Animal fats vs plant oils in cosmetics

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 26, 2013 at 3:11 AM

It seems that traditionally, animal fats were used alongside plant oils (such as olive, shea, coconut, camellia) in cosmetics. These days, folks seem to run from any cosmetics with animal fats in them thinking they're "harsh for the skin" and "dirty". I am been thinking though. It seems superfatted tallow soaps are the most popular among men who are into shaving. If animal fats and saturated fats have more nutrition plus are better for the diet, wouldn't they also have a chance of working better than plant oils for external uses? After all, we condition leather in animal fats and esters such as beeswax lanolin, mink oil, and neatsfoot oil rather than olive and vegetable oils. Plus, it seems that the plant oils praised the most for moisturizing skin, such as coconut oil and shea butter, are the most resembling of animal fats as they are quite saturated.

Has anyone used tallow, emu, ghee, lanolin, and such animal-based products externally and thought they worked better than say, olive oil? How do they compare to plant oils?



on August 14, 2013
at 06:24 AM

I would still like more answers to these. This is for a project.

  • 8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1429D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers


on July 26, 2013
at 03:16 AM

My grandparents in China used to rub leftover cooked cow fat onto their hands when they farmed. It really helped them. Yeah, it doesn't smell like flowers, but it was practical.

I've tried emu oil. It works quite well. Very moisturizing; a bit thick, though. I used to put coconut oil in my hair, but it would just sit on top. My hair and skin also wouldn't drink it in.

My skin is quite moisturized by ingesting fats, though, so I don't have to buy the lotions, anymore. :D Quite a miracle.



on July 27, 2013
at 03:36 PM

I make soap with lard and find it very moisturising. Suppose I could try lard as a hair treatment instead of coconut oil?

Edit - can confirm that lard is as good as - if not better than - coconut oil as a pre-shampoo hair treatment. That's me swapping over then, more pigs than palm trees around here!

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!