What Is It?
Tallow is the fat derived from the fatty tissue of sheep or cattle. Tallow Glyceride is the monoglyceride dervied from Tallow, while Tallow Glycerides is a mixture of mono-, di- and triglycerides dervied from Tallow. Hydrogenated Tallow Glyceride and Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides are obtained by adding hydrogen to Tallow Glcyeride and Tallow Glycerides, respectively. Tallow and the Tallow Glyceride ingredients range from soft, cream-colored waxes to white solids. In cosmetics and personal care products, these ingredients are used in the formulation of eye makeup, lipsticks, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, shaving soaps, moisturizers and skin care products.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
The following functions have been reported for these ingredients.
- Skin conditioning agent – emollient – Tallow Glycerides, Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides
- Skin conditioning agent – occlusive – Tallow
- Surfactant – emulsifying agent – Tallow Glyceride, Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides
- Viscosity increasing agent – nonaqueous – Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides
Historically, Tallow, obtained from fatty tissues of beef or mutton, was often used as soap stock. Tallow contains the glycerides of oleic, palmitic, stearic, myristic and linoleic acids.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Tallow and Hydrogenated Tallow on its list of substances considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as substances migrating from cotton and cotton fabrics used in dry food packaging. The polyglycerol esters of Tallow are also approved as multipurpose direct food additives. The safety of Tallow and the Tallow Glyceride ingredients has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Tallow, Tallow Glyceride, Tallow Glyerides, Hydrogenated Tallow Glyceride and Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides were safe as cosmetic ingredients in the present practices of use. In 2006, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Tallow and the Tallow Glyceride ingredients and reaffirmed the above conclusion. During the re-review, the CIR Expert Panel considered concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). They noted that these ingredients were processed and purified sufficiently so that there was no free protein. It was also noted that FDA regulations that establish source and processing controls help to assure that these ingredients present no risk of BSE.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that they previously reviewed the safety of the fatty acid constituents of Tallow, and some of the corresponding fatty acid alcohols. These components have also been evaluated for safety by the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology and the FDA. In all cases, the ingredients were found safe in present practices of use. None of these constituents of Tallow was toxic through oral or dermal exposure, they were not ocular or dermal irritants, and they were neither dermal sensitizers nor photosensitizers. The same was true for other oils that contain varying concentrations of the constituents of Tallow. Based on the CIR safety evaluations of the individual constituents of Tallow and of cosmetic ingredients containing the constituents of Tallow, and on the approval of Tallow for use in foods and other consumer products, it was concluded that Tallow, Tallow Glyceride, Tallow Glycerides, Hydrogenated Tallow Glyceride and Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides were safe as cosmetic ingredients.
Link to the FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Tallow
The use of Tallow and Tallow derived ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in the United States is subject to sourcing limitation and record-keeping requirements described in the Code of Federal Regulations as described in several Federal Register publications.
FDA Regulations: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…
Federal Register Publications:
July 14, 2004:
October 11, 2006:
More information about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
When used in cosmetics and personal care products in Europe, Tallow and Tallow Glyceride ingredients must conform to European Union animal by-products legislation, and the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:
More Scientific Information:
The major constituents of Tallow are the glycerides of oleic, palmitic, stearic, myristic and linoleic acids. Tallow Glycerides is the mono-, di- and triglycerides derived from Tallow, whereas Tallow Glyceride is the monoglyceride only. Hydrogenated Tallow Glyceride and Hydrogenated Tallow Glycerides are produced by controlled hydrogenation of the described precursor.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/defaul…
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/