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By Darlene Forshee (bio below)
My journey into making my own products started about 10 years ago. My skin started breaking out in rashes, I was developing more and more allergies, my asthma was getting worse and I didn’t know why. My partner also had severe skin reactions all over her body and it got to the point where the skin on her hands was so inflamed, she had weeping eczema and her skin started bubbling and shedding. It was terribly painful for her and she had very limited mobility of her hands. We went to numerous dermatologists and doctors and the majority of them said that they’ve never seen anything like it. They didn’t know what it was and one dermatologist even told us she had scarlet fever. The pain eventually became so excruciating that I had to take her to the E.R. where they still couldn’t tell us what was happening, but gave her a large dose of steroids and sent us home. This endless cycle of doctors having no clue as to what was happening was driving us insane. It’s at that point that I started researching environmental toxins, as well as food allergies, and realized that not only did we create our own health problems, but that we could heal ourselves as well.
And we did.
After many different trials and errors, my research directed me to the benefits of using tallow.
What is Tallow?
Tallow is basically fat rendered (melted down) from beef or sheep.
Tallow has many fat-soluble vitamins that are not found in plant based products, and these properties help alleviate redness, inflammation, irritation, cracked and scaly skin. The tallow that I use in The Healthy Porcupine’s Tallow Balm and Tallow Soap comes from grass-fed cows which gives it a higher nutrient profile. I pick the suet up from local farms, trim, render and filter it before making into balm and soap. The balm and soap are very gentle for sensitive skin as it helps restore and moisturize your skin.
What is Pine Tar?
Pine tar is an old remedy that has been used to help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and other forms of dermatitis. It is also used to relieve itching caused by bug bites and poison ivy, and its antiseptic properties make it safe to use during flareups and on open wounds. The pine tar that I use in my 20% Pine Tar Soap is kiln burned pine tar from Sweden that is used especially for these purposes.
All of my soaps are handmade in small batches, hand cut, and cured. Depending on the soap, I use either the cold process or hot process method. Most of my soaps are made using cold process, but I find that while making the Pine Tar soap the hot process gives me a more consistent product.
It takes time to figure out what works best for each of us, and what’s right for one person may not be right for another. It took us years to get to this point and it wasn’t easy, but I feel so fortunate that I am able to use my experiences to help others. I hope you’ll find our Grass Fed Tallow products as healing as we have found.
Bio: New Hampshire based tallow master, soap maker and owner of The Healthy Porcupine.