Why We Don’t “Purify” Our Tallow
Tallow-based skincare products have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their natural and nourishing properties. However, one common concern that potential users often have is whether these products smell like beef. In this post, we will address this concern and provide insights into the process of making tallow-based products. We will also discuss why we don't "purify" our tallow, a topic we feel needs a bit of addressing, and share our perspective as meat producers, natural skincare formulators, and artisans.
The Beefy Scent Question
One question we are frequently asked is if our products smell like beef. Our answer is, "Sometimes."
Let us explain...
Tallow: A Nutrient-Dense Food
Tallow is food, a nutrient-dense food. And nutrients have a scent. But that doesn’t mean the smell is unpleasant. True tallow is rendered only from suet, a slab of pure fat surrounding a ruminant animal's kidneys. Its purity is what makes it ideal for skincare use to begin with.
The Risks of "Purifying" Tallow
In today's skincare industry, it has become increasingly popular among makers to "purify" their tallow with the aim of making it odorless and pure white. This trend is driven by the desire to create a product that appeals to consumers who might be put off by tallow's natural scent. However, this well-intentioned effort to make tallow more appealing can lead to several unintended consequences.
Purifying is a refining process achieved by adding salt and water to the cooking vessel as the suet renders. This helps impurities sink to the bottom as the tallow cools, and is subsequently scraped off. Sometimes this process is repeated.
Ironically, the process of "purifying" tallow can introduce harmful bacteria, yeast, and mold to the fat, potentially compromising its safety and effectiveness as a skincare ingredient. This contamination risk arises due to the exposure of tallow to water. Such contamination can harm the skin, causing irritation or even infection.
Moreover, the purification process can also harm the nutritional value and quality of tallow. The heat and processing involved in purifying tallow can destroy the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids contained within the fat. These fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to promote healthy skin.
In addition to losing its omega-3s, the delicate vitamins contained in the healing fractions of tallow can also be stripped away during "purification." These vitamins play an essential role in nourishing the skin, providing antioxidants, and supporting overall skin health. When these vital nutrients are removed, the tallow's quality, and its ability to provide effective skincare benefits, are significantly diminished.
While the intention behind refining tallow may be to create a more appealing product, the drawbacks of this process far outweigh the perceived benefits. We believe it is essential to embrace the natural properties of tallow and understand that its scent indicates the nutrient-rich substance that makes it such a powerful and effective skincare ingredient.
Our Minimally Processed Tallow
Our tallow is minimally processed, only dry rendered at a low temperature. We want ours to be as naked and unadulterated as possible. Therefore, we never "purify" our tallow, as it is already very pure. It just needs to be properly sourced, cleaned, rendered, and strained.
Our Rendering and Straining Process
First, we carefully examine the raw suet and remove any materials that could potentially contaminate our finished product. We also make certain that the suet we use comes from a well-finished animal. Following these steps, we coarsely grind the suet to expedite the rendering process and heat it at a low temperature (around 205-220 F). Finally, we strain the tallow thoroughly, eliminating any residual protein bits (cracklings) or other impurities that could contribute to a more pungent smell.
The Benefits of Nutrient-Rich Tallow
The resulting product is the highest quality tallow for skincare. It supports and nourishes our skin's natural microbiome, making it one of the most powerful and effective ingredients around! Remember, tallow, with its nutritional integrity intact, smells like nutrients!
Embrace the Natural Scent
Exploring the use of tallow in your skincare routine may require a shift in mindset and embracing something new. Using tallow allows you to reconnect with your ancestral roots and tap into the primal wisdom of centuries past. Even Cleopatra, the epitome of elegance and allure, utilized donkey milk, lamb tallow, and sulfur-rich Dead Sea mud in her beauty regimen.
And as a bonus, using tallow might just make you even more popular among our canine friends!
Essential Oils and Our Mildest-Smelling Products
We use a range of essential oils to add natural scents to some of our balms, and our fans are obsessed with how our products smell. These carefully selected essential oils not only provide a pleasant fragrance but also offer additional skin benefits, enhancing the overall effectiveness of our tallow-based products. For those with the most sensitive olfactory palates, our Body Butter Bars are our mildest-smelling tallow product, ensuring that even the most scent-sensitive individuals can enjoy the nourishing benefits of tallow in their skincare routine.
Our unscented Tallow Cleansing Balm is infused with flowers for a pleasant aroma and our Herbal Tallow Balm for Eczema is infused with chamomile and other herbs that give it a mild scent.
In conclusion, while the scent of tallow-based skincare products might be a matter of personal preference or sensitivity, it's essential to understand that the natural scent results from tallow's nutrient-rich properties. By embracing these natural scents, you can enjoy the benefits of using high-quality tallow in your skincare routine without compromising its nutritional value.
Furthermore, our use of essential oils in some products ensures that there's an option for those who prefer a more fragrant experience. So go ahead, try tallow-based skincare, and experience the nourishing benefits of this ancient, primal, and luxurious ingredient for yourself!