Healthy, Natural Living

Posts tagged ‘skin care’

What in the World is Tallow?

Beef Tallow is something most people have never heard of. I know I hadn’t heard of it until I was well into my quest for nutrition. Step by step, day by day, as I changed the contents of my refrigerator and cabinets, I also change my appreciation for the gifts God had given us. My husband’s grandmother was aiding in this new appreciation. She would often remind me of what Jesus said:

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” John 6:12

When we started raising our own beef I didn’t get all the “stuff” back from the processor the first time. By the time we sent our second one off, I had learned how easy it was to make tallow, and now, I get that nice piece of suet that the cow grew beautifully for our family; along with all the other cuts. I then render the suet down and make tallow.

Now, I have tallow, what am I going to do with it? I cook with it! It is a great frying oil for chicken and potatoes. On the occasion, I make a pie crust, I will use it in that, too.
It wasn’t until a friend of mine was having some skin challenges that she discovered the benefits of tallow balm. She had amazing results with the balm she had purchased from the internet. She simply said to me one day, “you need to learn how to make this stuff! It is amazing!” The website she was getting it from is a great resource, they share how they make it! Check them out.
At this same time, I had been reading how beneficial tallow balm is for eczema. My nephew has severe eczema and if I can do anything to help his mom help him, I’m in! This could be my nephews legs. I then remembered that grandma always had a jar of tallow sitting next to her chair and when she would apply it she would say, “this is the good stuff, Di.” Of course, this was when I still bought all the name brand, trendy, modern stuff. So, it went right over my head.

Off to my kitchen science lab I went. It took me a few tries to fine tune the recipe. My sister-in-love fell in love with the results from the balm after my first batch, my nephew’s body was getting relief. But, there were some things that I wasn’t happy with so, I made some adjustments. I am now happy with the texture, consistency, aromas, and the spreadability of the balm.
Now, I want to help you understand the benefits of using nourishing tallow balm as our ancestors did before modern science took over the industry.

The most informative article I found was this article “Traditional Nourishing and Healing Skin Care” by Andrew J. Gardner where he shares the traditional use of tallow in skin care for both slight and serious conditions.

Common Sense Principles of Skin Care
We know that the skin is the largest organ of the body and readily absorbs much of what is applied to it, good and bad. That is why so many drugs can be administered through the use of transdermal patches. Therefore, it is an excellent principle and wise precaution not to apply substances to our skin that we would not readily take internally or, in a word, eat. It would be ideal if what we used on our skin were edible, and yet more, a whole food, in which case it would also have the potential of actually nourishing the skin and helping it to heal itself.
Another sound principle of health is to give the body what it needs to maintain and heal itself, since only the body itself can do that job. The modern mentality often seeks to improve on nature or even to supplant nature, which is impossible to do as well as presumptuous and foolhardy to attempt. In the case of skin care, this mentality seeks to manipulate the chemistry of the skin to produce relief or enhancement. It seems logical that such an approach would likely only produce short-term results, if any, and, what is worse, could result in toxicity with possible long-term negative effects on the skin and on the health of the whole body. Therefore, it is no wonder that modern skin care products have to be re-applied, possibly more and more frequently, to maintain their effect, and we can never know all the other harmful effects that their unnatural ingredients may be having on our health.
Indeed, tallow from cows that are only fed grass has a better mineral and micronutrient profile, including higher levels of vitamins. For example, one study found that grass-fed cows have four times the vitamin E of grain-fed cows. Products from grass-fed animals were also found to have three to five times more CLA that those fed a ‘conventional’ diet.

Tallow balm can be used for all manner of skin conditions, including dry, chapped, calloused, cracked and sun-damaged skin, rashes, burning, itching, wrinkles, and so on, because it gives the skin the nutrients it needs to heal itself. It can even be used as a soothing aftershave. One mother applied it all over her baby’s body for eczema, which had been present for a couple months, and it disappeared. Another mother applied it on her baby for a terrible case of diaper rash that did not respond to other “natural” products, and it was gone after three applications. In addition, a man who had had a split lip for over a year and who had already ‘tried everything,’ including ‘natural oils and shea butter,’ had his lip heal in two weeks using tallow balm, and ‘it’s been healed ever since.’ Finally, numerous others have had success using it for calluses, dry and cracked skin, and sunburns, and for moisturizing, smoothing and softening their skin.

