Tallow making my skin.... dry? Confused.

DennisDennis Member
edited November 2020 in General

Straight to the point: Applying tallow to the skin in the evening and then in the morning, after a gentle normal handwash, the hands became really dry.

From all I've read online, the fatty acids in tallow should be very skin compatible. What is going on here?

I formulated a tallow cream which I am going to share here:

Water phase
durosoft SF (PG4-O)1.50%
phenoxyethanol EHG1.0000%

Oil phase
durosoft SF (PG4-O)1.50%
white bee’s wax2.0000%
perfume / essential oils0.50%

I first thought it was because the emulsifier made the fats wash away more easily so I also applied pure tallow on my hands, feet and body. The same thing happened. The skin actually got more dry than it would if I had not applied any tallow to it. This occurs with home made tallow as well.

I have searched the web and I can not find any other anecdotes regarding this issue.

Another interesting note:
I know what you are thinking, Durosoft PKSG should be used instead at the water/oil ratio but I just experimented with this one and it has actually stayed emulsified for 8 months. I have made an after shave cream with tallow and Durosoft PKSG (new name PG4L-SG) too and it makes my face dry too.


  • @Dennis I believe this can also be caused by irritation from some ingredient in your formula. Can I ask why are you using carbamide? I've synthesized it in the lab while studying, but seems a bit strange to see it in a cosmetic formula. 
  • @ketchito
    Thank you for your response.

    I found out what the problem was!
    I had also used a 20% carbamide solution on my hands prior to this happening. My skin was exfoliating. The flaking and feeling of having dry skin has not occured since then and I have used the formula many times on my skin since starting this thread and it has only improved my skin. Thank god I found out what the problem was.

    I also want to add that the carbamide concentration in the above formula can be reduced to 3 or 2,5% if it is being used very frequently.

    "Carbamide(urea)-containing creams are used as topical dermatological products to promote rehydration of the skin." - Wikipedia

    It is present in some creams prescribed by physicians in Sweden.

  • 20% urea is prescription dose - alone or in combination with other drugs for Keratolytic effect used in Psoriasis and other hyperkeratosis lesions.
    You probably be fine with 5% in your moisturizer.

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