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The Good, the Bad and The Ugly of Using Tallow on Your Skin

When it comes to natural skin care products, there are a lot of ingredients that come to mind like beeswax, aloe vera, and shea butter. But there is another natural ingredient that isn’t as well known, but used just as often, for skincare: tallow. 

Tallow is a substance extracted from animal fat (in our case, grass-fed, organically-raised, beef fat). 

While it isn’t exactly the most appealing thing to think about putting on your skin, it has some incredible benefits and can be used in quite a few ways. 

Before you choose whether or not to use tallow on your skin, let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of using tallow on your skin – so you can make an educated decision!

nefertem tallow skincare starter kit ad

What is Tallow?

Tallow is a substance that is created when animal suet (fat) is heated and filtered to remove impurities. 

It is often used in cooking, candle making, as a skincare ingredient, and in other industrial applications. 

Tallow is extracted from the nutrient-dense fat surrounding the cattle’s organs and is harvested only after the animal has been butchered for its meat.

Tallow has a wide range of uses due to its high smoke point (making it excellent for cooking), long-shelf life, and its valuable skin nourishing properties. 

It is incredibly nourishing for the skin, and as such is often used in skincare products such as soap, lip stick, moisturizers, and balms. 

Tallow has been used in skincare since the beginning of time and has been proven to be super beneficial. There are many myths surrounding tallow, but don’t let them scare you away from using this product.

The Good 

There are many reasons why you should try using tallow on your skin. 

Tallow Hydrates Dry Skin

Tallow is a great moisturizer and can be used to soothe and moisturize dry skin. 

It’s thick enough to handle the toughest rough patches, but light enough to absorb quickly into the skin. 

Plus, it’s loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids not commonly found in modern day skincare. 

So, if you have super dry skin or rough patches, a tallow moisturizer is the perfect product for you! 

women posing after using nefertem tallow moisturizer

Great for your Skin

If you have sensitive skin or easily irritated skin, tallow soap or tallow moisturizers are just the products for you too! 

Tallow is very soothing, all natural, and likely won’t irritate your skin like artificial skincare ingredients may do.

It Smells Great

Tallow actually has a lovely smell to it (if rendered properly like ours is). 

Although very faint, it has a warm, rich smell that’s oddly familiar. My opinion – because our ancestors used it so frequently, our sniffer naturally remembers it!

The Bad

There are some cons to using tallow on your skin, however, with careful use, these “bad” factors can be easily avoided.

Tallow is Thick

Tallow is a fat, so of course, it’s a thick ingredient much like shea butter or cocoa butter. If you apply too much to your skin in one area, it’ll take hours to absorb and leave you feeling greasy. 

To avoid this, only scoop out a pea-sized amount, warm it in between your palms, then apply along your skin. A pea-sized amount of tallow moisturizer is all you need to cover your entire arm and effectively hydrate your skin!

jar of tallow

Tallow is Temperature Sensitive

As a solid ingredient that can turn liquid in the heat, if tallow melts, it can separate into fats and liquid. Once cooled, it can then have a grainy, unpleasant texture.  

To avoid this, keep all tallow-based products out of the heat. Do not store tallow products in your car in the summer, for example, and keep them stored out of direct sunlight. 

Refrigeration is NOT needed, however, because tallow is shelf-stable. 

Tallow Expires

All natural ingredients expire. Tallow is one of the longer-lasting, natural ingredients with a substantial shelf-life. 

Without the use of any preservatives, if properly purified (like ours is), tallow can easily last up to one year at room temperature, and 5 years or more if frozen. 

The Ugly

Some people think that using tallow on your skin is an ugly thing. 

There is nothing wrong with using tallow when you know you are using a high quality, grass-fed, pasture-raised, ethically and humanely sourced tallow. 

Factory farmed cattle are NOT a good source of tallow. 

Ensure your tallow-based products are made only with tallow rendered from family farms that raise their cattle as nature intended – with plenty of grass, sunshine and zero antibiotics or steroids. 

But even with this level of care, some people simply object to using tallow and that’s ok. Here’s their stance on the Ugly side of using tallow. 

Not Vegan

Tallow is not vegan. Obviously, the animal must be butchered to harvest its organ fats. 

Keep in mind the cattle are not being butchered FOR their tallow, but for their meat. 

Therefore, if meat eaters exist, cattle will be processed. When processed, if the tallow wasn’t being used, we’d be wasting a precious resource.

cow eating grass

We believe in the nose-to-tail theory that if an animal is to be butchered, all parts of it need to be utilized. It’s only respectful. 

There are Other Non-Animal Options

This is true. We all have options. Some of us opt for the way our ancestors used to do it. 

Although recently humans have had the option to be selective with what we consume and use, with all the commercial, store-bought options available, there was once a time when we all had to use what was available to us locally to survive. 

Tallow allowed people to… 

  • light their homes

  • hydrate their skin

  • clean their skin

  • wash their clothes

  • lubricate farm equipment

  • and more 

…for tens of thousands of years (we know for sure…but probably much longer than that).  

How to Use Tallow on Your Skin

Tallow is an incredibly versatile product that can be used for many different skincare purposes. 

It is a great moisturizer and will nourish your skin. 

You can use it as an all-over moisturizer, as an eye cream, or as a face cream. 

You can make it into soap or a natural exfoliation product. 

You can also use it as a lip balm or on your hands and feet as a moisturizing tallow balm

Just make sure it’s grass-fed and raised without the use of hormones, antibiotics, or steroids (Like Nefertem’s tallow is…)

Nefertem Tallow-Based Skincare

Nefertem offers the highest quality, pure tallow skincare products. 

Each skincare product is made by hand using tallow rendered (by hand) from grass-fed, organically-raised, humanely-processed, cattle and other natural ingredients like shea butter, beeswax and essential oils. 

If you’re ready to ramp up your skincare routine, try Nefertem Tallow-based, holistic skincare today!

nefertem tallow skincare starter kit ad

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