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Palm Oil Free Shampoo

How to avoid shampoo brands that use palm oil

In shampoo, palm oil is used as a conditioning agent that helps restore the natural oils of the hair that are stripped away by the other chemicals present in most shampoos.

In our shopping guide to shampoo we rated 86 brands on their palm oil policy, and below are the ratings for all of them.

Palm oil and its derivatives are found in a vast number of cosmetics and food products including shampoo.

It is a type of vegetable oil derived from palm oil fruit. It is widely used for its properties and because it is cheap. Its low price is partly due to its high yield, but also because, as with other mass produced crops, the environmental and social costs go unaccounted for.

Many products that use palm oil aren't clearly labelled. Palm oil and its derivatives can appear under many names, including:

Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate and Palmityl Alcohol*

Palm oil free companies (all products are palm oil free):

  • Caurnie Soap
  • Pure Nuff Stuff
  • Ethique
  • Conscious Skincare

Best rated palm oil policies:

  • Odylique
  • Friendly Soap
  • PHB Ethical Beauty
  • Badger
  • Fill Refill
  • SESI
  • Miniml
  • Lavera
  • Eco Warrior

Middle rated palm oil policies:

  • Faith in Nature
  • Suma
  • Austin Austin
  • Noughty
  • Tropic
  • Wild
  • Neal's Yard
  • Nivea
  • L’Oreal (Elvive, Garnier, Redken)
  • Dr Organic
  • Boots, Liz Earle

Worst rated palm oil policies:

  • Bentley Organics
  • Yaoh
  • Green People
  • Honesty
  • Dr Hauschka
  • Urtekram
  • Lush
  • Weleda
  • A Vogel
  • Molton Brown, John Frieda (Kao Brands)
  • Body Shop, Avon
  • Baylis and Harding
  • Henkel (Gliss, Schwarzkopf, Nature Box)
  • Wash & Go
  • Inecto
  • Wella
  • PZ Cussons (Charles Worthington)
  • L’Occitane
  • Clarins
  • Avalon, Alba Botanica, Jason
  • Aveda, Bumble & Bumble (Estee Lauder)
  • Church & Dwight (Batiste Dry)
  • Johnson and Johnson (Aveeno, OGX, Johnson’s baby shampoo, Neutrogena T-Gel)
  • Palmolive
  • Unilever (Dove, Tresemme, Simple, Bedhead, Love Beauty & Planet, Sunsilk, Alberto Balsam, VO5)
  • Procter and Gamble (Aussie, Head and Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Pantene)
  • Superdrug

How we rate companies for Palm Oil policy

Large companies will get the highest rating if they use no palm ingredients at all. If they do use palm ingredients their rating will be better the more of the following criteria they satisfy: 

  • all palm ingredients are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
  • over 50% of their palm ingredients are certified to the more stringent RSPO standards - Segregated or Identity Preserved
  • they list their mills and producers
  • they are not using producers identified as having the most ineffective 'No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation' measures
  • they publish an annual grievance list

Medium and smaller companies can also get higher ratings if they are using organic certified palm ingredients.

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