Feb 072015

Orangutang babies- cute
(Having their habitat destroyed for our food and beauty products).


English: Ongoing deforestation and palm oil pl...

English: Ongoing deforestation and palm oil plantations leave no room for the orang-utan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If like me you have become aware of the damage being done to Orangutan habitat, you will want to avoid using products which contain palm oil and palm oil derived ingredients.


(There are sustainable sources of palm oil available, but even then, the Orangutan seems to loose out. Every product needs to be assessed individually).

Orangutang babies- group






If you want to learn more, these two links should be of help.

1) Palm Oil and Orangutans – orangutans.com.au‎

www.orangutans.com.au/about‎  Sustainable palm oil products can help save the Orangutan habitat

Orangutan Facts: Borneo Orangutan Survival

Orangutang babies


2) The Orangutan Project – Orangutan.org.au‎

www.orangutan.org.au/‎  Meet the orphans who urgently need your help today.Orangutang-hands



From my perspective as a producer of organic and natural skin and body care products and a person who loves and respects all animals and wildlife, I am totally against the use of palm oil and also animal testing.

I pride myself and my products on being both cruelty free and palm oil free, made of the best possible quality, eco friendly, organic and natural ingredients I am able to source.

Orangutang adult-pointingDue to my decision to review each ingredient that I use, giving its origin and properties, I have come across a stumbling block in the palm oil issue!

I have found that it is extremely difficult to find out if a product or ingredient is actually free from palm oil or palm oil derivatives.




So far I have been assured the ingredients I use are OK. However, due to the difficulties involved in gaining certainty, I am following up these assurances with more questions to suppliers and more research of my own.


Why is palm oil used in skin care products?

palm oil products-productionCleansing & Moisturising.  

Palm oil is found in shampoos, conditioners, soaps, lotions, creams, foundations etc.

It has the ability to remove oil and dirt from hair and skin and also contains a refatting agent that helps restore natural oils to the hair and skin which many soaps and shampoos strip away thereby allowing moisture to escape.

In soap making, palm oil and palm kernel oil produce a nice hard, long lasting bar of soap.

Palm oil provides a conditioning agent useful in shampoo and conditioners.

In skin care products it is added because of its anti-aging and moisturising properties.

Anti Ageing Properties.  

Palm oil contains antioxidant toctrienols, which are related to vitamin E, but are much stronger in action. As with regular Vitamin E (tocopherol) when used topically, the toctrienols penetrate deep into the skin’s layers enabling healing and protection from the base upwards.


palm oil products

 How do you know if there is palm oil in a product?







This is not a straight forward question!


The problem I have found is the huge range of individually named palm oil derivatives which are being used. (See list below).

The ingredients on this listing are used in food and beauty/health products throughout Australia and worldwide.

The confusion arises by the fact that almost all of these ingredients are also available derived from sources other than palm oil. Often coconut or other vegetable oils are the base ingredient, sometimes even animal fats.

Orangutang adult-deforestation-milky-way


 So how do you tell if the product you are using or the ingredient listed, is palm oil based or palm oil free?


Unfortunately there seems to be no easy answer

From a consumer point of reference, purchasing only products labelled as being palm oil free should be sufficient. Our labelling laws are quite strict and a direct statement such as “Palm Oil Free” needs to be correct or the company issuing the statement could be in severe trouble.

From a small batch, hands on manufacturing reference point, I have to gain assurances from my suppliers that the ingredients I am purchasing from them are indeed palm oil free. These companies in turn must gain assurance from their own suppliers and the chain continues.

Orangutang adult-injured

It all seems very messy and uncertain to me!

palm-oil-cost-in -orangutang-lives

 I want to know definitely that I am using and supplying ethical products.


At least 50% of my reason for making these products is that I believe they are filling a vital role as products that actually do work, are clean, organic or natural, green and healthy, and totally eco friendly. I.E. “No rainforest was denuded or animal was harmed in the making of this product”!

(The other 50% of my reasoning is that I love to make “stuff” and use my wonderful herbs within the products).

For now I am placing my trust in my suppliers’ integrity and following up on the information I am being supplied. I hope you will bear with me in this quest for truth and confidence in ingredient provenence!Orangutang-donation


Below you will find an enormous list of ingredients which could potentially be derived from Palm Oil!

The origin of this listing is the following web site link –


I have also re-provided some of the valuable information supplied on the palm-oil-investigations site which may help you sort through the plethora of products on the supermarket shelves, so you can understand from their labelling which is or is not likely to contain palm oil.


You will also find below, details of a free download on the palm-oil-investigations site, which gives you a fold up wallet sized list of the alternative names given to palm oil derivatives.


Using this and the information about product saturated fat content (explained below), you will hopefully be able to sort the “Palm Oil Free” products from among the nasties!


Alternative Names for Palm Oil in Products:

The above FREE copy of a fold up wallet sized list of alternative names for palm oil, supplied by graphic designer Jenny Allen at Mojito Creative, can be downloaded via the following site –



oilOils Ain’t Oils!

In Australia and New Zealand a percentage of the population suffers from allergies to certain nuts and oils. There for, three vegetable oils are required to be labelled in food products. These oils are peanut oil, sesame oil and soy bean oil.

All other vegetable oils are able to be labelled simply as “vegetable oil”.Molecular structure fatty acid

However, due to the fact that labels must state the amount of saturated fat contained in each product, it is possible to determine if an oil with a high saturated fat content has been used.

Most vegetable oils are un-saturated.

So if the label does not have animal fat listed, but lists vegetable oil, and then goes on to state a certain amount of saturated fat, you can be certain the vegetable oil used, is either – palm kernel oil, palm oil, or coconut oil.

