A sheep polishes away a snake's molting skin to reveal shiny, smooth skin underneath.

Using Tallow for Dry Skin

Many years ago, when my mom was dealing with dry, itchy patches, her doctor wrote a prescription for sheep fat or lanolin. Although it was extremely thick, we warmed it in our hands and patted it on mom’s cracked skin. It worked so well, and mom shared it with me. Using tallow for dry skin is super easy today, and there is no prescription needed!

What is tallow?

Tallow is basically another word for fat that comes from animals. You can purchase products with tallow made from beef, sheep, pork, and emu, to name a few. Many candles and soaps contain tallow. It is also used to make rich and luxurious moisturizers.

Its use has been traced all the way back to the times of Cleopatra. Yes, tallow was part of the original homemade soap and moisturizer in one. It’s a safe and natural product that helps keep skin clean, dry, and protected.

Creating a barrier for hydration

Most people who have atopic dermatitis or eczema conditions have a disturbance in their skin barrier. This creates a situation where cracking, weeping, and even an infection can set in. The fat in products containing tallow actually creates a barrier for better hydration. Unlike petroleum jelly, it doesn’t suffocate the skin but works naturally on a cellular level with your own lipids. In fact, it is so near to a human's natural fat that it is easily and rapidly absorbed.

Packed with vitamins and antioxidants

Because it is animal-based, and pure fat, it contains a lot of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K and also antioxidants. Many claim that as our skin absorbs the vitamins, it sets up an environment for healing and fighting free radicals. Using tallow for dry skin can reduce irritation and inflammation, meaning less redness and cracking in your skin too.

Using tallow now

With the modern-day paleo movement, using tallow for dry skin is affordable. You can find different types of animal fat soaps, creams, and moisturizers in most stores. Also, check out local sources in craft fairs. Someone near you may be making homemade tallow products.

I try to be careful and buy only products made from grass-fed and NOT grain-fed beef. My husband wanted to be sure that any product we used would not irritate his eczema. He is allergic to gluten, and that means I had to scour for the very fewest ingredients.

What products should I use?

If you are buying high-quality, grass-fed, and finished tallow products, it is going to be a bit pricier. I have 2 products that my family is using right now, and they were both purchased online.


This cream made from Emu tallow and is rich and absorbs perfectly, even for my face. It’s a miracle for the sensitive areas where my husband's skin was peeling from eczema. Everyone in the family loves it.

The Healthy Porcupine

This Pure Tallow Soap bar has one ingredient, tallow. Even though it is unscented, I love the clean scent it leaves on my skin.

Trying tallow for dry skin

If you are ready to begin using tallow for dry skin, I suggest you decide how much to invest and research your brands before you buy. I’m happy with these products and plan to continue using them in the future. If you find a product you love, pass it on!

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