The seemingly inescapable ingredient is responsible for deforestation and wildlife endangerment. People don’t usually think about the destruction of rainforests while washing their hands, applying lipstick, or doing laundry. But thanks to high demand for products containing palm oil, which is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, consumers are inadvertently contributing to deforestation.
1. Hand Soap.
The bubbles and lather produced when you wash your hands with a bar of soap make you feel like you’re getting clean, but the foaming effect is actually a result of palm oil. Palm oil produces sodium lauryl sulfate, which creates the mass of small bubbles often produced by soap.
Similar to the lather of soap, the foam produced when you brush your teeth with toothpaste is from the palm oil derivative sodium lauryl sulfate. As you brush, the friction causes the chemical’s molecules to rub up against and cleanse your teeth.
Palm oil acts as a natural emulsifier that prevents the separation of oil and water in moisturizers and cosmetic products such as foundation, lipstick, and mascara.
4. Laundry Detergent.
Manufacturers use palm oil, commonly labeled as sodium sulfate, to create a uniform density in the detergent. Want to know if your detergent contains palm oil? Look for a label marked “palm oil free” to find out.
Almost half of all packaged food products—including cookies, instant noodles, and pizza—contain palm oil. Used to add a creamy taste and a consistent texture, palm oil can be found on ingredient lists as vitamin A palmitate and palm kernel oil.
6.Body Wash And Shampoo.
Palm oil contains tocotrienol, a member of the vitamin E family. Rich in antioxidants, it removes dirt and oil from skin, making it a common ingredient in body wash and shampoo. A majority of shampoos also contain palm oil as a moisturizer.
The debate over whether butter or margarine is worse for your health has raged for decades, but spreading processed imitation butter may not be the smartest decision if you’re trying to avoid palm oil. Palm oil is solid at room temperature and naturally free of trans fats, making it a common ingredient in margarine.