Tallow is a common ingredient in many products, including most soaps, eye makeup, lipsticks, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, shaving soaps, moisturizers and skin care products. Tallow is made by rendering animal fat, which means boiling the carcasses to create fatty byproducts. The dead animals used to make tallow come from many different sources, including labs, slaughterhouses, zoos, shelters, and roadkill.
To me there is nothing more unappealing than the thought of bathing in rendered animal fat to get clean (turns my stomach just thinking about it and the scent that comes along with it). Tallow (as well as Lard- pig fat) is what most commercially mass-produced soaps are made from and is the largest percentage ingredient. Luckily, tallow is not necessary to create superb soap as you can use Coconut, Olive, Almond, Avocado, and Palm oils in place. In the right combination these oils create amazing products to clean, moisturize and provide many beneficial properties to your skin.
Animal fat is very inexpensive as it is a by-product of the meat industry, making it a top choice for beauty and personal care manufacturing companies looking for maximum profits. If you simply wish to not bathe in animal fat make sure to check the label before purchasing soap (and all skin, body and hair care products!) to verify the product is free of tallow. If you are currently using- Dove, Ivory, Neutrogena (except Neutrogena Naturals), Cetaphil, Dial, Lever, Tone, Jergens, Irish Spring (just to name a few big brands) bar soaps then you are indeed washing with animal fat. A label may claim the product has not been tested on animals but it can very much still contain animal products, don’t let it fool you!
Better yet, make your own tallow free soap! Soap is not only a lot of fun to make but with a tried and true excellent recipe like Joan’s it is foolproof. Her soap recipes are used by many who claim it is the best soap they have ever used. Also, if you are not wanting to use palm oil (See post- Is there such as thing as sustainable Palm Oil? ) there is a palm-free recipe for you as well in her How To Make Soap eBook and Online Class.
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