Tallow is one of my favorite ingredients to use for the skin. This amazing element has some true moisturizing power to it, but I bet you would never guess where it comes from! To get right to the point- tallow is rendered beef fat. Trust me here! This nutrient rich ingredient works wonders on your skin!

Tallow is one of the few natural elements whose fatty acids and lipids resemble the cellular makeup of human skin cells. Tallow is a great source of Omega 3s, fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, D, and K. With such a close cellular structural composition and its range of nutrients, tallow can easily soak into the skin, protect the cells, and encourage regrowth of fresh healthy skin cells. This helps the skin to maintain moisture and keep it healthy.

Tallow starts off as the firm fat that grows around the kidneys and loins of cows (and also sheep). When the cattle are processed the fat (also called suet) is separated from the cuts that will be sold for consumption. The suet is then sold for use in cooking, skin care, or for other purposes.

I know the use of animal products in skin care can raise a variety of ethical and moral questions, so let me put your mind at ease in terms of your AJ Apothecary products. I purchase my suet from a Foxhollow Farm, a local farm in Crestwood, Kentucky. This farm humanely and ethically raises 100% grass fed beef using biodynamic agriculture. Foxhollow Farm describes their biodynamic farming approach as “everything needed for the health of the soil, plants, and animals comes from the land. A wide variety of farm animals, wildlife, birds, trees, plants and bugs help to create this self- nourishing model. The ideal is that the various parts of the farm are interconnected and supportive of one another”. In addition to their farming approach, I like to purchase from Foxhollow Farm because I can visit the farm, and I can see the pastures where the cattle roam. It is nice to see where your raw ingredients come from! The mindful approach to their farming and cattle raising makes me feel confident in knowing that the suet I purchase from Foxhollow Farm comes from cattle that are raised in an ethically responsible manner.

Once I pickup my suet, I render it into the beautiful tallow that goes into my products. To render the tallow I cook the suet on low heat until it liquifies, which normally takes at least 8-12 hours. I strain the liquid from pieces of suet that did not break down, and then I set the liquid tallow aside to cool. Once cooled the tallow has a soft, creamy texture and, admittedly, a light beef scent. However, when included in my formulations the products do not smell like hamburger!

Because of the cellular structure described above, the tallow blends well with the raw ingredients I include in my products, offers important vitamins and nutrients to the skin, and it soaks quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. You will find tallow featured in my nutrient rich Comforting Body Butter and Blessing Belly Butter. I encourage you to give tallow a chance and try these two luxurious deep moisturizing products.

Have a beautiful day!

Amanda Joy