Many of us are aware of the drawbacks of consuming palm oil and do our food shopping accordingly. However, when it comes to skincare, are we also choosing palm oil free cosmetics? You might be surprised by your answer. After all, palm oil is an affordable ingredient that many companies use to improve their bottom line. Read on to find out why you should ditch this controversial oil and choose palm oil free cosmetics instead.
What is Palm Oil?
You may be wondering, what exactly is palm oil? Well, this oil is derived from the fruit of palm trees and is more affordable to produce than other oils of vegetable origin. Palm oil also has a very high melting point, making it ideal for cooking, baking, cosmetics processing, and even fuels such as biodiesel. Furthermore, the palm fruit can provide ten times the amount of oil compared to soya beans, sunflowers, and rapeseed. Palm oil is also commonly used in soaps because it allows products to harden, which very few oils can do. The combination of its low price point, versatility, and high yield makes palm oil the ideal ingredient for corporations looking to cut costs and maximise profits.
Palm Oil’s Effects on the Environment
Due to these three main factors, palm oil is the most popular vegetable oil across the globe and is in about half of all consumer products. Although it’s the huge demand for this oil that is leading to massive deforestation in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia because companies are tearing down trees to create palm tree plantations. Between 2001 and 2018, Global Forest Watch noted that Indonesia suffered a loss of 25.6 million hectares of tree cover, which is significantly contributing to climate change. Additionally, as these forests are home to a large number of animal species, many of which were unknown to science before, the production of palm oil here has and will continue to devastate these populations. Not to mention, many indigenous peoples in these countries are suffering from these corporate land grabs and human rights violations.
Natural Alternatives to Palm Oil
Scientists looking to find alternatives to palm oil and its environmental and cultural destruction have begun to experiment with other vegetable oils. Some of these include mixtures of exotic oils such as jojoba, shea, sal, illipé, and kokum to create a similar product. Not to mention, scientific studies have explored the opportunities of Jatropha circus. Even mango kernel oil is being researched as a more sustainable alternative due to the fruit’s high production levels, as well as its ability to be used in food and oils. The idea behind these natural oils would be to partially hydrogenate them and mix them to create blends which are as effective as palm oil, without all the downsides of production.
How to Find Palm Oil Free Cosmetics
For the moment, palm oil continues to reign supreme until a more affordable and sustainable alternative is found to replace this vegetable oil on a large scale. If you are looking to cut palm oil out of your skincare routine, here’s where to start.
Skip The Big Players
While some big brands like L’Oreal are striving to use sustainably sourced palm oil, some other brands don’t seem concerned at all. In fact, most brands under the Unilever conglomerate, including familiar names like Dove, Sunsilk, and Max Factor, still have a long way to go. To find out where your favourite brands stand on palm oil, check out their WWF palm oil buyers scorecard.
Support Sustainable Brands
We’ve mentioned some sustainable brands we love before, but as a refresher here are a few brands that don’t use palm oil.
- Fat and the Moon
- PHB Ethical Beauty
- Camp Skincare
- The Perfect V
- Atomic Makeup
- Earth Tu Face
- MuLondon Organics
Make Your Cosmetics
When you craft your skincare yourself at home, you’ll always know exactly what’s in it. Not only does this give you the power to create something sure to suit your needs, but you also personally source your ingredients. Combined with valuable natural skincare sourcing recommendations from Mayca, which you can gain from the Complete Online Skincare Course, you’ll be able to make products choosing alternative cosmetic raw materials to palm oil.
Choosing palm oil free cosmetics is the best decisions for those who prefer skincare that doesn’t harm the environment. If you are looking to craft safe and natural skincare at home, check out WapoBeauty’s Traditional Soapmaking eBook. Also, you can still sign up for the online Soapmaking Workshop happening September 26th! Anyone searching for guided learning should check out WapoBeauty’s Complete Facial Skincare Online Course for Beginners and discover how to make professional, safe, and stable natural beauty products. Join the ranks of students who found this class valuable and rewarding!
About Our Blogger
Ashuni Pérez is an American writer based in Valencia, Spain. She has a passion for natural beauty and the environment. Ashuni loves to cycle and drink smoothies in the sun. Follow her on Instagram at @ashuuuuni.