New beauty trend: People are putting beef fat on their faces

As a former beauty editor, not much surprises me in terms of treatments meant to preserve youth, banish wrinkles, or give your skin an extra-special glow. Vampire facials? Bird poop facials? Even sheep placenta and bee venom can be used in the pursuit of “perfection.” But you can attribute the latest facial craze to paleo fanatics.

According to Elle Australia, rendered beef fat facials are apparently now a thing, too. But instead of calling it the rather unappetizing “rendered beef fat,” it is usually referred to by its more genteel British-inspired name, tallow, for obvious reasons.

To be fair, tallow was used a lot before the Industrial Revolution, mostly for making candles. But it was also used in homemade salves and balms.

But this isn’t just a trend that can be written off, as science does has something to say on the matter. “Beef tallow is a source of stearic acid, which hydrates skin and repairs the barrier,” dermatologist Leslie Baumann told Allure last month.

Luckily, these balms and creams don’t smell like a T-bone steak, as they’re combined with other essential oils and minerals. Those hoping to DIY their way to better skin can find a recipe for homemade tallow here, or try a product like Belcampo’s Balm Trio.

For vegetarians and vegans cringing at the thought of slathering rendered cow fat on their faces, the same acid that helps hydrate skin is also found in hot-button ingredients like shea butter or argan oil. The more you know. . .