Palm oil: it's the ingredient we have come to believe we cannot buy products without. Derived from the fruit of the palm oil tree native to West Africa, palm oil is most commonly used as an emulsifier and surfactant, as well as to extend the shelf life of products including beauty items like skincare and shampoo. The reason it is so often used is because it is one of the cheapest vegetable oils worldwide to source. But contrary to popular belief, it absolutely is possible to buy things like beauty products without palm oil, you just need to know where to look. I sourced some palm oil free shampoos and conditioners in the UK to get you started.
There are many reasons why we should be looking to reduce our usage of palm oil. "Whilst palm oil is not an animal by-product, the harvesting of palm oil is damaging in the greater context of the environment," explains Sean Patrick Harrington, founder of Previse skincare. Indeed, as GreenPeace reports, animals and communities are often negatively affected by the production of palm oil, largely because in order to grow and harvest it, huge areas of forests need to be cleared. These forests are home to whole eco-systems, including beautiful animals like orangutans. It is pretty devastating to read that Greenpeace reports that in Indonesia alone, an area the size of a football pitch is lost every 25 seconds to palm oil production.
With this in mind, it is worth searching for products that use alternatives rather than palm oil. Disappointingly, the options are pretty few and far between in the beauty industry. But they are there, if you know where to look. I searched for the best shampoo and conditioner options that have no palm oil in and that are shoppable within the UK. Take a look at the best seven I found below.
As well as being palm oil-free, Beauty Kubes use biodegradable cleansing agents that are Ecocert approved, and are also sulphate free, synthetic fragrance free, and synthetic preservative free. The cube crumbles in your hand to create a paste with water, which when massaged into the hair and scalp, effectively cleanses and refreshes.
A vegan, 100 percent natural shampoo bar that is wrapped in recyclable paper, this contains bananas, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and, most surprisingly, beer. Confused? Well, beer adds a natural shine to hair, making it a valuable ingredient. At only £6.95, this bar is super affordable, especially when you take into account that it lasts for up to 30 washes!
A cruelty free, natural shampoo, this contains herbal extracts of vanilla and mandarin to cleanse the scalp, and organic argan oil and sea buckthorn to moisturise and encourage healthy hair growth. If you've been looking for an all natural clarifying formula, this one is for you.
Containing organic shea butter, abyssinian & macadamia oils, this is one richly hydrating conditioner. This conditioner is also silicone free, which means it will not leave a build up of product coated on the hair. This can result in a less noticeable shiny finish, but in reality, it is actually better for hair health in the long run.