If you are a newcomer to the idea of using tallow as a skincare product, you might be thinking — Why would I ever rub beef fat on my skin?! If you are familiar with tallow, however, your reply to this question is probably — Why would I ever use anything else?! Whichever category you might align with, this page will dispel any of your concerns or misconceptions about the wonders of tallow and answer any questions you might still have about its benefits and uses.
What is tallow, anyway?
Tallow is the result of a process called RENDERING, wherein the hardy fat (suet) of a ruminant animal, in this case Holistically-Managed Beef, is slowly melted and clarified. The result is a smooth, silky and highly nutritious product. Tallow has dozens of traditional uses. It was long used as a base for candles and as lantern fuel, for soaps and salves, as a cooking oil and even as a wood sealant and preservative in the wooden boat industry. Rendered tallow is shelf-stable and is known for its natural preservative properties.
Where does your tallow come from?
Our tallow starts as suet sourced from ranchers in the Pacific Northwest who use holistic management practices. We work with several farms in the area to get fresh suet and render the tallow ourselves in small batches to ensure quality. We trust our farmers to use the best practices in their craft and we're super proud to showcase a part of the animal that often goes unappreciated or unused.
What is Holistic Management? Is it better than Organic?
Holistic Management is a framework ranchers can use to design and organize how they raise their cattle. Instead of a linear goal – raise cows to their greatest weight potential for resale – holistic management takes into consideration the many factors of the local ecology to create a sustainable, "whole" system on the ranch. In this system soil health, human health, animal health and environmental health are all factors in creating a successful positive feedback loop.
So is this better than organic? In our opinion, YES! We see organic as one of the key facets of the greater goal in any agricultural endeavor, which is sustainability! Right now the farms we work with are not certified organic, and that's ok with us. The certification is arduous and expensive and often takes more time than many ranchers can afford. It's good to remember that when farmers and ranchers don't have their certification, it doesn't necessarily mean they don't qualify. It might just mean they can't afford that step, yet. We've taken the time to ensure that our tallow comes from the healthiest cows possible. If you are interested in learning more about holistic management this is a great place to start!
Why is tallow good for my skin?
Tallow is one of the most complimentary moisturizers for our skin. Tallow is a naturally rich source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, which are all necessary for overall skin health and integrity and cannot be found in plant based fats. Much like the membrane of our own skin cells, tallow fat cells are made up of roughly 50% saturated fat, which makes tallow an excellent base for our skincare needs. To top it all off, tallow also includes unique fats such as palmitoleic acid, which is a natural antimicrobial, as well as conjugated linoleic acid, which is known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
If tallow is so good, why isn't it used in more products?
Aha! That's a great question with a not-so-great answer. Remember back in the day when the "health police" told us that fat is bad! and saturated fat is the worst!? That message permeated all aspects of the food and farming industry and completely changed America's consumption patterns, including the way we shop for and understand our skincare products. Instead of seeking out time-honored, traditional, whole ingredients for our body's nourishment, we transitioned to plant- and petroleum-based products that are, more often than not, highly processed, carcinogenic, toxic and synthetic. The simple truth is these highly processed and synthetic products are cheaper to produce and market on a massive scale. The need to make a 100% consistent product (in texture and color) in such astounding quantities makes tallow an undesirable ingredient for large manufacturers – not for its lack of true healing qualities, but for its inconsistent nature (tallow changes in color and consistency throughout the year and varies from farm to farm).
I'm not convinced, can you tell me more about how it feels and smells?
Yes! Aside from the "What is tallow?" question, the most common thing people want to know is — "What does it feel like and will it make me smell like holiday dinner?" Believe me when I say you are not the first skeptic, and you won't be the last. Actually, one of my favorite parts of this craft is watching people go from total skeptic to total convert after trying Render Skincare products. It is so incredibly satisfying! You will find all of these questions answered in our FAQs section AND you might want to check out our Testimonials to hear what people have to say.