Beef Tallow is one of my all-time favorite skincare ingredients. I use it in my face cream, body lotion, and have even been experimenting with making tallow soap! There is so much to love about tallow for skin care; it is a nourishing, luxurious, and inexpensive ingredient that anyone can incorporate into their routine. In this blog I want to answer a few commonly asked questions and some facts about the incredible benefits of beef tallow for skin.
Why you should use tallow for skin
Tallow is rendered beef fat. That might not sound very appealing to you, but hear me out. Tallow is the historical ingredient for many skincare products and soaps. This is because it is full of vitamins and minerals like A, D, E, K, and CLA, all of which can be found at their highest potency in animal-based skincare. These vitamins and minerals are a powerful tool to heal your skin because tallow is very similar to the chemistry of the human epidermis. This means it absorbs into the skin, moisturizing and nourishing it, without clogging pores or causing oil. Because it contains the same lipids and fats found in healthy, youthful skin, it replenishes the skin’s elasticity which naturally declines with age. Beef tallow also creates a protective barrier on the skin that helps to lock in moisture while still allowing the skin to breathe. The ancient Egyptians and Romans knew this and used tallow frequently in their skincare as a miraculous moisturizing, healing, and curing agent for many topical ailments. Until about 100 years ago, tallow was commonly found in most kitchens, and cottage apothecaries, in addition to soaps, lotions, candles, and lamps.
Does Tallow smell bad?
Tallow can occasionally have a slight beefy smell. If tallow is rendered and cleaned really well, it should not have any smell. For an odorless tallow, buy pure, organic, grass-fed, and finished that is rendered and cleaned properly. If this is not an option, you can also render your own.
Can I render my own tallow?
Yes! If you have organic, grass-fed beef fat, you can render your own tallow with a little time and knowledge. Check out this blog to learn how. I would recommend sourcing beef fat from a local farm (many give it away for free!). I have started adding beef fat to our yearly quarter-cow order in order to render my own tallow. If this is not an option for you, touch base with your local butcher who might be giving away beef fat.
How to use tallow for skin care
In my face balm and lotion recipes, tallow is the main ingredient. I like to use tallow as the base and then add things like shea butter, cocoa butter, skin oils, honey, and even aloe vera, but above all, I keep my tallow recipes simple and my ingredients list short. If you really want to keep things quick and simple, you can absolutely slather your face in only tallow. I would also recommend testing a small amount of tallow on your skin if you have never used this ingredient before. Most people do not have negative reactions, but its always better to check first.
Where can I purchase tallow?
I purchase my tallow from a local farm or render it from fat that comes with my local grass-fed beef order. This is the most reliable way to find consistently high-quality tallow. If local tallow is not an option for you, there are a few great brands to purchase from online: