Given my obsession with tallow-based skincare, it kinda feels like a huge oversight not to have talked about rendering tallow yet.
It’s a simple process that can be done at home with just a few basic tools.
Winter skin happens to everyone. Months of cold, dry air take their toll.
This time of year calls for a little extra TLC to help lock in precious moisture and add a protective barrier against the elements. A deeply hydrating overnight therapy can restore our lips natural moisture balance and help to smooth, soften and nourish the skin.
I’m one of those weird people who insists on having about 47 chapsticks or lip balms in strategic places around the house. And in the car, in my desk, in multiple purses, my gym bag, my pocket, melted in the dryer (oops)…
Over the years, I’ve also tried many (so, so many) recipes for homemade deodorants, including Milk of Magnesia, magnesium oil sprays and even Desitin with varying degrees of mediocre success. They just didn’t work for me, and I always gave up and reluctantly went crawling back to my commercial antiperspirant… until the injustice of being forced to use a toxic product made me angry enough to try again. Rinse and repeat.
So why worry so much about finding a quote-unquote “natural” hippy-dippy deodorant?
One of my favorite things I learned this year in my herbal apprenticeship with Cedar Mountain Herb School was how to harvest and use pine (Pinus spp.) resin — aka pine pitch — from the abundant conifers we have growing all around us in North Idaho.
Pine pitch is stimulating, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is well suited to all sorts of topical applications. It speeds the healing of inflammatory skin irritations, rashes, burns and wounds. It also has astringent properties that make it useful for drawing out splinters.
Find out why I’m shifting my focus away from sunscreens and SPF products in favor of a more holistic UV management approach using botanicals and cosmeceuticals shown to support the skin’s ability to withstand UV exposure. What I learned changed my mind about the wisdom of wearing (any kind of) sunscreen — even the “natural” and “safe” mineral ones.
It’s not such a coincidence that many of the same herbs that are beneficial to keeping aging skin healthy and happy are also useful for healing wounds and minimizing scarring — it’s all about skin repair!
My herbal apprenticeship spent this week out in the woods, learning about identifying conifers, digging up and processing arrowleaf balsamroot… and feeding the mosquitos.
Fortunately for my itchy self, I developed a recipe for an effective bug bite remedy a couple summers ago. This Sting Stick has been a life saver.
Cottonwood buds are bursting with a wonderful, sticky red resin that many herbalists refer to as an “herbal band-aid.” Its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties make it a top-notch first-aid salve that deserves a place in every herbalist’s medicine cabinet (and perhaps a place in their daily skincare routine!)
The inspiration for this recipe came from its name. Say it with me: Mallow mallow tallow. Now a little faster: Mallowmallowtallow. It’s just so much fun to say out loud! ♥