Plastic, Palm Oil & SLS: What you Need to Know

Love your skin, love your planet and all that live in it.
Palm Oil SLS and Plastic Need to Know
You may have noticed that we don't use any plastics, palm oil or SLS in any of our products but you might not know why. In fact, it was only when recovering from ill health that our founder and chief soap lady, Clara, discovered the damaging impact these can have on both our bodies and the environment we live in. 
Last week it was revealed that Iceland's Palm Oil Ad featuring Orangutan in My Bedroom had been banned by British Advertising Authorities. We were outraged, this was an amazing step in the right direction to showcase to a wide range of people the disastrous impact of palm oil on Orangutans and the wider environment. So we shared it with you over on our Facebook and encouraged you to share it with your Facebook friends to help Iceland spread their brilliant message. That post, together with a couple of closely related follow-up posts have now reached nearly 40,000 people across Facebook. We can't thank you all enough for helping us to spread the message. How brilliant we are when we unite together!!
We are breaking down the problems we have discovered with palm oil (and SLS) and plastics being used in our skincare products below. Take a look to get up to speed. 

Palm Oil & the Environment.

The production of Palm Oil and even so-called 'sustainable' palm oils is having a disastrous impact on the environment and the creatures that live within it. Every minute, the size of 5 football fields is destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations. In the 10 minutes, you might take to read through this article, that's an area the size of 50 football pitches gone. Scary, isn't it?
It is estimated that 1,000 orangutans are directly killed every year by palm oil plantations and their workers. A combination of this and loss of habitat has led to a 50% drop in the Orangutan population in the last 10 years. So in a decade, half the population has been wiped out as a direct result of palm oil production. It's not just the orangutan that's fighting for survival, the Borneo Elephant and Sumatran tiger are also being pushed to extinction. 

Palm Oil & People

Palm oil is proving to be an awful industry for those that work in and live near plantations. The palm oil industry has recently been named within the top 4 of the worst for forced and child labour. Big corporations show little remorse or thought for peoples home too as they routinely bulldoze houses to replace them with palm oil plantations. Human rights violations are an everyday occurrence across palm oil plantations (including "sustainable" ones). 

Palm Oil, SLS and our Skin. 

Not only is palm oil terrible for the environment and the people who live in it, it also isn't very good for our bodies. Several studies have linked palm oils to several cancers, with some even suggesting it goes as far as changing our DNA. But with palm oil sneaking into almost half the items on the shelves in supermarkets under various names...what do we look out for? We've listed a number of them below so keep your eyes peeled next time you are doing your weekly shop:
Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palm Stearine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Hydrate Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmidite, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Suphate. 
SLS is often a product of palm oils. Watch out for SLS on products' ingredients lists as they often are a good indicator of palm oils being used. The ingredient acts as a foaming agent in common shampoos. It actually sucks out the natural moisture from your skin and has been proven in many studies to cause skin irritation. This is why you might feel incredibly tight, dry skin after washing your face, or why your scalp feels so itchy and uncomfortable after washing your hair. We wrote a blog post on this topic last year which you can read more about here
SLS is found in a lot of products in your local supermarket, from soaps to mascara, shampoo to sun cream. Look out for Sodium-Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate in the ingredients. If you suffer from cataracts, dandruff, dermatitis or sensitive skin, see if you notice the difference to your hair, skin, mouth etc. when you remove it from your routines. We certainly did! 

Plastic & the Environment

Of the 36 million plastic bottles used EVERY DAY in the UK, 19.8 million are recycled. This means there are on average 16 million plastic bottles a day not being recycled in the UK alone! And where do those 16 million plastic bottles end up? You guessed it, in our environment, our countrysides, our oceans, our parks, our rivers. 
And that's just bottles...
A huge proportion of plastic waste ends up in the oceans where plastic waste kills as many as a million sea creatures a year and where damaging pollutants accumulating in plastic debris enter the human food chain. As the human population continues to grow, more and more people are relying on the oceans for their food sources but problems with plastic pollution make this increasingly difficult.

Plastic & Us

Last January some of the team here at Cosy Cottage Soap took part in a plastic detox to kick the year off. We found it very enlightening to discover all the products we have been using that we hadn't stopped to consider were plastics and would take decades if not centuries to decompose. From cleaning products to teabags, you might find some ideas to switch out for plastic-free alternatives. Check it out here.
A long time ago we made the decision to not include palm oil, SLS or plastics in our products and we haven't looked back. This has actually had a greatly positive impact on our skin and hair as the natural ingredients have been exactly what our bodies have been after without stripping it of its natural oils. Think about the recent movement towards eating 'clean' and healthy, natural more nutritional foods. We can replicate this with our skincare and reap the benefits.
The world is waking up to thinking closely about what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies as well as its impact on the environment but it's proving to be difficult to get the message out with authorities stopping the public from seeing this information, such as the case with Iceland last week. Share this post with your friends to keep spreading the world. 
Be kind to your planet, your people and your skin: cut back or avoid palm oil and plastics today.

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