How many times have you heard that tallow is a no-no in beauty products? I have read this several times on company websites that continue to promote their own products that contain known carcinogens, harmful chemicals and preservatives. The two main reasons that commercial companies choose not to use tallow in their products is because first, and most importantly to them, it is not patentable. Another reason is that it can be costly and time intensive to render the fat.
Why would you want to slather up with beef fat? Interestingly enough, there are verifiable similarities between human cell membranes and the fatty acid profile of tallow. Both contain around 50% saturated fats, making tallow extremely compatible with our cell biology (also stated as, easily absorbed without a lot of residue). I learned from several different sources that in Latin, sebum (a natural secretion from your skin that's purpose is to lubricate and protect) actually translates into tallow or lard. Interesting!
Tallow is also pretty shelf-stable, lasting safely at room temperature up to one year. Honestly, it could last a lot longer than that but I wouldn't sell products from my company that had been made before that. Also, animal fats such as tallow contain many nutrients that simply do not exist in their plant-based counterparts. Tallow contains a healthy combination of vitamins A, D, E & K, which are readily absorbed through the skin. The linoleic acid that naturally occurs is also shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is anti-carcinogenic.
Convinced yet? I was sold after reading of all the benefits that it provides to the human body. Another benefit, and the same reason that I use lard in many of my soaps, is that tallow is a byproduct of butchering cattle. The cattle is going to be butchered anyway you look at it, and many people see tallow as an undesirable food. It sits on the shelf because while the ribs and steaks sell like hotcakes, people on a day to day basis do not have a use for it. Well, I have found a use for it and will make my contribution to saving an animal from dying in vain and making sure that every part is going to use. It is also more sustainable and environmentally friendly than using plant-based oils such as palm or coconut.
I purchase my tallow and lard from the Chop Shop Butchery in Asheville, NC. They source their meat locally from pasture-raised farms that do not use antibiotics, growth hormones, and do not feed their animals any foods containing animal by-products. You can learn more about them on their website at: http://www.chopshopbutchery.com/