So there I was, staying in a luxury five star hotel in Berlin. Next to the bathroom sink, sat a collection of beautifully presented, complimentary hotel toiletries. This particular range had written, and I quote: “natural and organic bodycare” products; shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and a little bar of soap.
The label on the ‘Citrus Facial Soap’ boasts; “Made with Organic Shea Butter. Gentle triple milled soap with vitamin E”. So far, so good. I opened it and was hit with the aroma of lavender and citrus. As you can believe, I was all ready to spread the word and write a review on it.
So of course, me being me, I went straight to the ingredients list and started reading:
Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, glycerin, sodium choride, parfum, lavandula angustifolia oi, linalool, limonene, pentasodium pentetate, tetrasodium etidronate, butyrospermum parkii*, tocopherol, benzyl salicylate, citral, geranoil. *certified organic
So the biggest ingredient is Sodium Tallowate. But what is that? Well, I started doing some research. It turns out the ‘Sodium’ bit means it has been mixed with Lye (sodium hydroxide), but Tallowate means animal fat.
The definition of the word ‘Tallow’ [tal-oh]:
the fatty tissue or suet of animals
the harder fat of sheep, cattle, etc., separated by melting from the fibrous and membranous matter naturally mixed with it, and used to make candles, soap, etc.
So let’s start by looking at the facts. Tallow is animal fat, it could be beef, lamb or pork. A by-product of the meat industry, just like the feathers in your pillows and the leather on your shoes. Tallow is not a new thing. We have been using animal ingredients in soaps and other beauty products for donkey’s years. Think about it. We used to make soap from whale and seal blubber. I’m sure somewhere in the world this practice is still going on.
Tallow can legally be classed as a natural product. After all, it wasn’t created in a lab by mixing chemicals together. It was merely cut off the carcass of a dead cow and melted over a low heat.
I was genuinely shocked to think I might have been washing my face with animal fat, from a bar of soap that is presented as being a natural and organic, citrus facial soap.
This revolution started me thinking, I wonder where else this ‘Tallow’ or ‘Sodium Tallowate’ might appear?
Surely not in ‘Simple – Pure soap for sensitive skin’?
How about ‘Shield Fresh Aqua’ Soap?
Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Triclocarban, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Coumarin, Amyl Cinnamal, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl-3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, CI 77891, CI 74260, CI 74160, CI 17200.
‘Palmolive Naturals Moisture Care’ Soap:
Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Oleate, Aqua, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Pentasodium Pentetate, Pentaerithrityl Tetra-di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sine Adipe Lac, Olea Europaea Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Gel, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, CI 77891, CI 47005, CI 61570
So friends, it’s about time we all started facing facts. We are being bombarded by advertising and marketing. We need to ALL be clever consumers and start reading the ingredient labels and understand exactly what goes into the making of products we purchase and use.
Del Brown Approved (the ingredient scrutiniser) is ALL about the ingredients, not about the packaging or misleading marketing. Click here to read my reviews of soaps that qualify for being Del Brown Approved and DO NOT containing any animal derived ingredients