TikTokers are using cow fat to beef up their beauty routines

Beef tallow has been called a godsend for some, but experts urge caution

Skin-care routines can be expensive and long — some require a 12-step routine using serums, masks, balms, scrubs and LED lighting masks.

The latest fad for youthful looking skin ditches retinol — most popular in anti-aging product — for beef tallow, which is fat rendered from cattle, typically surrounding a steer’s kidneys.

TikToker Candice, who goes by the username @thrivewithcandice, said in a video that she had a complicated routine that would strip her skin of its natural oils. Her new routine, however, involves using a dry brush on her face, then rinsing it with warm water and applying beef tallow serum to moisturize. Her video has more than 7 million views.

According to beauty influencers using the #beeftallow and #beeftallowksincare tags on TikTok, the fatty ingredient is a godsend for acne and dry skin.


Just water & beef tallow and my skin has never been better 🫶🏼 dry brush is from @Primally Pure and beef tallow from @ELA SKIN CO. #nontoxicskincareroutine #naturalskincare #naturalskincareproducts #nontoxicskincareproducts #beeftallowskincare #drybrushingskin #drybrushingbenefits

♬ original sound - Candice 🌞

Beef tallow is used to make soaps, candles and for cooking. Some health benefits are touted to be lowering inflammation, weight loss and boosting immunity, and it has vitamins A, E, D and K.

So, is there something to taking this fatty substance and putting it on your face? Dermatologists say yes and no.

“There’s little harm to applying beef tallow to the skin, although there certainly are more cosmetically elegant, well-formulated moisturizers to get the job done,” Joshua Zeichner, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Everyday Health.

Although the trend is fun to try, according to Peter Lee, MD, at Wave Plastic Surgery, beef tallow as a topical application hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“To date, there are no accepted clinical studies that confirm the efficacy of application of beef tallow to human skin in achieving any of these benefits,” Lee told PopSugar. “There is a theoretical possibility that people who do so may put themselves at risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy commonly known as mad cow disease.”

Caren Campbell, MD, a board certified dermatologist, told Everyday Health, “Getting these oils from an animal source like beef wouldn’t be my first choice, given concerns regarding contamination, smell, and not being safe for vegan consumers.”

While trying the latest trends can be exciting, beefing up your skin-care routine should involve products that are FDA regulated and dermatologist approved, experts say.