One of the joys of harvesting a black bear, aside from the plentiful meat that gets put into the freezer, is utilizing the fat. When rendered down, bear fat can be used in cooking, baking and for making skincare products. I promise that even though fat rendering has a less-than-appealing smell, that doesn’t transfer over to the final product, whether you are consuming it or putting it on your skin. (I’ll give you a hint, though. If you find that there is an unappealing smell lingering, you may have rendered the fat at too high of heat. Low and very slow is best.)
Bear grease is my go-to to help relieve dry skin in the wintertime. Between warming the house with wood heat (which makes the air dry), rosy cheeks from whistling winter winds and the generally harsh conditions when you are adventuring outside, your skin takes a beating. If you have already made this whipped bear fat balm, you should add this easy-to-make, two-ingredient lip balm to soothe dry lips!
To make bear grease lip balm, you will need:
1 part bear grease (or use beef tallow for similar results)
1 part organic beeswax
Optional: Vitamin E (poke a hole in the end of a capsule and squeeze one capsule worth into melted bear grease and beeswax) or essential oils (research how much to add depending on the amount of lip balm you make)
Making bear grease lip balm is quick and easy. Simply melt equal parts beeswax and bear grease in a double boiler and pour into lip balm tubes or into small tins. Allow to cool completely before placing lids on containers.
A 1:1 ratio of beeswax and bear grease makes for a firm lip balm. If you would like a softer balm, add less beeswax, but I would caution against doing so. A little bit of the lip balm goes a long way, so if you make it too soft you may find that you waste a lot.