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Palm Oil – how it sneaks into your products.

Palm Oil – how it sneaks into your products.

It is estimated that approx. 50% of the packaged products found on our supermarket shelves have palm oil in them. Palm oil is widely used in skincare products, food, cleaning products, cosmetics and most packaged foods.

To meet this wide and ever increasing demand for palm oil, natural habitats in rain forest areas are being decimated to make way for palm oil trees.

Sadly it is not always clearly obvious to us, the consumer, if Palm Oil is actually in certain products.  It is not always clear and transparent on product labeling.  Did you know it is estimated that Palm Oil has in excess of 200 different ingredient names? Yes – over 200! so it is easily “disguised” among the rest of the words in an ingredient listing.

Below is a common list of ingredient names that actually contain Palm Oil. Like I said, there are over 200+ names for Palm Oil so this info is the tip of the iceberg but gives you a head start of typical ingredients that contain Palm Oil.

Grab you bottles, and check to see if Palm Oil has crept into your products. You’ll be amazed and horrified at the same time!

While some generalized ingredient names – like vegetable oil – aren’t always derived from palm oil, they more often than not, are, so if in doubt, contact the manufacturer or maker to get further explanation on where the ingredient is derived from.

A common skincare ingredient where palm oil sneaks in under other names are Vegetable Glycerine & Emulsifying Wax. I use both of these ingredients in some of my skin care preparations.  Since the Palm Oil issue has become a global concern manufacturers have now created Vegetable Glycerine that is palm free – yippee! – but there is still Vegetable Glycerine out there that contains palm. The glycerine I use is derived from castor and safflower oils.  Emulsifying Wax too now has a palm free alternative, the one I use is derived from olives…and it costs approx 25% more than palm emulsifying wax but my heart and head rest well knowing which option I have chosen.

Palm Oil as an actual ingredient in skincare formulations is a very forgiving substance and also a very economical one and that is why sooooo many big brand companies out there continue to use it. It’s all about the dollar…sigh 🙁

It can be difficult to source an alternative ingredient that offers the same features and benefits to palm but manufacturers are creating great alternatives and the Palm Oil issue is certainly being heard across the lands.

So here is a go to list for you to look at and check out your bottles.

All of these ingredients below contain Palm Oil.

  • Cetyl Palmitate Elaeis
  • Guineensis Epoxidized Palm Oil (UV cured coatings)
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Hydrated Palm Glycerides
  • Octyl Palmitate Palm Oil
  • Palm Fruit Oil
  • Palm Kernel
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Palm Stearine
  • Palmate Palmitate
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Palmityl Alcohol
  • Palmitoyl Oxostearamide
  • Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
  • Palmolein
  • Saponified Elaeis Guineensis
  • Sodium Kernelate
  • Sodium Palm Kernelate
  • Sodium Palmate
  • Steareth -20 Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 465-67, 470-8, 481-483

Palm Oil ingredient list information source link

There are many wonderful organisations that do endless amounts of work to spread knowledge across the globe raising awareness about the Palm Oil crisis. One organisation we love to follow and support is the Rainforest Action Network

Junk food is a huge culprit that contains Palm Oil. While a lot of other products do too, it is packaged food that is jam packed full of palm oil. Check your labels. Become palm oil aware.

This is just another great reason to give up the junk food – for good!

Living a healthy lifestyle and being environmentally aware, striving to make a different ~ while it can be disheartening and a real struggle at times ~ it can also be very rewarding on so many levels…and it’s those rewards that give me the courage and strength to continue my path on the green movement.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time, bye for now.

Michelle x

Michelle SEED 2012