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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 77 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
  • Friendly Soap
  • Conscious Skincare

Best rated palm oil policies:

  • Odylique
  • Little Soap Company
  • PHB Ethical Beauty
  • Badger
  • Suma
  • Weleda
  • Lush
  • A Vogel
  • Beiersdorf (Nivea)

Middle rated palm oil policies:

  • Faith in Nature
  • Bentley Organics
  • Honesty
  • Green People
  • Neal's Yard
  • Aveda, Bumble & Bumble (Estee Lauder)
  • Molton Brown, John Frieda (Kao Brands)
  • Henkel (Gliss, Schwarzkopf, Nature Box)
  • Church & Dwight (Batiste Dry)
  • Noughty
  • Boots

Worst rated palm oil policies:

  • Lasinoh Labs (Earth Friendly Baby)
  • Yaoh
  • Lavera
  • Daniel Field
  • Midsona (Urtekram)
  • Body Shop, Avon
  • Avalon, Alba Botanica, Jason
  • Dr Kurt Wolff (Alpecin)
  • Baylis and Harding
  • Davines
  • O Way
  • Inecto
  • Wella
  • PZ Cussons (Charles Worthington)
  • L’Occitane
  • Vosene
  • Clarins
  • L’Oreal (Elvive, Garnier, Sante)
  • Palmolive)
  • Unilever (Dove, Tresemme, Bedhead, Love Beauty & Planet, Sunsilk, Timotei, Alberto, VO5)
  • KKR (Dr Organic)
  • Procter and Gamble (Aussie, Head and Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Pantene)
  • Superdrug
  • Johnson and Johnson (Aveeno, Johnson’s baby shampoo, Neutrogena T-Gel)

How we rate companies for Palm Oil policy

Companies will receive one of the following ratings:

Worst rating

Companies using no or minimal certified palm products, and with no or minimal positive commitments score a worst rating.

Middle rating

The minimum that needs to be achieved for a middle rating is a fully certified supply chain, or a partially certified supply chain with other positive commitments met, such as disclosure of suppliers.

Best rating

  • Companies able to demonstrate a fully certified supply chain for all palm ingredients used by the whole company group, and who also declare suppliers and volumes will receive a best rating
  • Companies that are palm oil free - using neither palm oil (CPO), palm kernel oil (PKO) nor palm derivatives - will also receive a best rating.
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