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What is Bomb Cosmetics doing about Palm Oil

Posted in:

By:

Tara-Jane

Palm Oil

As with the rest of the cosmetics industry, we are committed to responsible sourcing of palm oil and are working with suppliers to ensure our supply chain is sourced from sustainable palm plantations.

Background

It’s almost impossible to avoid palm oil as it’s the most widely used vegetable oil and you’ll in fact, find it in half of all consumer goods such as packaged foods, personal care products, as well as bio-fuels. The cosmetic industry represents less than 1% of global palm oil usage compared to the food industry!

Palm can only be grown in certain rain forest climates which has resulted in massive, and in many cases, illegal deforestation in some of the most at risk areas of the world. Deforestation takes place by burning large areas of rain forest, often killing or displacing endangered animals such as orangutans and elephants.

Why is Palm Oil regularly used?

  • It remains stable at high temperatures
  • It has a smooth, creamy texture and it doesn’t smell
  • It is a natural preservative effect which extends the product’s shelf life
  • It’s the least expensive vegetable oil as it needs less than half the land required by other crops to produce the same amount of oil.

Why don’t you use an alternative?

Unfortunately, replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils is not practical – that would require more land and would likely lead to even greater deforestation. The supplier would need to confirm that the ingredient is 100% palm free and always will be, but it also needs to follow our non-animal testing policies. The alternatives to these materials are often new to the market and subject to animal testing – making them unsuitable for us.

This is why we try to find a RSPO verified source.

RSPO = the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil – you’re going to see us refer to this a lot!

The RSPO has developed a set of environmental and social criteria, which companies must comply with in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. This can help to minimise the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities which are in palm oil-producing regions.

Do we use Palm in our products?

We’re often asked if we use Palm Oil directly in our products – as a business, we don’t purchase pure palm oil for any of our products.

Some of the ingredients we use may have palm oil as a raw material e.g. when baking a cake you use eggs, flour, butter, frosting and sugar decorations – You don’t see the word palm oil listed in the frosting and therefore think great, it doesn’t contain palm.

But you might see the ingredient - hydrogenated vegetable oil. If you were to ask the manufacture what vegetable oil they used and they aren’t sure, it’s because one batch might have been made from palm and the next batch could have been made from something else – it’s really difficult to tell.

You don’t use palm oil in your cake as an ingredient, but the frosting may have been made using palm oil derivatives. So therefore your cake could contain traces of palm oil.

The same applies to the cosmetics industry, many raw materials (e.g. your frosting) that produce bubbles can be derived primarily from a vegetable source and palm is commonly used for this. Anything with “Laureth”, “Steareth”, “Oleth” and “Coco” may have been produced with palm oil (but then it might not have!).

What is Bomb Cosmetics doing about Palm Oil?

We have a questionnaire which each supplier must complete, from this we assess the status of their particular raw material and then we decide whether to go ahead with the purchase.

In the rare event that we can’t source a raw material from suppliers, we will encourage the supplier to adopt RSPO membership / certification. If they aren’t happy to join the RSPO then we will seek alternative sources or reformulate our product.

Some of the sugar decorations used on our products contain a small amount of palm oil. The manufacturer of the sugar decorations can confirm that older sugar decs are RSPO and have promised that any new development we do with them are palm free.

We’re also pleased to say that our Blasters with piping, Mallows & Creamers will contain RSPO SLS!

SLS = Sodium Lauryl Sulfate used to make our products bubble up!

We’re doing what we can with our suppliers, as a Cosmetics company we’re a small part of a bigger problem generated by larger industries. The cosmetic industry as a whole has limited power over manufacturers.