Is Tallow a Good Face Moisturizer?

It’s no secret, skin care isn’t only about beauty. Yes, with a healthy and supple face, you will radiate a bit more. But it’s also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. There’s a hang up though: the sheer volume of different face moisturizers on the market can be really overwhelming. And no one wants to get a headache before they’ve even taken care of their skin!

Tallow is a good face moisturizer, even if it’s an uncommon one. It’s great to use on various skin conditions and helps keep your face feeling young and vibrant. Affordable, all-natural and appropriate for sensitive skin, it’s a great alternative to mass produced moisturizers with questionable ingredients.

Let’s take a closer look at some of tallow’s benefits, plus go over how you should use it. Read on to be in the know.

How to Use Tallow on the Face

Although the application of tallow is straightforward, there’s still some helpful guidance we can impart. Note that it’s best to use tallow in the evenings. This is due to its thickness and density, with even smaller portions needing longer to soak in. If you put it on after washing your face and before you go to sleep, the tallow will have plenty of time to work its way in overnight. To determine how much to use, simply use your own good judgement and err on ‘less is more’. Gently rub into your face in circular motions, just as you would with any other moisturizer. Then use the excess on any other dry areas of skin such as on your elbows or the backs of your hands. Finally, lay back and enjoy the wonders of your all-natural moisturizer! (Bonus tip: if you’re going to regularly use a tallow treatment at night, you might want to consider a second pillowcase out of respect for your pillow.)

Why Tallow is Good for the Face

Tallow can be very helpful for various skin issues such as:

  • Wrinkles due to aging
  • Fatigue lines under the eyes
  • Eczema

How Tallow Helps with Aging Wrinkles

Wrinkles are the tell-tale sign of, let’s put it nicely, wisdom. The wizening (aka aging) process is of course inevitable. But if you can manage, there’s no reason to not alleviate some of its signs, especially when they’re showing up on your face. Tallow is just the substance for this task, high in the essential vitamins D, A, K and E. Vitamin E, for example, has antioxidant qualities, which prevent damage from UV radiation and sustain a more youthful looking complexion.

Another thing to consider is that 47% of the fatty acid composition of tallow is oleic acid.  This acid is what is known as a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. And it is revered in the beauty world for it’s ability to nourish and replenish dry or aging skin.

Tallow’s Effect on Fatigue Wrinkles

Remember the lines which accumulate under your eyes after having been on the go too long with too little rest? You might know them as tired lines! The vitamin E from tallow can reduce them as well. Using such natural forms of vitamin E has been proven to help slow the breakdown of collagen. And collagen is one of the main structural components of the connective tissues which make the skin elastic and robust.

Using Tallow for Eczema and Dry Skin

Beauty is about much more than just outer appearances. In practice, though, this isn’t always easy to convince yourself of. Especially when you suffer from extremely dry skin or eczema showing up on visible areas like the face, arms or hands. And to make things more difficult, the causes of these skin conditions vary considerably and are often hard to pinpoint.

Thankfully, tallow is a single-ingredient moisturizer, which is a relief for people with eczema. It can otherwise be nearly impossible to determine which of the many ingredients in a moisturizer is causing their reaction.

Even more good news for those with sensitivities, tallow is less likely to cause problems in the first place. This is in part because it’s make-up is so similar to that of our own skin. Also, with a fairly thick consistency, tallow helps keep moisture locked in, essential for those with very dry skin types.

But What is Tallow?

Tallow is produced by rendered (purified) beef or mutton fat, you might also know it as dripping.

The type best for skin care should come from animals which were pasture-raised and grass-fed. Animals who lived healthy and fully nourished lives will have great body compositions from their nutrient rich diets, making tallow of the highest possible quality.

I know it might sound gross to put animal fat on your skin, but just think about it. According to the the ABC’s Australia Talks National Survey 89% respondents said they were meat eaters. So an overwhelming majority of people don’t have a problem eating meat, but think it’s strange to apply it to the skin. On the contrary, tallow is one of the oldest sources of moisturiser. Tallow can be kept for extended periods of time, even at room temperature. It remains solid unless its heated up and has a dense and oily consistency. And although it’s not the most common moisturizer for the face, tallow has been used cosmetically for a long time. Historically, it’s been used for many different purposes from making candles all the way to soap. And on the ethical side of the debate, the use of tallow for cosmetic purposes helps minimise wastage of the fat of the animal, that is slaughtered for food purposes anyway.

But don’t be put off by thinking that you are grabbing that hunk of fat off your chop and putting it on your face. No, first the fat has to be completely removed from any meat. Meat will actually contaminate your moisturiser (and make it smell meaty).

Recipe: How to prepare a tallow cream

To prepare tallow from scratch, you need to remove any meat off the fat. Heat the fat on low heat over the stove until the oil comes out of the fat. Discard the cartilage.

If you are using store bought tallow / animal fat, you just need to heat it over the stove until it turns to oil.

Measure out 250mls of your tallow oil.

While it is a liquid, add in 1/2 of a cup of your oil of choice (this can be any liquid oil- we choose Jojoba oil, but you can choose any oil eg almond oil, argan oil, olive oil etc)

If you want it to smell pretty, or want to use a essential oil for a specific skin condition you can also add it in while the oils are all liquid. Add in 48 drops of essential oil which equals approx 3ml.

Some common essential oils that are good for skin are:

  • Peppermint
  • Lemon Grass
  • Chamomile
  • Tea Tree
  • Cedarwood

Once concoction is mixed up, it still cools to a solid form, but it is more of a balm, but is not too hard to use.

For those who want a cream, beat it up in your cake mixer. Yep that’s right! Just whip it and it turns into a lovely cream with the texture a bit like whipped icing sugar!

Note, in winter you may like to put slightly more liquid oil in as the cold weather can set it a bit harder. In summer, you can also use a little less.

You do not need to store it in the fridge, just pop it in a lidded container and use within approximately 3 months.

Tallow in Comparison to Other Moisturizers

So how does tallow actually compare with other plant and petroleum moisturisers? Let’s take a look at why you should think about getting onto the tallow bandwagon…

Tallow is Additive-Free and All-Natural

This is not the case with most other cosmetics. You won’t need to do more than take a quick glance at the list of ingredients on any given bottle to get a good picture. Of course, just because a word is long, strange or has a few too many numbers at the end, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad for you. But neither do these types of ingredients provide us much peace of mind. Especially when cosmetics in the US don’t even need FDA approval before being sold. No worries with tallow though, what you see is what you get.

And, coming from animal fat, the chemical make-up of tallow pairs excellently with the oils naturally secreted by your skin, called sebum. Moisturizers derived from either plants or petroleum are less closely related to sebum and even have the potential to be irritating for some skin types.

Tallow is an Affordable Solution

Some skin-care products’ prices can be incredibly high. But do you really get what you pay for? Well, not always. There are exceptions to every rule and you sometimes just pay for a name. In comparison to some moisturizers, the tallow alternative has a much more reasonable price to value ratio. No need to pay an arm and a leg just to take care of your face. You can usually find tallow in your supermarket, near the butter section.

If you enjoyed this article, you should browse our blog for other lifestyle and wellness articles. Here at Vidar Australia we like to write about some of the less common, but extremely useful topics that often are under-rated! Check out our article on ‘The 7 health benefits of decluttering‘ or ‘Is watching movies on your phone bad for your eyes?

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