Every hour an area the size of 300 football pitches is cleared for palm oil plantations. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (wwf.org.uk/save-forests), half of all packaged goods contain the slimy substance. This is leaving animals and indigenous communities homeless for the sake of consumerism. Although many organisations involved are food brands, the cosmetic industry isn’t innocent – so let’s do all we can to reduce our consumption of the beauty by-products of deforestation.
“The best way to avoid palm oil is to go for items with clearly labelled ingredients,” explains Amandeep Panglin, managing director at Alchemy Oils (alchemyoils.co.uk). “It’s often difficult to recognise when it’s present, as companies tend to disguise it using vegetable oil as a scapegoat – it’s more complex than simply avoiding the word ‘palm’.” We know it’s tough to give up your go-to night cream or your favourite volumising shampoo. However, if it could prevent innocent animals from unwillingly giving up their homes and families, we’re pretty sure it’s worth it. We’ve devised a few thinking points for you to consider when putting a new beauty product in your basket.
- Ingredients with the word ‘palm’ in them are either made from the trees directly or derived from the oil of the fruit.
- If you’re not sure what ingredients your new conditioner contains, either type the product name into your search engine along with ‘palm oil’ and scan the search results or contact the company and ask it about the contents.
- To avoid such nasty and unwanted ingredients, choose products that contain clearly labelled oils, such as 100 percent sunflower, corn, olive, coconut or canola oil.