Tallow as a Natural Face Moisturizer? I Gave it a Try & Here’s How it Went!

Tallow as a Natural Face Moisturizer? I Gave it a Try & Here’s How it Went!

Tallow…yes, as in rendered beef fat 😂 I had been seeing people talk about it on social media and how they use it on their faces. I was surely intrigued, but also suuuuper skeptical. My first reaction was “um that’s gross” and then my second thought was “wouldn’t that be SO greasy and make you break out?!” But after hearing so many people singing its praises for skincare use…I just knew I had to give it a try myself!

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Call Me Curious: Why I Wanted to Try Tallow!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know that I am not afraid of trying new skincare fads or regimens. What can I say, I love being a guinea pig and testing things out so I can report back to you guys!

Now, as a clean beauty and skincare blogger, I’ve basically been testing out tons of products over the years. Honestly though, I feel like I had been craving some sort of “skin reset” and felt called to simplify and slow down my skincare routine.

My skin had been more sensitive than usual. In the past, I never really had any issues or reactions to products. But there were more occasions lately where I had lots of redness, flushing, and reactions. So I knew my skin barrier was compromised and telling me to CHILL THE EFF OUT and stop using so many skincare products and actives (such as Vitamin C).

So I scaled down my routine and bought some tallow to try! 😳

Side note, if you want to see the other products I used in my routine during this time, check out this post:

My Step-by-Step Natural Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin (Redness, Rosacea, & Irritation)

Grass fed beef tallow rendered for skincare

Benefits of Using Tallow for Skincare

Before I share my experience, let’s back up and talk more about WHY tallow can be beneficial to use in skincare. I surely fell for some misconceptions and thought it would turn me into a greaseball, haha! But it’s actually been used for centuries so the concept is not anything new. We’re just modern-day hippies rediscovering it 🤓

  • Tallow is LOADED with nutrients such as Vitamins A, B12, D, E, K, and fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, alpha-linoleic, and conjugated linoleic [CLA]) that promote skin health. If you’re familiar with retinol in skincare, that uses synthetic Vitamin A because you can’t get the potency from plants. Tallow is a natural and bioavailable source of Vitamin A which can help with skin regeneration and keep skin youthful! Plus, Vitamin E has been shown to prevent collagen breakdown.
  • Provides adequate moisture for skin and is compatible with our skin’s natural oils (fun fact: “sebum” translates to “suet” or “tallow” in Latin!)
  • Tallow contains some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Generally okay for all skin types to use, even acne-prone! It has a comedogenic rating of 2 which means it is non-comedogenic and has a moderately low likelihood of clogging pores (of course, everyone’s skin is different so it’s not a guarantee!)
  • Does not contain any PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) which some people choose to avoid due to concerns about oxidization
  • Natural and safe enough to eat 😉

By the way, quality matters! Opt for grass-fed tallow which has a higher nutrient content compared to grain-fed.

Additionally, you can absolutely use tallow on your body too, not just the face! It is ideal for dry skin, eczema, cracked heels, etc.

Tallow for skincare meme
[Photo from @_musclesandmotherhood on Instagram]

Related post: “Your Guide to Clean Retinols & Most Effective Natural Retinol Alternatives

Cons of Using Tallow for Skincare

And just to play devil’s advocate! I think a lot of people tout tallow as some miraculous cure-all solution. As always, take it with a grain of salt! While I’ve mostly heard positive outcomes from other tallow users, I’ve also heard from a select few that they did not respond well to tallow (ie. it aggravated their acne). Again, we all have bio-individual skin and might react differently!

My friend Sara from Healthy Skin Glows is a knowledgeable source about all things skincare. Here is her take on tallow and why it might not work for everyone!

Two other “cons” when it comes to tallow:

  • If you are trying to avoid animal products, tallow is obviously not for you since it is not plant-based! 🙂
  • It can stink! The “beefy” smell is going to vary depending on where you get it from and how it’s processed. Generally, the tallows rendered specifically for skincare use will have a less noticeable smell than the straight-up stuff from the store for cooking.

Related post: “Unscented vs. Fragrance Free vs. Essential Oil Free Skincare: What’s the Difference?

My Personal Experience Using Tallow for 60+ Days

Alright, I was equal parts nervous and excited to give tallow a shot! 🐮 Since I have struggled with acne in the past, I was worried that it would make me break out. But I committed to using it exclusively as my moisturizer for 30 days and didn’t introduce any other new products. I ended up going for 60+ days to really see how it worked for me longer-term!