Data from: Smith, G.C. “Dietary supplementation of vitamin E to cattle to improve shelf life and case life of beef for domestic and international markets.” Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1171

What makes tallow so wonderful for skin care applications?
Tallow fat is 50 to 55 percent saturated, just like our cell membranes, making it helpful for skin health and compatible with our biology.
Tallow is similar to our “sebum” the oily, waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs our skin.
The following are specifically from grass fed cows:
Tallow contains the abundant fat-soluble activators; vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are necessary for skin health.
Tallow contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
Tallow contains palmitoleic acid, which has natural anti-microbial properties.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with essential fatty acids make tallow great for skin health. These nutrients are also great for hormone and immune health as well, because they are absorbed into the body. This is a plus considering many people with thyroid and autoimmune issues have absorption and conversion issues. By rubbing them into your skin, you bypass possible gut malabsorption.

This is how people cared for their skin before chemicals. This is the whole food of skin care. Don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put in your body! A little goes a long way, so a jar lasts an incredibly long time.

Mildly Scented was created with my nephew in mind. This blend contains specific essential oils that many have seen great relief from eczema symptoms. Of course, this is not FDA approved!

Visit ~My Comfy Cabinet~ for ordering details.


What is in Your Skin Care Products?

As I began my quest for nutrition, (as I call it) I quickly realized I didn’t trust anything that I had once thought was…okay! When I discovered what ingredients are used in vaccines, that rattled my world. If those things are approved to be injected into our littlest, what else have ‘they’ approved as ‘safe?’ My trust for the FDA quickly diminished! That began my lifelong duty to be an avid label reader, every label, every time. I look up definitions and read the studies and other papers from the CDC, FDA, EPA, NEJM, etc. I also, became aware, very quickly, that I am the only one responsible for me and it is MY responsibility to take care of myself and my family. I don’t trust just anyone to care for my children, I don’t care how many degrees they have. So, why do I just trust them to feed and drug my children? I don’t!
I didn’t change everything in one day. I did plenty of research and I still do. That takes time. Once I became knowledgable of things I slowly changed the inventory of our household products. Including food, vitamins, health & beauty product, and even household cleaning products.
The verbiage I found repeatedly was if the “thing” I’m researching falls in line with modern medicine the studies typically say things like: “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens.” Even though, new research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99% of breast cancer tissues sampled. The study examined 40 women who were being treated for primary breast cancer. In 60 percent of cases, five of the different esters were present. Compared to homeopathy that goes against conventional medicine; “Homeopathy has the potential to harm patients and consumers in both direct and indirect ways. Clinicians should be aware of its risks and advise their patients accordingly. When according this their own study, “Overall, adverse effects ranged from mild-to-severe and included four fatalities.” How many women die from breast cancer? Okay, I am getting off topic, I’ll come back to homeopathy in a later blog.
Back to parabens.
Parabens are chemicals that serve as preservatives in antiperspirants and many cosmetics, as well as sun lotions. Previous studies have shown that all parabens have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.
The study discovered one or more paraben esters in 99 percent of the 160 tissue samples collected from 40 mastectomies. In 60 percent of the samples, all five paraben esters were present.
While antiperspirants are a common source of parabens, the authors note that the source of the parabens cannot be established, and that 7 of the 40 patients reportedly never used deodorants or antiperspirants in their lifetime. What this tells us is that parabens, regardless of the source, can accumulate in breast tissue.
My conclusion: it is better to be safe than sorry. Ditch the man-made chemicals and go back to nature. It has taken me several years to get to where I am now. I make most everything we like, myself. I do enjoy the simple life not easy, or lazy, but most definitely simple. I encourage you to read the labels on all of your products. If you wouldn’t eat it, than you should not be slathering it all over your skin or the skin of your growing, developing children. Your skin is your largest organ.
I just briefly touched on one ingredient, there are several others we avoid.

Infographic via