We only use local, pasture-raised, grass-fed tallow in our products. Tallow is rendered from bovine animals and commonly known as cow’s fat or beef fat. Tallow is also used to define other animal fats, which makes the term somewhat confusing. “Rendered” fat means that the beef fat is heated to a melting point, around 150-170°F. It is cooked for a period of time, and then filtered to separate the fat from any other natural meaty substances that remain after the butchering process. Tallow in the finished stage is a harder fat at room temperature due to its fatty acid profiles. “Suet” tallow is a specific type of cow fat that has only been collected from around the internal organs, resulting in a harder, denser, waxier fat that is higher in nutrients, yet also more expensive and rare.
Our Tallow is:
- Slowly and carefully hand-rendered in our facility from the farm-fresh raw source
- NEVER bleached or ultra-processed for a “white look”
- 100% grass-fed and grass-finished
- LOCAL small family farm-raised
The history of how tallow has been used ranges from food consumptions to bath and body products. For many millennia, humas have eaten the fats of ruminants, including bovine. Tallow was used in soaps and beauty products from the beginning as well. Animal fat soaps were the original soaps made. Likely discovered by accident, it has been reported that drippings of fat that had been cooked over a primitive fire. The fat drippings were then mixed with natural lye that was made from wood ash. It was then filtered by rainwater, resulting in a soapy substance.
Tallow has a long history of being used to soothe and moisturize skin. It is only in recent times that plant oils and petroleum based products have taken the place of tallow in skincare products. Since tallow is rendered animal fat, the composition is similar to the composition of human skin’s natural sebum. This makes tallow a suitable moisturizer for individuals who have sensitivities to commercial moisturizers.
While tallow is great for skincare and a hair pomade, there are stability issues that prevent it from mainstream commercialization – which is why we add an extra dose of organic Vitamin E for preservation. Tallow does not always have a consistent color, appearance, texture, and odor from batch-to-batch based on seasonal diet and environmental exposures of the cows.
Suet tallow is specifically known for its natural inconsistencies, as explained below it behaves much like natural raw honey fresh from the farm.
Farm-fresh suet tallow in it’s raw (unprocessed and natural) state can be compared to farm-fresh raw honey. If you have ever had raw honey crystallize after sitting in your cabinet, the beekeeper probably told you it is doing exactly what that product does naturally, and it can be gently re-heated to go back to a more fluid, consistent texture state. Raw, unprocessed honey still has molecular memory – the compounds tend to draw back into their natural state over time, remembering their original composition. This is the same story with 100% grass-fed whipped farm-fresh suet tallow – except that it beads instead of crystalizes. We have not been able to determine exactly the reasons for beading, whether due to abrupt temperature fluctuations, atmospheric pressures, humidity levels, or additional ingredients: beading is a total mystery we are still trying to pin the precise cause of (and we will probably never be able to). Some tallow jars will bead, while others from the same batch stored in the same location do not! The beekeeper will be able to relate: as some honey jars crystallize, while other jars from the same batch do not. We learned this from having our own honeybees for a few years – it is a natural happening with high-quality products, although inconvenient.
You may also notice that raw natural honey (like farm-fresh tallow) is different in texture, taste, and color at different seasons – even from the same farmer and location. This is because of the seasonal availability of food for the bees and other environmental factors. Again, a very similar thing happens with grass-fed pasture-raised tallow: the texture, scent, and color vary at different seasons – even from the same farmers and locations. These are undetermined factors we have no control over due to the seasonal changes of environments and adapting natural genetics.
Despite these inconsistencies, the end performance and value of the product is still the same! With beading, it takes a few more seconds to massage the product on the skin to melt the beadings, that’s the only inconvenience. The other factors of “imperfections” are always a possibility with all-natural ingredients: affecting their scent, texture, color, and consistency. Since the ingredient is still fitting to the description of “100% grass-fed suet tallow” or “raw natural honey” as per our example – the product still works perfectly naturally and is still functioning exactly as stated and as nature intended. We could add more processed ingredients or chemical emulsifiers to remedy this, but we see this extra step as only compromising the benefits of our farm-fresh, natural, animal-based products to maybe only gain a slightly more consistent texture – it’s not even a guarantee! Just like our natural animal fat soaps will never lather like palm-based detergents, our hand-rendered tallow-based products can’t compare to the artificial consistency of highly processed and industrialized ingredients used in other body products.
