Well, for starters it
• has a wealth of nutrients,
• feels amazing and
• is NOT the latest fad (it's actually been around for thousands of years).
Let’s explore further…
When a cow is processed for its beef, the fat surrounding the animal’s organs, called “suet”, is removed.
The suet is further processed into clarified oil by boiling the suet with water and progressively straining it.
Once purified, the fat is called “tallow”, is shelf-stable, great for cooking and superb for skin care.
But why is it so superb for skincare you may be asking. Here goes…
1. Tallow from grass-fed cows (commercial “cow factory farms” need not apply) contains high amounts of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). This essential fatty acid aides in optimal skin health, has been shown to fight cancer and helps the body convert fat into lean muscle tissue.
2. Grass-fed tallow contains vitamins A, D and K, along with the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E and anti-microbial palmitoleic acid.
3. Grass fed tallow is biologically similar to the oily secretions in our skin known as sebum. In fact, “sebum” is Latin for “tallow”. (Our ancestors knew what they were doing!) Both are 50-55% saturated fat and consist mainly of triglycerides which allows for easy absorption of nutrients.
4. Using grass fed tallow on your face might help you keep your ‘young-as-a-spring-chicken’ look as tallow has been known to boost collagen production and reduce inflammation (puffiness).
5. And finally, because unless your vegetarian/vegan, using fat from a cow is no different than eating meat from a cow. By using the fat, you reduce what would be considered the “waste” of the animal, thereby respectfully utilizing more parts of the cow.
Well, you can cook with it or you can apply it to your skin.
Tallow is sometimes available at local supermarkets near the cooking oils. If you do choose to cook with it, make sure it is “grass-fed” to ensure you benefit from all that was mentioned above.
If you plan to apply it to your skin instead of cooking with it, I highly recommend rendering it an additional 2 times to remove the beefy scent. If you do not, you may start to attract the neighborhood dogs!
Of course, if you’re not the DIY type, you can locate a tallow skincare company and order products directly from them...hint..hint..(we make a really nice tallow body butter available for shipping from October 1st through April 30th)
If you do buy from another company, make sure…
1. The tallow is from grass-fed cows and rendered three times (or “triple-purified” as it’s called in the industry) to remove any scent.
2. The products contain only pure essential oils and not synthetic fragrance oils (these can cause rashes, headaches, skin irritation and hormone imbalances)
3. And finally, be sure the products do not contain artificial ingredients, cosmetic chemicals or artificial colorants such as micas, FD&C colors or oxides - all bad news for the health of your skin.
So, while the sound of smearing cow fat on your face likely had you grimacing at first, I hope hearing the facts surrounding the use of it turned you into a not-so-squeamish believer in all things tallow.
Because I'm here to tell you that there are tons of 'all-things-tallow' to choose from or make yourself. In fact, it was extremely common for women to use the fat from their own family's cow and make products for her household.
Using tallow to make salves, lotion bars and candles dates back thousands of years and was regularly practiced until the early 1900's. Unfortunately, the fat free and plant-based oil crazes dampened the reputation of cow fat.
But hear me now, THE MOST moisturizing soap you'll ever use will be made from tallow. (hint, click soap to see our tallow soaps, we're sort of partial) Don't let a bad rep keep you from the wonderfulness of tallow.
So, go to your supermarket, butcher (if you’re REALLY feeling DIY) or local tallow skincare company and get you some cow fat AND cow fat soap for your face!