My Thoughts About Using Tallow on My Skin

As far as the actual experience while applying tallow, here are some things I noticed:

  • A little goes a long way! If you use too much it can feel sort of heavy. But with just the right amount (you’ll figure out how much you need! usually a pea-sized amount) it DOES moisturize my skin well and is surprisingly not greasy or oily looking.
  • It can take longer to soak in and more effort to blend compared to most lotions or facial oils. I typically use facial oils which are very emollient and silky. Tallow leans more balm-like and since I live in a colder climate, it needs some warming up in my fingers before applying in the winter months. I feel like it takes a few minutes to fully absorb before I put on makeup.
  • I prefer to apply tallow to slightly damp skin or even spritz a drop or two of toner because that makes it way easier to glide onto skin and blend in.
  • You do need to make sure you’re using some sort of exfoliation in your routine (weekly is good) since tallow naturally boosts the skin’s cell turnover rate which can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells

This might look different for you depending on what specific brand or formula you use, though!

Before & After Using a Tallow Moisturizer

Overall, my skin has felt supple and happy while using tallow! It really is moisturizing and feels like it pairs well with my skin’s natural chemistry. I have not had any reactions, extreme redness, or flushing.

Before & After Using Tallow Moisturizer for 30 Days
I tried to get the lighting to match in each photo, but it’s not exactly the same, so keep that in mind!

I did not notice any drastic changes but did see subtle improvements! My fine lines didn’t magically disappear or anything. But the redness on my cheeks/rosacea did calm down a bit and my skin tone is much more even! This could also be due to the fact that my regimen in general has been much simpler and I’ve been avoiding any harsh actives or exfoliants.

I did notice a tiny bit of congestion/minor breakouts on my forehead from time to time. However, that’s pretty common for me and it’s also the holiday season so I’ve been indulging in a lot more sweets than usual. So I can’t say for sure if it’s from tallow or diet! (…but it’s probably the sugar 😝)

In summary, my skin seems to respond well to tallow and it’s a gentle yet effective moisturizer!

What I’ve Been Using: Sun & Moo Tallow Balms

Now, you might be wondering what brand I’ve been using and what it looks like!

I feel like I hear about a new tallow skincare brand daily now, they’re becoming so popular and trendy! There are a lot of brands to choose from, but I’ve been following @cookwithangelika on Instagram for some time and wanted to try her tallow brand Sun & Moo! 🐄

Sun & Moo Grass-Fed Tallow Balms

✅ The balms are grass-fed AND grass-finished from an organic, pasture-raised family farm in the USA
✅ They come in amber glass jars with metal lids
✅ Supporting a small, woman-owned business is my jam. Plus, cute branding helps ☺️

They have the most AMAZING consistency; it’s like a light, airy, whipped frosting texture. I’m obsessed! I truly think the fluffy texture makes it apply easier, too.

Additionally, most Sun & Moo formulas use fresh herbs instead of essential oils (but some do have EOs!). I think essential oils can certainly be beneficial when used sparingly, but during this “skin reset” phase, I’ve been trying to avoid them because they can be irritating and sensitizing.

You can use the coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your Sun & Moo order!

Buy Sun & Moo Tallow Balms Here

Sun & Moo Grass-Fed Tallow Balms

Sun & Moo Grass-Fed Tallow Balm Moisturizers

Related post: “Why This Essential Oil Free Brand is a Game Changer for Sensitive Skin

Some of the simpler blends do have a subtle tallow scent, but not so much for the ones that have additional ingredients such as jojoba or honey. Sun & Moo process theirs in a way that does take away most of the “beefy” smell like most tallows from the store but it’s still a bit noticeable if you really stick your nose in there!

(you could always add your own essential oils for scent!)

The Simple One & Age Reverse Balms

Sun & Moo sells various tallow blends, but I first picked up The Simple One and Age Reverse to try. Simple One is just grass-fed suet tallow and organic cold-pressed jojoba oil so I thought it would be a good one to start with as a beginner. I used that one for 30 days and then introduced Age Reverse at nighttime which is a more robust formula with grass-fed tallow, organic cold-pressed jojoba oil, plantain, carrot seed oil, and raw honey.

Sun & Moo Age Reverse Tallow Balm
Like…can you even believe that texture?!

