Lard is a popular soapmaking ingredient. It was also used in the last century, and before that, by many women as a natural, cheap moisturizer. It refers to rendered pig fat. Therefore, being an animal product, is avoided by vegans and animal rights activists. It has a bad enough reputation in general as a cooking ingredient.
While there are definitely vegetable options for all your beauty products, lard still makes sense for two reasons: for some, it’s the only cheap available ingredient; for some, it’s the only product that was able to soothe the effects of life-lasting skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
In this post, you will find a very simple recipe that turns lard into a nice-smelling and skin caring cream. The recipe was thought as a face cream, but you can actually use it on hands, feet, or any dry zone of your body you may need special hydration.
Using Lard As a Moisturizer
In this post I was able to find out that lard was used as a facial moisturizer centuries before the cosmetic industry arose. Probably because while working on pig fat to make lard, women found out that their hands were softer and more hydrated than usual. Who knows?
In this post you can find a journalist from the Daily Mail making an experience by using lard as a moisturizer, and the surprising results it had on her face. I wish to draw some attention to the last part where they speak about the journalist’s face redness condition, reduced by the application of lard, whether because lard was able to diminish the effects of a condition called rosacea, or because the usual cosmetics she used had chemicals that may be causing her redness condition.
This post recommends lard as a moisturizer for people suffering from eczema. This post has a testimony about someone using lard to manage eczema effects, among a new dietary regime, with very good results. This post from WebMD recommends shortening (another name for lard) as a treatment for psoriasis.
I could post more testimonies and recommendations about using lard for skin conditions, there are a lot when you search for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, even acne! Fact is lard is very similar to human sebum – our natural skin fat – so when you apply lard, you are practically moisturing your skin naturally, and also telling your body you don’t need more sebum production.
While I am not a huge fan myself of lard for my face, I strongly defend natural products for your skin treatment – and I like to provide alternatives to people desperate to treat their own skin conditions. From reading many cosmetic labels and having myself a very good experience with natural skin products, I can only tell that any natural product is better than most man-made.
Of course, what works for one person, might have the opposite effect for another person. So, be open to try new products and give lard a chance for a few weeks. Check your results and then decide if this is a good product for you.
My Personal Experience
After reading all those posts, I had to try lard as a face moisturizer. After rendering my own lard at home, I came up with a very simple recipe, where I just add a small amount of the usual cooling phase ingredients (essential oils, preservative, anti-oxidant).
I already have been using a very good face lotion, so I can’t say I had notable-breakthrough results. I have the impression I had some pimples after using lard as a moisturizer, so I do need to use it sparingly as I might have put more than necessary. I will probably wait for winter and make a real test for a whole month. I’ll post the results here by then.
This recipe is not a lotion or even a cream (I’ve just called it a face cream for simplicity) as it is not an emulsion. It’s not even a balm (there’s no wax in the recipe). It is supposed to be mainly natural handmade lard, so let’s call it an oil product.
I’ve rendered lard at home to have a pure lard that I wanted to use for soap, lip balm and a face cream – this one. To the lard, I’ve added lavender essential oil for a better scent, the ever-present vitamin E as my main anti-oxidant and a bit of pomegranate seed oil for my mature skin – and a preservative, as I really don’t trust handmade lard to last very long out of the fridge.
You can skip any of these addictives as you believe to be irritating for your skin – lavender is one of the most mild essential oils and appropriate for more sensitive skins, but it’s still an essential oil….
For this recipe, as with all natural products, you can enrich it by infusing your lard with herbs (you simply need to melt the lard under low heat before pouring it over the herbs), like calendula for example. It’s something I will try in the future as an enhancement to this cream.
Find Where To Buy Handmade Lard Face Cream
If you’re not yet ready to try to make this recipe at home, but you still wish to try a natural lard face cream, you can find some options in the following links, including handmade natural lard:
- More About Lard: What Does Lard Do In Soap?
- More Skincare Recipes: Lotions, Creams and Body Butters Category
- Lard Soap Recipes: Homemade Lard Soap Recipe; Lard and Calendula Soap Recipe.
Homemade Lard Moisturizer
- Disinfect all your equipment before starting. You can boil some of your equipment (like glass cups, spoons), and use a solution of 1 liter of water with 1/2 cup of bleach, for items that are not heat-resistant (like plastic cups, pipettes or the cream containers)
- Measure all the ingredients into a bowl, finish with the essential oil.
- For each ingredient you measure, mix the cream with a spoon.
- Pour your cream into a tin container. A pump bottle protects more your cream against oxidation, dirt contamination or getting in contact with your fingers. However, it has a thick consistency, and it might clog your lotion pump bottle.