Therefore, we feel that it is best to consider these inconsistencies as proof of the integrity of our ingredients, and take pleasure in knowing we are rubbing in a more wholesome skin food a little longer than if the texture, color, or scent was exactly “as-expected” like synthetic or highly processed creams are. In short, we do the best we can with what nature gifts us – we hope that you are able to enjoy a truly superior and natural product for your body, despite any organic inconsistencies!
Tallow once was widely used to make molded candles before the more expensive beeswax or the convenient petroleum wax varieties became available —and for some time after since they continued to be a cheaper alternative. For those too poor even to avail themselves of homemade, molded tallow candles, the “tallow dip”—a reed that had been dipped in melted tallow or sometimes a strip of burning cloth in a saucer of tallow grease—was an accessible substitute.
Tallow Benefits for Skin
- Tallow is an excellent moisturizer used to soothe dry skin. It’s thick enough to handle the toughest rough patches, but light enough to absorb quickly into the skin. High-quality tallow is said to be loaded with the bioavailable forms of vitamins A, D, E and K, plus full of essential fatty acids not commonly found in common modern day skincare. Your skin absorbs these nutrients just like nicotine from a quit-smoking patch – or even a deadly dose of poison from handling a toxic frog. Our skin does utilize external applications – whether good or bad. Consider this the next time you slather chemical-laden lotions on your skin!
- The longer you consistently use tallow, the less you will need, as tallow actually helps to balance and regulate your skin – rather than dry it out as most lotions do. This isn’t an advantage for the seller, but it is fantastic for the consumer! Tallow regulates the skin to rely LESS on moisturizers, instead of training it to depend on MORE moisturizers over time. Therefore, tallow IMPROVES your skin over time, instead of subtly and slowly making it become dependent upon outside moisture, like chemical lotions do.
- Suet, as opposed to muscle fat, contains a higher level of saturated fatty acids and a triglyceride known as glyceryl tristearate, otherwise called “stearin”. Suet therefore softens and smooths the skin’s surface better than regular tallow fat, while also helping to maintain and protect the skin’s barrier.
- Tallow resembles our natural sebum (skin oil) and absorbs into the skin easily, which helps to balance the skin’s sebum production after a cleanse. Pair this with the fact that high-quality tallow is non-comedogenic (will not clog pores when used correctly) – and you have a skin-match success for any skin type!
- The Vitamin D3 found in tallow induces the expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in human skin and plays a significant role in preventing opportunistic infections.
- Moreover, grass-fed tallow contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA helps skin retain moisture by boosting ceramide synthesis in skin cells; this fortifies the skin barrier and helps to retain moisture in the skin. CLA is a natural ingredient that allows for skin renewal without harsh chemicals or treatments. CLA is naturally anti-inflammatory and may significantly slow signs of skin aging when used consistently for prolonged periods of time.
- Tallow is usually a wasted product that is thrown away after an animal’s carcass has been butchered. Instead we purchase it, which further supports our small farmers. This means that regeneratively farmed tallow products grown on free-range pastures are actually preferred for the environment – when considering the other options that are: not local, highly-processed in factories, and farmed industrially.
- All of the naturally-occurring tallow nutrients in their bioavailable forms are more recognizable to our bodies, which means our bodies can utilize them better in their whole, organic state. This places tallow in a tier above all other skincare ingredients: a long-forgotten skincare secret that was well-known by our ancestors over 150 years ago. Now, we have the skincare science and consumer testimonies to prove it.
To learn more about the specific nutrient contents of tallow, please read our article: https://perma-earth.com/lard-vs-tallow/
We use tallow or suet tallow as the main base in our tallow soaps, candles and wax melts, tallow butters, butter balms, and deodorants. We also offer only one shampoo made with tallow, as lard is the much better option that we use in all of our other shampoo soaps.
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