Find out how to go in your rest room with out palm oil
Words from Rebecca Bennett, Founder of the Solid Bar Company
If you are among a growing number of people who boycott palm oil products, you know that it is not an easy task. Palm is the most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world.
In fact, over 50 percent of products on supermarket shelves contain these, from margarine, chocolate, and cereal to toothpaste, cosmetics, and cleaning products. The problem is that industrial palm oil production has been disastrous for the world’s rainforests.
Hair care is a lesser-known place where palm oil shows up and brands are behind the curve when it comes to going without palm oil.
So, if you’re trying to cut down on the amount of palm oil you buy but still want to get the most out of your hair care and skin care products, Rebecca Bennett, founder of vegan personal care manufacturer The Solid Bar Company, shares her top tips on what to look out for and should definitely avoid …
The Solid Bar Company is a palm oil-free premium cosmetics and toiletries brand
Why is palm oil used in hair and skin care?
Chances are your favorite shampoo, conditioner, lotion, or soap contains some form of palm oil. It is often used as a raw material for hair care ingredients such as emulsifiers, softeners, solubilizers and surfactants (surface cleaning agents).
Brands love this stuff because it’s cheap (a lot cheaper than other natural oils like olives, almonds, apricots, and coconuts), odorless and colorless, lathers well, and is also moisturizing. The semi-solid texture at room temperature also helps bar-style soap and shampoo products hold their shape.
What damage does palm oil production cause for the environment?
As a harvest, palm is incredibly efficient and grows quickly. However, to make way for palm plantations, vast areas of the world’s most diverse rainforests are being cleared, putting native species at risk of extinction.
An estimated 18 million hectares of land are currently used for industrial palm oil production, and five soccer fields are being cleared every minute. If we go unchecked, we will soon see the loss of rainforests altogether.
An estimated 18 million hectares of land are currently used for industrial palm oil production, and five soccer fields are being cleared every minute
Is “sustainable” palm oil better?
Simply put, no. You may see some products that have “RPSO” sustainable palm oil certification, but they are just as widely used as a chocolate teapot.
In reality, palm oil is not sustainable as all plantations are built on flattened rainforests and contribute to the decline of native species. Until that changes, it is best to work without palm oil.
How to tell if your hair and skin care products contain palm oil
From the scale of the problem, it may seem like your day-to-day decisions make no difference. But that’s not true. It’s only when brands lose customers (and profits) that they remove palm oil from their products.
Here’s how you can determine if your bathroom products contain palm oil, and some additional things you can do to help exercise without palm oil:
Coconut oil has a lower environmental impact than palm oil because it is harvested by hand and does not require pesticides or herbicides
# 1 Always check the product’s label and ingredients list before purchasing. Palm oil can appear in all kinds of ingredients. To get a clue, here is a helpful list of alternative names for palm oil.
# 2 You can’t always tell if some ingredients (like SLS and cetyl / cetearyl alcohol) are palm oil based or use an alternative source like coconut. If it’s unclear, check the product page on the brand’s website before contacting them directly via email or social media. You can also check whether you have a certification or receive it in writing from the manufacturer.
# 3 Choose manufacturers who use alternatives to palm trees. Coconut oil has a lower environmental footprint because it is hand harvested and does not require pesticides or herbicides. So does jojobia oil, which grows in the desert with very little water. But if you want to keep things local, UK grown canola oil is a great sustainable alternative with no airline miles.
# 4 Do not discount a product without palm oil if it is not certified without palm oil. Sourcing is expensive for businesses, especially smaller ones, so you won’t always find them on the box. Contact the brand directly.
# 5 If you find a product that is palm oil free and works, scream about it! Share your find with your friends and family to support the movement against palm oil.