What's all this talk about Tallow?
Tallow, which is purified and rendered animal fat, has been part of holistic skincare practices for millennia, from ancient Rome and Egypt to your grandmother's medicine cabinet. It's certainly not a new kid on the block, but rather an ancient ingredient that's making a resurgence in today's skincare scene. For centuries before the introduction of petroleum-based skincare products, tallow was the gold standard of moisturizers.
"What makes tallow so special?", you might ask. Well, it's all in its composition. Tallow has a naturally balanced array of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, including fat-soluble ones like A, D, E, K, and B12. What's even more interesting is its striking resemblance to human skin, particularly in its fatty acid structure. Due to this resemblance, tallow provides native moisture and nutrients to various skin types and conditions, boosting skin health and regeneration, especially for dry, sensitive, or UV-damaged skin.
The secret lies in its ability to permeate the skin at a cellular level, thanks to its compatibility with the skin's molecular structure. More specifically, its composition of stratum corneum lipids - ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids - are nearly identical to those that make up the skin's extracellular matrix. Tallow is so similar that the term 'tallow' even translates to 'sebum' in Latin, which refers to the natural oils produced by our skin.
Using tallow as a part of your skincare routine can offer numerous benefits. For instance, it can function as a hydrating balm, salve, or moisturizer to soften dry skin, aid in wound healing, and protect against environmental damage. When used as a moisturizer, it acts as a barrier cream, making it a prime candidate for a makeup primer or a skin-protectant for cold harsh weather.
Perfect for tackling signs of aging, grass-fed, grass-finished beef tallow -- which contains 4x higher concentrations of Vitamin E than grain-fed tallow -- can help reverse damage caused by free radicals, entities that can deplete collagen levels leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots on aging skin. Essentially, Vitamin E acts as a ticket to younger, healthier-looking skin.
Worried about clogged pores? You can breathe easy. Tallow has a low comedogenic score, meaning it doesn't clog your pores. Moreover, it can effectively work with your sebaceous glands to regulate oil production, support skin barrier function, and trigger an anti-inflammatory response.
Tallow is chock-full of vitamins A, D, E, & K, and it helps protect against damage from free radicals, which are notorious for accelerating aging. These free radicals are often unleashed by various environmental factors, such as air pollution, UVA and UVB rays, and exposure to toxins from everyday influences like smoking, alcohol, and sugar. Tallow also contains trace minerals like selenium, which are known for their skin-protective and restorative properties.
Tallow's anti-inflammatory benefits come from the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and niacin content, making it a potential soothing agent for skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Its high concentration of CLA can help address issues such as UV damage, redness, irritated skin, and extreme dryness, making it a universal skincare solution, irrespective of skin type.
So, whether you're looking to hydrate dry skin, fight off signs of aging, or calm skin inflammation, tallow might just be your skin's new best friend.