The Environmental Impact Of Palm Oil Is HUGE, So Here's How To Cut It Out For Good

by Lauren Sharkey

You're probably well aware that certain ingredients used in the beauty industry can have devastating consequences on your skin and to the health of the environment. Palm oil falls into the latter category. The vegetable oil can be found in plenty of household products as well as in skincare, haircare, and makeup. Yet its production often requires deforestation which can have a devastating effect on the natural wildlife. But palm oil-free beauty products in the UK do exist, and are proving that no product needs to harm the Earth or any living thing.

According to the BBC, palm oil is believed to be in around half of the products found in supermarkets and shops. Most commonly extracted from the fruit of the African oil palm tree, the oil is at the centre of a lucrative market. Potential profits have encouraged certain areas around the world to burn down forests in order to plant more of these trees. This deforestation, however, can often leave animals such as orangutans and tigers without a home. In fact, 100,000 critically endangered Bornean orangutans have been killed since 1999 due to this very process, reports the BBC.

Although palm oil can be found in several cleaning products, it is also on the ingredients list of many beauty products. Thanks to its ability to hold colour (even at high temperatures), it can often be found in lipstick and is a mainstay in a lot of shampoos due to its conditioning properties. Soap, too, often features cleansing and moisturising palm oil.

Huge conglomerates such as L'Oreal are working hard to reduce their impact on the planet by sourcing palm oil as responsibly as possible, but many companies are still ignoring the issue. That's where the independent brands come in. The following products are all made by smaller beauty companies who prize sustainability above all else. There may not be many of them but there's enough to transform your entire beauty routine from damaging to 100 percent eco-friendly.


If you're out and about, don't forget to look out for the RSPO and Green Palm labels. As WWF reports, these two symbols show that the palm oil included in a product has been produced sustainably or that the company is supporting growers to move towards a more eco-friendly production method.