about spoilage.
But, if I had to give it an expiration date, I’d say one year.
Beeswax has a very high melting point (source), so I can’t imagine it melting unless you take it with you on a trip to the sun. Again, maybe just don’t store it in the glove box of your car during the summer months.
This homemade lip balm with tallow is a great gift idea too. You can absolutely make it and save it to gift to family and friends during the holidays!
DIY Tallow Lip Balm Recipe
- Weigh out all ingredients into a glass measuring cup, reserve the essential oil.
- Heat up water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the measuring cup into the saucepan (this creates a double-boiler). The water should be just barely simmering.
- Allow contents to melt completely, stir occasionally.
- Remove the cup from saucepan and place it on a kitchen towel. Stir gently and allow to cool slightly (30-60 seconds).
- Add in your essential oils and stir until well combined.
- Pour immediately into tubes, let them sit out (caps off) until fully solidified and cooled (a few hours or overnight). Once cool, they are ready to use!
Go visit North Mountain Naturals for more handcrafted, grass-fed tallow-based skincare!
More Tallow Body Care Recipes
Tallow makes luxurious skin cream. Not only is it soft and silky, but it feeds your skin and keeps it healthy all year long.
If you love this tallow chap-stick, be sure to try these DIY body care recipes with tallow too!
- Beef Tallow Moisturizer – Recommended as a beauty treatment for hands and face, this salve will leave your skin feeling silky soft but never greasy.
- Simple Tallow Lotion – This lotion is as creamy as they come and makes a nice all-purpose DIY lotion for legs, arms, and face.
- Non-toxic Baby Lotion Recipe – You only need 2 ingredients for this soothing baby cream. It’s just what you want for baby’s sensitive skin.
- Homemade Wrinkle Cream – In just 3 easy steps you can make your own tallow wrinkle cream. It is excellent for sensitive skin.
- DIY Remedy for Severely Dry Skin – Soothe chapped and irritated skin with a nourishing tallow salve that will renew and regenerate healthy skin cells to bothersome remedy dry areas.