What is Tallow and Why Do We Use It?

What is Tallow and Why Do We Use It?

Why do we use TALLOW in our products? 

I’m sure some of you already know that tallow is animal fat. Specifically, tallow is beef fat that has been cooked down (or rendered) to remove impurities. If you’re not familiar with tallow, you might be familiar with lard, which is pig fat that has been cooked down in the same way as tallow. Lard has been used as a cooking fat for centuries and is still used today in some baked goods (like certain donuts) and savory dishes (like refried beans). 

Similarly, tallow has been used for thousands of years as an essential part of skincare. The earliest records show that tallow was used to make soap by Sumerians and Babylonians over 5,000 years ago. Additionally, the ancient Egyptians and Romans used tallow not only as a cleansing and moisturizing agent but also as a cure for burns, scrapes, and other ailments.

So why isn’t tallow used in more commercials soaps and skincare products today?

Great question, friends! The most straightforward answer is: cost. It is both easier and cheaper to produce products with chemicals, petroleum, vegetable seed oils, and other synthetic ingredients.

If you have been around here for a while, you already know that we only use the most natural ingredients possible – our body care products include ingredients that you know and can pronounce.

You might still be wondering - why tallow though?

Interestingly, tallow shares similar oils with our skin so its many restorative properties are easily absorbed. It can penetrate our skin’s lipid barrier allowing it to nourish the skin more deeply, unlike products that are water or plant-based, which have a tendency to just sit on top of the skin.

What ARE tallow’s restorative properties?

I’m so glad you asked that question!

  1. Tallow contains vitamins A, D, E, and K which are antioxidants. Antioxidants are really great at fighting free radical damage to our skin (from pollution, for example) as well as reducing the signs of aging – wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.
  2. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are also fat-soluble so they stimulate the production of collagen, which helps with the skin’s elasticity.
  3. Because tallow contains vitamins D, E, and K, it protects the skin’s barrier along with being anti-inflammatory.
  4. Vitamin A in tallow helps skin cells turnover faster by reducing the amount of natural oil on the body (sebum), which also means that tallow will not clog the skin’s pores (sebaceous glands).
  5. Vitamin E in tallow soothes and repairs damage or injuries to the skin more quickly.
  6. Omega 3 fatty acids in tallow benefit the skin’s surface by being antimicrobial, which prevents or slows down the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms.
  7. Tallow consists of many essential acids, like oleic, palmitic, and stearic, that help to hydrate and repair the skin.

What can tallow NOT do? 

It IS pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Besides having so many benefits for your skin, tallow is sustainable and environmentally-friendly because we are using a byproduct of beef production that would normally NOT BE UTILIZED. That’s right – it would be thrown away. We are thrilled to be able to ensure that as much of the animal is used as possible and is respectfully not wasted.

You will find tallow in the following Farmer's Body Products: Hand & Body Lotions, Body Butters, Lip Balms, and Bar Soaps

Next up: Where do we get our locally-sourced tallow?

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