|What is it?
|Beef tallow is rendered beef (cow) fat.
|Up to 100%
|Creamy, thick fat
|It varies with how clean/processed it is; it can smell strongly beefy all the way to having almost no scent.
|Approximate Melting Point
|Why do we use it in formulations?
|I primarily use tallow in soap, where it functions as my primary “hard” fat, creating a bar of soap that ages relatively quickly to create a firm bar that lasts a long time once wet.
Tallow can also be used in skin care products; I’ve seen it used in both commercial and DIY crunchy anti-aging products.
|Do you need it?
|It is an absolute soaping staple for me, but there are alternatives.
|Refined or unrefined?
|This is a personal choice. You can definitely render your own at home, but it is a lot of work and leaves your house smelling very meaty. I have rendered my own tallow in the past but I now purchase a pre-processed version which is much easier, and the end product smells much less meaty.
|Beef tallow is an inexpensive, easily accessible (locally!) fat for soap making, and is a sustainable alternative to palm oil.
|It isn’t vegan and some people think using it is gross.
|Alternatives & Substitutions
|Lard is an easily accessible alternative, especially in soap. Read this for more information.
|How to Work with It
|For soap, melt it with your other oils (or follow any specific instructions associated with the specific recipe you’re following). If you’re making a balm or butter it can be cold processed—it whips/mashes very nicely.
|Storage & Shelf Life
|Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, tallow should last up to two years.
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks
|Even though I’m vegetarian, I am very passionate about using beef tallow in my soap—you can read more about that here.
|Recommended starter amount
|For soap making I’d purchase at least 1kg (2lbs). For skincare 100g (3oz) would likely be more than sufficient.
|Where to Buy it
|Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.
Some Formulations that Use Beef Tallow
- Rustic Clay Soap
- Candlelight Christmas Soap
- Almond Oat Soap
- Ice Palace Soap
- Argan Rose Soap
- Lavender Aloe Soap
- White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Soap
- Cranberry Orange Christmas Soap
- Sweetgrass Gradient Swirl Soap
- Strawberry Rose Soap
- Pemberley Soap
- Mango Mango Soap
- Lemongrass Gradient Soap
- Blue Marble Soap
- Red Red Rose Soap
- Christmas Tree Soap
- Sugar Plum Christmas Soap
- Citrus Poppy Seed Swirl Soap
- Cream of Earl Grey Soap
- Lavender Spruce Soap