By Clive Wright

Debunking Natural Skincare Myths - Tallow Edition

When it comes to natural skincare, the myths abound. We’ve all heard someone say that natural skincare products aren't as effective, or the chemical dosage is the only thing that matters as an argument against clean beauty. But much of this skincare advice is skin deep and simply doesn't stack up, especially when you're trying to lead a low-tox life.

In 2023, tallow is the talk of the town (ahem, social media) once more, after being spotted on the skin of several influencers on TikTok. The concept of beef in skincare certainly gets people talking.

Skincare myths and facts: Why tallow is a target

While we like a good story as much as the next person, there is a time, place... and product. As much as we hate to say it, we’re calling fact check. Save the myths for storytime and spare tallow the smear campaign. Read on to find out more about big fat lies when it comes to tallow skin care and why. It's time to bust tallow skincare myths and look at just the facts.

Debunking Natural Skincare Myths - Tallow Edition by TUTTOFARE

Myth: Tallow skin care is a trend

Fact: Tallow skin care is actually something that is centuries old. It has been helping with dry skin longer than any other skincare product you could find on TikTok or the drug store aisle.

Before the introduction of petrochemicals, First Peoples took a sustainable, holistic approach to using natural resources.

From Ancient Egypt to Ancient Rome, the Himbas and Hamars, the Inuits in the north, and Indigenous Australians in the south, our ancestors harnessed animal fats for skincare, cooking and cosmetics. It was standard practice to use the whole animal and take a nose-to-tail approach.

Tallow is not an old wive’s tale. Any suggestion that tallow skincare is a passing trend is an insult to ancestral wisdom. Based on the time-tested nature of tallow skincare, it’s certainly more fact than fad. Today, it's simply a matter of reintroducing a proven ancient ingredient back into the modern world. People are just now rediscovering the benefits of tallow for glowing skin and keeping skin hydrated.

Myth: Tallow skin care is bad for acne

Fact: Tallow doesn’t cause acne breakouts or clog pores, as it mimics the healthy fats in our own skin. Tallow performs the function of acting as natural sebum, locking in moisture in the skin barrier without clogging pores, even in people with oily skin.

According to Dr Joshua Zeichner, an associate professor and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tallow is composed of fats “very similar in composition to our skin's own natural oil”.

Tallow is rich in fat-soluble vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and B12, which can absorb easily into the skin to stimulate collagen production and skin cell renewal. This can help to treat acne, irrespective of skin type.

Grass fed tallow has naturally high occuring levels of vitamin A, otherwise known as retinol. This helps skin cells turn over faster, helping to reduce acne and clear inflammation. Essentially, wave goodbye to clogged pores.

Tallow also contains niacin, a powerful antioxidant often occurring in synthetic skincare as niacinamide. When applied topically, a recent study found that niacin stood up against topical antibiotics for the treatment of moderate acne

As tallow is a semi-occlusive with emollient properties, it is possible that it can form a barrier on your skin and trap bacteria underneath. However, this simply raises the importance of applying tallow on clean skin. Tallow is suitable for all skin types when applied properly. 

Myth: Tallow is comedogenic

Fact: Tallow is non-comedogenic. According to New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, tallow is non-comedogenic. It comes in at 2 on the 5-point scale for oils and butters. Anything ranking 2 or less on the scale indicates a non-comedogenic skincare ingredient that will not clog pores. Quite simply, just because a skincare product is thick in consistency, that doesn't mean it will clog your pores. Read more about why tallow supports healthy skin.

Myth: Tallow is not shelf stable

Fact: Tallow is more shelf stable than most synthetic skin care due to its low levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It contains more of the more stable fatty acids, which are beneficial for skin health.

According to the science of fatty acids, a saturated fatty acid molecule is fully saturated with hydrogen, leaving no double bonds (open spaces) for oxygen, heat or light to degrade the molecule. 

On the other hand, unsaturated means lacking a hydrogen atom. When oxygen, heat and light react with double bonds in unsaturated fatty acids, this results in oxidation, which can accelerate the ageing process of the product. 

As such, tallow is more shelf stable than many plant-based oils, which begin to go rancid more quickly because of their high polyunsaturated fat content. Many of these plant-based oils are also often stripped of their antioxidant properties during the high-heat refining process.

The most effective tallow skincare is formulated without applying too much heat and packaged in air-restrictive packaging to preserve its antioxidant properties. TUTTOFARE Tallow Balm is shelf-stable without the need for preservatives or chemical emulsifiers, which are known to cause hormone and endocrine disruption.

Myth: Tallow skin care smells like beef

Fact: Beef tallow skincare doesn’t have a beefy smell. 

Depending on the formula, it may be described as “earthy” or “totally neutral” (Bronfman) in the jar or tin. If the formula incorporates essential oils, whole plant extracts or resins, it will take the scent of these. You will never smell anything like a steak. 

If you’re sensitive to essential oils, or looking for a tallow balm with a mild chocolate scent, consider our TUTTOFARE tallow balm. As with all things TUTTOFARE, we created our characteristically chocolatey scent with time, patience and care. We source raw cocoa to not only preserve the bean’s high antioxidant content, but also retain the chocolate essence.

Myth: Tallow skin care is expensive

Fact: Tallow skincare is actually very affordable. Even with most tallow brands making products in small batches, tallow balm remains an affordable skincare choice. 

The price point of tallow is comparable to drugstore products, and significantly lower than department store options, all of which are commonly mass manufactured. The main ingredient in many of these products is water (aqua), which helps manufacturers make higher margins on their skincare products. 

As a balm, tallow skin care has a dense and rich micronutrient profile. As a result, you get fewer quality ingredients at higher concentrations when you use tallow skin care.

Myth: Tallow skin care is just beef fat

Fact: An effective tallow balm isn’t just made from tallow. Tallow balms often contain a handful of active, concentrated ingredients to form an effective and holistic skin care product that gives you everything your skin needs.

While it doesn’t contain a laundry list of ingredients (we prefer to keep them in the laundry, if necessary), effective tallow skincare should contain handpicked ingredients to support healthy skin and strengthen your skin barrier gently. 

This doesn’t mean every essential oil under the sun – especially because, well, many essential oils simply don’t perform well under the sun. Rather than simply scenting the product with a phototoxic essential oil, an effective tallow balm should include natural ingredients known for their therapeutic properties, such as cocoa butter and squalane. In natural skincare, where less is more, it’s more important to include active ingredients with multi-purpose benefits so as to preserve the effectiveness of the formula. 

Get that tallow glow

  • Holy Grail Tallow Balm
    Holy Grail Tallow Balm
    Holy Grail Tallow Balm

    Holy Grail Tallow Balm

    Regular price $45.00 AUD
  • Everything Bundle
    Everything Bundle
    Everything Bundle

    Everything Bundle

    Regular price $139.00 AUD
    Sold Out
  • Roman Blue Tallow Balm
    Roman Blue Tallow Balm
    Roman Blue Tallow Balm

    Roman Blue Tallow Balm

    Regular price $45.00 AUD