Beef Tallow: The Unexpected Item Has Found Its Place On Skincare TikTok

From clean beauty practices to simple, one-ingredient skin soothers like aloe vera and sweet almond oil, experimenting with purer products for luminous skin tends to be a pretty popular route. So, it's no surprise that the latest item to shine brightly on skincare TikTok is an old-fashioned one: beef tallow.


What exactly is it? Beef tallow is the fat rendered from cow meat after it's processed. It becomes solid at room temperature and is typically stored in a jar or turned into a bar. So, yes, TikTok users have hopped on the age-old trend and are rubbing cow fat on their faces. You may cringe slightly at first, but the results are impressive and the price point is equally as desirable. From improving eczema and acne to enhancing overall plumpness and texture, beef tallow was never solely used for cooking or candle making, but also as a staple in maintaining a healthy skin glow. Here's a deeper dive into the re-emergence of beef tallow.

The original moisturizer

One of the essential benefits of tallow is that it shares the same biology as our skin (via Homestead). So, our skin recognizes it, as opposed to a plant-based moisturizer. The nutrient-rich fat also isn't likely to cause irritation or inflammation. Beef tallow has been used for a long time as a healer and moisturizer for the skin, so if you're particularly sensitive to some of the complex skincare products out there today, returning back to basics like tallow might be the right move for you. It's also often recommended as one of the best moisturizers to use on a new tattoo.


Of course, not all tallow products on the market will be of the same quality. It's key to make sure you're choosing a seller who offers grass-fed tallow. "Beef tallow in skin care products should be derived from high-quality, grass-fed, and pasture-raised cattle, as factory-farmed cattle are often given antibiotics or steroids and are raised in harsh conditions," New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green told Glamour.

How to use beef tallow

Typically beef tallow is whipped and occasionally essential oils or beeswax are added to the mixture. You may be wondering if tallow smells like beef — but don't fret. Tallow has a neutral scent. Less is more when it comes to this moisturizer and it can also be used on the hands and feet, or as an overall body moisturizer. Using a toner or an astringent before tallow application is recommended for a smooth and even glow. You could also opt for a facial mist, like rosewater.


Again, TikTok users are over the moon for this single-ingredient moisturizer that doesn't clog pores, but seems to illuminate from within. "I will literally never stop talking about this, because beef tallow has changed my life entirely," said TikTok user @gsj777pearl. As always, be on the lookout for allergic reactions when trying any new skincare products, and try doing a test patch on your wrist first to see how your skin responds to beef tallow.