Both are great, but ultimately I like Age Reverse better since I’m in my 30s and trying to be proactive about keeping my skin youthful; it’s more what I’m looking for at the moment! It also smells slightly less tallow-y and blends in easier. Overall, I’m super happy with them!

The Healer Balm

After my first two jars were empty, I tried some other Sun & Moo blends! The Healer intrigued me because it’s made with organic tamanu oil which is incredibly healing and soothing. It also contains baobab oil which has similar properties to tamanu. This is a helpful one for any sort of inflammatory skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, or rosacea. You can use on it your body too!

Heads up, tamanu has an earthy, nutty scent. I enjoy it, but it takes some getting used to.

I really love The Healer! My skin responds well to tamanu, and sometimes I mix tamanu oil into a moisturizer, so I like that this one already has it in the formula!

Sun & Moo Healer Tallow Balm with organic tamanu

Unscented Magnesium Balm

More recently, I’ve started incorporating the Magnesium Balm on my body (it’s not meant for facial use)! It’s an easy way to replenish your magnesium levels topically (most people are deficient!). I personally like to rub magnesium on my belly for period cramps/bloating, or on my arms/legs/torso for general stress relief, sleep support, or pain. It’s the best!

As you can see, there are plenty of awesome blends to choose from!

You can use the coupon code ORGANICALLYBECCA for a discount on your Sun & Moo order!

Buy Sun & Moo Tallow Balms Here

Sun & Moo balms are also available here at the Live Healthillie store! Discounts not applicable.

Other Reader Favorite Tallow Skincare Brands

I polled my readers and here are some of their tried and true tallow brands:

Final Thoughts About Tallow for Skincare

First and foremost, quality matters! If you want to try tallow, make sure it’s well-sourced and grass-fed. Or find a DIY recipe and render some yourself!

My skin DOES respond well to tallow and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with it!

Again, I don’t think it’s a miracle solution and might not work for everyone. And of course, healthy skin starts from within! But there is something to be said about an extremely simple and natural skincare routine that goes back to the basics.

Will I still go back to my other skincare products? You betcha! What can I say, I’m a skincare junkie at heart. I also very much missed my actives such as Vitamin C. But I definitely think there’s a time and a place for scaling back, especially if your skin is signaling you to slow down.

But I will for sure keep using the Sun & Moo tallow balms in my routine. Tallow FTW!


I wanna know: are you #TeamTallow or are you like, NO THANKS that is completely crazy?! Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading 💚

Becca Signature

Sources & Further Reading:

 

 

Tallow as a Natural Face Moisturizer? I Gave it a Try & Here's How it Went!

Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

6 comments on “Tallow as a Natural Face Moisturizer? I Gave it a Try & Here’s How it Went!”

  1. This was a timely post as I have been considering trying tallow for my eczema! Thanks for the low-down and the sources! I was looking at Buffalo Gal Grassfed tallow who uses tallow from grass-fed buffalo. She looks to have a number of Unscented products which is crucial for my sensitive skin. Any thoughts as to the advantages or disadvantages of using tallow from grass-fed buffalo as opposed to grass-fed tallow from beef?

    1. Hi Amy! Thanks for reading. I haven’t looked too much into buffalo tallow but I would think there would be pretty similar properties, maybe just slightly different nutrients! Especially great if it’s grass-fed. Overall I’m sure it’s pretty comparable!

  2. Great article! I recently decided to take the plunge with tallow, as well, and am loving it so far. I’ve tried some from Toups & Co. and Flying Cow and both have been fantastic for smoother, softer skin, decreasing bumps and other skin blemishes, as well as helping to tame itchiness and eczema. I’m intrigued by The Healer and Sleep Magnesium from Sun and Moo, so thank you for sharing this company!

  3. I’d like to know if the ones you were trying needed refrigeration? Because real tallo does. Or I believe will get rancid. Maybe. I just tryed straight tallo and I know my dog has already started to lick my skin and in a slight way I feel like and smell like a basted turkey. And what about ghee? Is there a difference ?

    1. You can put the tallow in the fridge but not necessary if it’s kept away from air/light/moisture. A jar will be good for 8-10 months unrefrigerated. Sun & Moo uses amber-colored jars which help keep it fresh. I have not looked into ghee for skincare but off the top of my head it’s not something I would use, I’m sure it has a different profile of fats and might not be as suitable for skin.

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