- Beef tallow is beef fat that has a creamy consistency and contains vitamins and lipids.
- Some TikTokers love it because it can help hydrate skin and reduce acne.
- But it can be expensive and give mixed results, which is why dermatologists suggest other products.
In the beauty industry, it’s not enough to just be a great product: to truly stand out, many brands these days also promote vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly items, prioritizing animal welfare and environmental awareness.
That’s why TikTok’s latest skincare obsession: using beef tallow as a moisturizer – It’s a bit shocking. TikTokers swear that rendered beef fat is a ancient skin trick for smoother skin, and the hashtag #beeftallowskincare has garnered more than 12 million views.
“Beef tallow is the only thing I put on my face as skin care, moisturizer, everything.” said user Julia Yak in a video. some affirm it gives them glowing skinwhile others attribute clearing his acne.
While beef tallow does have some vitamins and moisturizing qualities, much of the appeal is how “natural” it feels as a single-ingredient product. One man even claimed it’s the “most manly” skincare option out there.
Beef tallow is heavily promoted on accounts that also claim the entire skincare industry is a sham, so it’s worth taking this advice with a grain of salt (but another natural skincare ingredient to look out for).
In fact, dermatologists say there are much more effective and cheaper options out there, especially if animal welfare is important to you.
Beef tallow contains vitamins and lipids that do not harm the skin.
Beef tallow is converted to beef fat which looks white and creamy like most other moisturizers (although it may have a butter smell).
According Dr. Josué Zeichnerassociate professor and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, is “composed of fats that are surprisingly very similar in composition to our skin’s natural oil.” known as sebum. People with acne may have lipid deficiencies that can disrupt the skin’s barrier, according to Zeichner, so the logic is that beef tallow can help restore skin.
Dr. Ivy Leea board-certified dermatologist practicing in southern California, also said beef tallow has fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12 found in many moisturizing skin care products (retinol, for example, it is a derivative of vitamin A).
But it’s expensive and can be really hit or miss.
At $35 for a 2-ounce jar, beef tallow skin care brands like by vanman either vintage tradition it will cost you a lot if you intend to use it as a daily moisturizer.
Then there’s the task of finding the tallow that works for you: Lee said that a little beef tallow can be comedogenic, or actually block pores, for acne-prone people. There are also “concerns about the stability and consistency of the product,” Lee said.
While you can buy beef tallow in bulk, that type is usually prepared for cooking and can be it feels grainy in consistency. Meanwhile, beef fat designed for use on the skin will often include other ingredients like scented oils, which can cause breakouts.
You can also make your own, and some TikTokers have posted instructional videos on the process. But it’s a lengthy activity that involves cutting up the beef fat and melting it, sometimes multiple times, then melting the beef tallow and waiting for it to cool and whipping it into a cream.
Dermatologists say you can get better results with specific skin care products.
Both dermatologists said that while beef tallow has some benefits, it really doesn’t make sense to use it in place of the huge selection of cheaper and more accessible skin care products out there.
“There are many over-the-counter moisturizers that contain lipids,” said Lee, who recommends CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($18) as an inexpensive option and SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restorative Cream ($150) for a “total splurge.”
Zeichner also suggested looking for products that address a specific problem, such as active breakouts.
For example, for inflamed pimples, she said to “stick to ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which reduces levels of acne-causing bacteria” and is “the best choice for angry, red pimples.” He said JORI Daily Leave-In Acne Treatment Mask ($52) is “an ultralight water gel mask that can be applied daily to problem areas” and uses linoleic acid, a fatty acid also found in sebum.
For blackheads or whiteheads, he said salicylic acid should be your main ingredient, as it “removes excess oil and dead cells from the skin’s surface.” he recommended Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment ($68), which uses hydrating ingredients like sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid.