Palm Oil Free Beauty with Lovethical
The lovely Emma from Beauty Folio recently wrote this fantastic blog post about why it's important to shop palm oil-free and how Lovethical can help customers to find palm oil-free beauty products. She kindly let us feature it as one of our blog posts, so here it is:
When we think of environmental issues, our minds are often instantly transported to plastic pollution – and rightly so – yet there is something which is having the same detrimental effect on the environment and is much harder to prevent than simply ditching single-use plastics…
Over recent years, you may have seen phrases such as ‘palm-oil free’ on your food labels or skincare products, but do you actually know why? Until a certain supermarket created an advert about the negative impact palm oil cultivation has on Orangutans in particular, I’m sure many of us hadn’t even thought of palm oil, let alone heard the negative impact of its production.
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com
As we live in a society that is becoming increasingly aware of the environment, why is it that the majority of us are still in the dark about palm oil and more importantly, still using derivatives within the products we use on a daily basis?
What is Palm Oil?
Palm Oil cultivation is one of the biggest problems affecting our planet today yet the scale of destruction is often underestimated. Palm Oil is a vegetable oil that is the most popular worldwide, featuring in approximately 50% of consumer products from cosmetics and construction to transport and food. Its low cost and unique chemistry (odourless, high melting point, pale and high in saturated fats), makes it incredibly desirable, with similar alternatives such as coconut oil and rapeseed, being three times more expensive than palm oil itself.
The Impacts of Palm Oil
But these benefits come at a cost to land, habitats and indigenous communities, with the palm oil industry being the leading cause of deforestation in Asia. Indonesia and Malaysia are the leading producers of palm oil, responsible for 58% (Indonesia) and 26% (Malaysia) of all cultivation.
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A Greenpeace study undertaken in 2018 shows that 500sq miles of South East Asian Rainforest has been cleared between 2015-2018 for palm oil production alone – the size of Hong Kong and Barbados put together! With palm oil production itself set to double by 2030 and triple by 2050, these effects are only just going to get worse year on year. Palm oil farming has already lead to 80% of Orangutans habitats being destroyed as a results of deforestation over the past 20 years, so with the increasing number of sq miles being cultivated, there is a high possibility that Orangutans – as well as other wildlife we know and love – will be extinct in the not-so-distant future.
Palm Oil in the Beauty Industry
Many of us associate palm oil with the food industry but did you know that around 70% of beauty products and personal care items contain at least one palm oil derivative? Thanks to its great texture, lack of scent, versatility and naturally emulsifying qualities, it is an ingredient that is incredibly cost effective and useful for formulating purposes.
It is also good to acknowledge that there are derivatives of palm oil that are often hidden on those INCI lists. Prefixes such as ‘palm’, ‘stear’, ‘laur’ and ‘glyc’ are easy ways to identify palm oil-based ingredients, so the products in your beauty regimes that you believe are free from palm oil might not be quite as sustainable as your first thought.
Not All Palm Oil Is Bad…Or Is It?
There is no denying that some argue that not all palm oil is bad for the environment due to the number of certifications set up to minimise the negative impact of palm oil cultivation. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was founded in 2004 and is backed by WWF to help protect wildlife, reduce poverty, support affordable pricing and safeguard workers and palm oil producers.
The RSPO ultimately prevents deforestation and supports the communities that inhabit the areas where palm oil production is at its highest. As well as the RSPO, other accreditations include The Rainforest Alliance and The International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC).
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Although these organisations are making a difference in the production of palm oil and its overall sustainability, there is certainly more room for improvement. By creating a set of standards, you are still making palm oil a more desirable product than greener, more sustainable alternatives. There has also been studies undertaken surrounding the RSPO in particular which concludes that even though the economic value of palm oil in RSPO plantations had increased, the values for wildlife and indigenous people were still unclear. This has lead to debates on whether such organisations are guilty of greenwashing or simply that the problem is much bigger than the solutions the RSPO can enforce.
So yes, in reality, sustainable palm oil is a better option yet saying no to palm oil products is the most sustainable choice you as a consumer can make.
Palm Oil Free Beauty with Lovethical
Changing up your beauty routine is a great place to start eradicating palm oil without compromising on quality, price or performance on the products you love. Lovethical has a dedicated space on their website showcasing some incredible brands and products that are all palm oil free. They ensure that all the brands that feature on their site sign a disclaimer to guarantee that they are all vegan friendly and cruelty free, and those that claim they are also palm oil free have to back-up their claims. I personally love the way that these palm oil free brands on Lovethical just say no when it comes to palm oil, so there can be no grey area when it comes to the sustainability status of the product.
Lovethical is a store that you can shop with confidence knowing that all the guesswork has been removed for a happy shopping experience that doesn’t cost the Earth.
I have been fortunate to try several products from their extensive range of palm oil free brands and have rounded up some of my personal favourites for Autumn/Winter…
Bloomtown: The Woods Salt Soak
|Gifted| I’m a huge bath salts fan and Bloomtown’s salt soaks are among some of my favourites, as they not only soothe aches and pains but also leave my skin feeling softer and moisturised.
The pink Himalayan salts, enriched with Vitamin E and Sweet Almond Oil, are perfectly balanced with The Woods signature fragrance to create a gorgeous bath time treat. The simple, plastic-free packaging reflects upon the brand’s ethos for complete transparency and Earth-conscious approach to their range, while looking great in any bathroom and making the perfect gift for someone special.
Flawless: Oriental Bliss Luxury Body Wash
If you love the scent of Jasmine, then Oriental Bliss Luxury Body Wash by Flawless is the product for you.
It has the most beautiful jasmine scent which is perfectly balanced and not too overpowering and I love that it lingers on the skin after use. It lathers well and leaves the skin feeling lovely and soft and the plastic free packaging makes it a great ethical choice if you love a body wash over a soap bar.
Purity: Radiance Eye Gel
I am a big fan of eye products and this one from Purity is among one of my favourites. The texture of the eye gel is unique to any other product I've used, as the gel absorbs into the skin without the need to massage it in.
The skin loving ingredients such as green tea, seaweed extract, arnica oil, hyaluronic acid and avocado oil helps reduce fine lines, dark circles and puffiness for a brighter, smoother and hydrated under eye area. The best news is that the packaging is not only plastic-free but the label is also printed on seed paper so you can have some beautiful flowers as well as a great eye product.
UpCircle: Face Toner
|Gifted| UpCircle are a brand that never disappoint with ethical products that are sustainable, cost effective and deliver great results. Their Face Toner is certainly no exception, with repurposed ingredients to hydrate, soothe and refresh the skin for a brighter appearance.
What I love in particular about the UpCircle Face Toner is the combination of Chamomile water and Mandarin fruit water which gives the toner a fresh scent that treats the skin and senses alike. The addition of BHA Salicylic Acid makes this great for use on skin prone to breakouts as well as combination, dry and dehydrated skin types for an all-round skin loving experience.
Disclaimer: Some of the items featured were kindly gifted to me by Lovethical. This has not influenced my thoughts and opinions in this review as everything on Beauty Folio remains #triedandtested with honest feedback on each product that has not been influenced by the brand in any way. I will never give a positive review on a product I don’t believe in just because it has been #gifted, and each product i’ve received free of charge will be labelled as such. For more details on gifted products, please check out the disclaimer section on my website which can be found here.
So there it is - the brilliant blog post by Emma! If you want to check out more of her blog posts you can find them on her website.