What Is Tallow Balm? Can It Be Used For Eczema And Topical Steroid Withdrawal?
When I decided to take control of my son’s skin condition myself, I came across the amazing benefits of grass-fed tallow for the skin. I’d read many stories of people with eczema, topical steroid withdrawal, psoriasis and other sensitive skin conditions having excellent results with tallow balm when other creams would flare their conditions further.
My son’s skin had become so sensitive that even all-natural and organic products would cause him to erupt in a bright red, hot, burning flare all over his body. It was so horrible to watch. So even though I wanted to use natural products the only thing we had found that wouldn’t flare his skin was a petrochemical-based ointment called E*****m, that is recommended by many dermatologists here in Australia.
Petrochemical based ointments do nothing for the health of the skin, only providing a thick barrier over the top of the skin. This doesn’t allow the skin to breathe, it makes for a greasy feeling, it clogs pores, thickens clothing with oil and greases up your washing machine… in a bad way.
Every time I would put it on my son’s skin I’d feel awful knowing what was in it but I also knew his skin needed moisture. We would bathe him, lather him from head to toe in ointment and then wet wrap him before bed so he would get some relief from the ever-persistent itch.
One particularly horrid all-nighter (doom-scrolling for a cure) I stumbled across tallow balm and the benefits of beef fat for the skin. And so my journey to making natural moisturisers for my family began.
What is tallow?
Put very simply, tallow is just rendered beef fat which is also known as suet. Some other animal fats are called tallow too, however today I’ll be focussing on beef tallow.
You might find after cooking a steak or other cuts of beef that the fat that’s left in the bottom of the pan will solidify when it cools. Well, that’s basically what tallow is.
To make tallow pure it is put through a rendering and purifying process before being made into skin care products.
It’s a traditional nourishing way of moisturising the body that has been used by people for centuries.
What is tallow used for?
Tallow is super versatile and can be used for so many things, and not just skincare!
Here is a list of a few things that you can use tallow for:
– Skincare such as balms, salves and lotions
– Hair care
– Natural tallow soap making
– Cooking, used as a fat
– Seasoning your cast iron pots and pans
– Conditioning your wooden spoons, cutting boards and chopping blocks
– Candle making
– Leather conditioning
– Lubrication for moving machinery and even guns (talking to my homesteading peeps here)
Although tallow has so many amazing uses, today we’re going to focus on skincare.
What are the benefits of tallow?
Tallow Has A Similar Molecular Structure To Human Skin
The fatty acids and lipids in tallow are so similar in molecular structure to the composition of human skin and in our natural oils (sebum).
This makes tallow incredibly compatible with our skin, allowing for high absorption improving the protective barrier function of the skin. This prevents moisture loss, and aids in regenerating the appearance of healthy, youthful looking skin.
Tallow Has Antioxidant Properties
Tallow contains Vitamins A, B12, D, E, K. All of which are antioxidants which are best known for fighting free radical damage.
Free radicals are molecules in our bodies that become unstable, damaging skin cells and causing premature aging.
This combination of vitamins is only found in animal products, you won’t find it replicated anywhere in the plant world.
Tallow Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, red skin syndrome, topical steroid withdrawal, and others all involve a certain level of inflammation in and on the body.
Tallow contains vitamins D, E and K which are known to help reduce inflammation by blocking enzymes that cause disruption in the skin, helping to maintain and protect the skin barrier.
Tallow Is Rich In CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, has antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, nourishing your skin and killing unwanted microbes. CLA is found in the highest volumes in a grass fed cow.
Tallow Is Rich In Minerals
Grass-fed beef tallow is rich in minerals that are wonderful for skin health. Along CLA mentioned above, tallow contains Omega 9 fatty acid (aka oleic acid) that aids other nutrients in penetrating deeply into the skin.
Tallow also contains palmitic acid which improves the skin’s barrier function. Stearic acid which helps to repair damaged skin, improve suppleness and flexibility. It also contains Omega 7 fatty acids which are likened to the skins building blocks, promoting more youthful looking skin.
How Can Tallow Help With Eczema and Topical Steroid Withdrawal?
Eczema and Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) don’t have any known cures however moisture therapy is one method of helping to soothe symptoms. My son responded well to wet wrapping but needing a more natural moisturiser, I turned to the benefits of tallow balm.
Tallow balm moisturiser has provided a natural alternative to petrochemical-based ointments for us, that doesn’t cause irritation or skin flares, and has the added benefit of vitamins and minerals helping the skin to heal. It’s basically food for the skin!
In our family, we now use grass-fed tallow balm anytime we would use a moisturiser:
- Just out of the shower or bath entire body moisturiser
- Wet wrapping moisturiser
- Baby moisturiser
- Facial cleanser and moisturiser
- Nappy rash / diaper rash
- Lip balm (using just a little bit – a little goes a long way!)
- Hand cream
Can I Make My Own Tallow Balm?
You sure can! Stay tuned as I put together my guide to making your own tallow balm from just 2 natural ingredients – 100% grass fed and finished tallow, and organic extra virgin olive oil.
Making your own skin products is so rewarding. There’s no better feeling than being able to provide your family with a natural product that you know is safe, gentle, and made in vintage tradition just like our ancestors would have done.
We are so thankful that this healing skin care has made it’s way into our lives. Tallow balm moisturizer is such a great product and has changed not only our lives, but the lives of many other people in the process.
**Nothing in this article is to be considered professional medical advice.
Please consult your health care professional before making any changes to your skin care routine**