Customers often ask us why we use palm oil in our soaps and not coconut oil or other substitutes? For while palm oil is an inherently sustainable, nutritious oil, the way most palm oil is produced has wreaked havoc on habitats, endangering the survival of critically endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger, the Asian rhinoceros and the Sumatran Orangutan.  This permanent removal of trees causes soil erosion, flooding and increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

And all of that is true. You may not realize it, but you may have more products at home that contain palm oil than you think. Think bread, peanut butter, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, chips, margarine, shampoo, noodles etc. And that's where the great volume of plantation palm oils goes, the point is they just call it 'vegetable oils', so nobody asks.

To give you an idea; simply removing palm oil from all cosmetics (including all major brands) would only account for about 5 - 10% of the total industrial demand!

That is why we work together with the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) and buy our palm oil from so-called smallholders (small farmers who depend with their families on their palm oil harvest, often for generations). They make palm oil that is 100% organic, deforestation-free, nature-friendly, fair and social, to prove that palm can be grown forever. They work to conserve the environment and native species, provide positive economic support to local communities and create sustainable livelihoods for all involved.

Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil

Beyond all that, there are good reasons to use palm oil in our soap To use, let's compare it to coconut oil when it comes to skin care:

Palm oil contains vitamin E, coconut oil does not; The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin conditions and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Palm oil provides a longer useful soap than coconut oil; both oils produce a hard soap, but palm oil holds the other ingredients together better and dries out less quickly. At higher temperatures, a soap with palm oil retains its shape.

Palm oil and coconut oil have good cleansing effects; they have the ability to remove oil and dirt from the skin and contain a restorative that helps restore the skin's natural oils that remove most soaps and allow moisture to escape.

Palm oil soap gives a nice creamy lather; this explains why it is the better 'skin food' than soap with coconut oil. The latter has a more airy foam, which means that the oil has less contact with the skin. Coconut oil can also have a drying effect on some skin types.

In our opinion, this makes palm oil the better choice for soap.

But there is another important question: is coconut oil actually harvested ethically?

It may surprise you, but the answer is that especially for the high growing coconuts, there are several places in Southeast Asia where macaque monkeys (which are also classified as vulnerable to survival) are used for harvesting. The training takes several months and physical punishment is usually used to get the monkeys to obey. They are sent into the trees on long ropes or chains to pry the coconuts loose. Properly trained monkeys are resold to coconut farmers at a high price, making this aspect of the industry quite profitable for trainers. Are you sure your products contain the right coconut oil?

We agree with anyone who wants to protect wildlife. That topic is an unbreakable part of our purchasing policy for all ingredients!

And speaking of habitat for animals; to produce the same amount of oil, coconut oil requires almost 4 times more land than palm oil. We now know scarce land.

Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Betty Kamen, a well-known international writer and nutritionist,  quote about some benefits specific to hair and skin.

Anti-aging

Palm oil contains the hard-to-find toctrienols, members of the vitamin E family. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin conditions and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles.

Cleansing and moisturizing

Palm oil is found in soaps and shampoo for its ability to remove oil and dirt from hair and skin. It also contains an agent that helps restore the hair and skin's natural oils that remove most soaps and shampoos, allowing moisture to escape. Palm oil also offers deep moisturizing properties, making the skin soft and supple.

Fight against skin problems

Lipids in our skin can be damaged or oxidized by exposure to ozone, which can lead to the creation of free radicals in our skin. It is well established that palm oil can fight free radicals, but it can also prevent them from forming in the first place. The oxidation of lipids resulting in free radicals has been proven to be an underlying cause of many skin diseases, including cancer.

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May 13, 2021 — Team Elicious

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