Why Esoterance is Palm Oil Free
Commercial use of palm oil has been and continues to be a major driver of deforestation of some of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world. It is the leading cause of habitat loss of the already endangered species like orangutans, pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos and Sumatran tigers further putting them at risk of extinction.
This forest loss through burning coupled with conversion of carbon rich peat soils are throwing out millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and further contributing to climate change.
This industry is also responsible for displacement and imprisonment of local people, trafficking, slavery and forced labour of both adults and children.
Therefore a brand claiming to be vegan and cruelty free, is not truly vegan and cruelty while containing palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients.
How Palm Oil sneaks into cosmetics
Due to its low cost, palm oil is used in so many ways, either directly or to manufacture other ingredients. Everything from active ingredients, emulsifiers and even preservatives. In fact it is extremely rare to find a skin care brand that doesn’t use palm oil, especially if their products are emulsions of water and oil.
Ingredients that are definitely palm oil or derived from palm oil:
Palm Kernel Oil
Palm Fruit Oil
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Hyrated Palm Glycerides
Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye
Ingredients that are often derived from palm oil but could be derived from other sources:
Sodium Lauryl Lactylate
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
What about RSPO sustainable certified palm oil?
Investigations into certified palm oil have unearthed that certified palm oil distributors, still use non-certified palm oil, and sell their product as certified when in fact it’s not. Investigations have also uncovered that endangered animals that enter these certified plantations are often killed.
In fact studies have found that about 75% of RSPO concessions and supply bases are located in areas that have been deforested and/or where endangered large mammals lived just during the last 30 years. It found that 49% of Sumatran and 99% of Bornean certified supply bases were completely covered by tropical forests between 1984 and 1990, before being converted into oil palm plantations from 1990 to 2000. These plantations were later certified in the 2000s. By 2020 almost no forests remain standing in the plantation areas, with only patched and highly disturbed forests remaining in certified bases and concessions.
Studies also found that 85% of certified supply bases in Borneo were still forests inhabited by orangutans in 1999, and 5-18% of those in Sumatra were still inhabited by tigers, rhinos and elephants between 1985 and 1991. This means that the establishment of the sustainable plantations, after legal or illegal forest logging, occurred no more than 30 years ago, and despite a recent past of habitat degradation, they are certified with a ‘sustainability’ label.
Another problem with so called RSPO certified palm oil is that as long as the demand for palm oil remains so high, it will mean that these vast plantations will never have the potential of being restored to the beautiful rainforests that they once were and endangered animals will not have the chance to recover.
The truth is that RSPO certified palm oil is nothing more than a marketing ploy that large companies use to trick their customers.
How Esoterance remains completely Palm Oil free
For starters, Esoterance does not include any palm oil nor palm oil derived ingredients.
The real challenge was being able to make our products free from any palm oil derived emulsifiers and preservatives, while at the same time remaining 100% non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-harmful in any way and still being environmentally friendly as well.
Thankfully after research and testing, Esoterance was able to devise formulas by using a combination of two new emulsifiers that are palm oil free. Our primary emulsifier is created from glucose that comes from either wheat, maize or cassava along with fat, derived from colza oil. Its glucolipid structure means that it has intrinsic hydrating properties, facilitating the action of hydrating active ingredients. It has excellent eco credentials and is approved by COSMOS and certified by the Soil Association. Our secondary emulsifier derived from corn which also has the benefit of acting as a natural lubricant to help keep skin soft and smooth, while also helping prevent moisture loss.
As for our preservative, we opted to use Naticide which legally we have to list it as “parfum” in our ingredients list. The reason we chose this preservative is because it ticks all our boxes, being broad spectrum, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-irritating, and environmentally friendly as it does not have a negative impact on the environment when rinsed off, and it is not derived from palm oil. Naticide is derived from almond trees, as such it has a light almond and vanilla scent which is imparted on our products. So do not be alarmed that our ingredients list includes “Parfum” this is not a fragrance, it is in fact a preservative which is derived from almond trees. It is perfectly safe, ensuring that our products do not grow bacteria, mould and fungus.
When it comes to other typical palm oil derived ingredients, Esoterance ensures that they are derived from other sources, such as our glycerine which is manufactured from flaxseeds.
Why don’t other brands do the same?
It mostly comes down to money and profit margins. Palm oil derived ingredients are among the cheapest cosmetic ingredients. In fact the emulsifiers and preservatives we use cost 3 to 4 times as much as palm oil alternatives. However Esoterance believes in a strong ethical standard and we would rather reduce our profit margin than lose our ethics.
While there may be other emulsifiers and preservatives which are palm oil free such as synthetic carbomers and parabens, this comes at the cost of being harmful to your skin and body. Therefore they do not meet Esoterance’s health focused ideal.
Esoterance believes in creating a brand that you can trust to ensure that we will do everything we can to make sure our products are of the highest standard when it comes to your health and environmental welfare, and you can feel good about using our products.