This is potentially a method of identifying wether a product could have palm oil in it. (Though it is not definitive and also causes us to eliminate coconut oil from our purchases and using coconut oil is a good thing, both for our health and our skin!)

cocoa-nut-oil Another hint to the high saturated fat vegetable oil being palm oil is that palm oil is a bland flavoured oil which does not add flavour to food products.

Foods containing coconut oil however, are likely to be identified by the distinctive flavour of their coconut oil content.

If a vegetable oil product’s saturated fat content is above 40% of its total fat content, it will almost always have palm oil in it.


Here is a comprehensive list of alternative names for Palm Oil.Questions-difficultIt is in alphabetical order for easier reference.

Please Note: This is a guide only, for 100% confirmation that a product has Palm Oil or Palm Oil derivatives in it, it is necessary to email the company who makes the product and find this out.

Note:  PALM SUGAR is NOT Palm Oil.  Palm Sugar is manufactured and harvested in a completely different way, so palm Sugar is safe. Vegetable Gum is also NOT Palm Oil so it is also safe.

A – Z of Alternate names for Palm Oil

Acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472a/E472a)orangutangs-endangered-orangutans_517eb7b05b1e9_w1500

Alkyl Poly Glucoside

Aluminium stearate

Aluminium, calcium, sodium, magnesium salts of fatty acids (470/E470a; E470b)

Ammonium laureth sulphate

Ammonium lauryl sulphate

Arachamide mea

Ascorbyl palmitate

Ascorbyl palmitate (304)

Azelaic acid

Butyl stearate

Calcium lactylate

Calcium oleyl lactylate

Calcium stearate

Calcium stearoyl lactylate (482/E482)

Capric triglyceride

Caprylic acid

Caprylic / Capric Glycerides

Caprylic triglyceride

Caprylic/capric triglyceride

Caprylic/capric/stearic triglyceride

Capryloyl glycine

Caprylyl glycol

Carotene (Sometimes made from palm)

Castile soap (often from palm)

Ceteareth (2-100)

Cetearyl alcohol

Cetearyl ethylhexanote

Cetearyl glucoside

Cetearyl isononanoate



Cetyl acetate

Cetyl alcohol

Cetyl ethylhexanoate

Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose

Cetyl lactate

Cetyl octanoate

Cetyl palmitate

Cetyl ricinoleate

Citric and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472c/E472c)

Cocoa butter equivalent (CBE)

Cocoa butter substitute (CBS)

Decyl Glucoside

Decyl oleate

Diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472e/E472e)

Dilinoleic acid

Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate

Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate

Distilled Monoglyceride Palm

Elaeis guineensis oil

Emulsifier 422, 430-36, 470-8, 481-483, 493-5

Epoxidized palm oil (uv cured coatings)

Ethyl lauroyl arginate (243)

Ethylene glycol monostearate

Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate

Ethylhexyl Palminate

Ethylhexyl palmitate

Ethylhexyl stearate


Fatty alcohol sulphates


Glycerin or glycerol (442)

Glyceryl distearate

Glyceryl laurate

Glyceryl monostearate

Glyceryl myristate

Glyceryl oleate

Glyceryl polymethacrylate

Glyceryl Rosinate

Glyceryl stearate

Glyceryl stearate SE

Glycol distearate

Glycol stearate

Guineesis (palm)


Hexyl laurate


Humectant glycerol

Hydrogenated palm glycerides

Isopropyl isostearate

Isopropyl palmitate

Isopropyl titanium triisostearate

Isostearamide DEA

Isostearate DEA

Isostearic acid

Isostearyl alcohol

Lactic and fatty acid easters of glycerol (472b/E472b)

Lauramide DEA

Lauramide MEA

Lauramine oxide


Lauric acid

Lauroyl sarcosine

Lauryl betaine

Lauryl lactate

Lauryl glucoside (from palm)

Lauryl pyrrolidone

Linoleic acid

Magnesium myristate

Magnesium stearate

Mixed tartaric, acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol (472f/E472f)

Mono-and- di-glycerides of fatty acids (471/E471)

Mono-glycerides of fatty acids


Myristic acid

Myristic Cetrimonium Chloride Acid


Myristyl alcohol

Myristyl myristate

Octyl palmitate

Octyl stearate

Octyldodecyl myristate

Octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate

Oleamide MIPA

Oleic acid

Oleyl betaine

Palm fruit oil

Palm kernel oil

Palm oil

Palm olein

Palm stearine



Palmitic acid

Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride

Palmitoyl myristyl serinate

Palmitoyl oxostearamide

Palmitoyl oligopeptide

Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3

PEG-100 stearate

PEG-15 stearyl ether

PEG-150 distearate

PEG-2 oleamine

PEG-20 stearate

PEG-4 laurate

PEG-40 stearate

PEG-8 distearate

PEG-8 stearate

PEG-80 sorbitan laurate

Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate

Peptide complex

Polyethylene (40) stearate (431)

Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (475/E475)

Polyglycerol esters of interesterified ricinoleic acid (476/E476)

Polyglycerol-2 oleyl ether

Polyglyceryl-3 dilisostearate

Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate

Polyglyceryl-4 oleyl ether

Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (435/E435)

Polysorbate 65 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate (436/E436)

Polysorbate 80 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monoolate (433/E433)





Potassium stearate

PPG-15 stearate ether

Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids (477/E477)

Propylene glycol laurate

Propylene glycol stearate

Retinyl palmitate

Saponified elaeis guineensis




Sodium cetearyl sulphate

Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)

Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye

Sodium lactylate; sodium oleyl lactylate; sodium stearoyl lactylate (481/E481)

Sodium laurate

Sodium laurel

Sodium laureth sulfate

Sodium laureth sulphate

Sodium laureth-13 carboxylate

Sodium lauroyl lactylate

Sodium lauryl

Sodium lauryl ether sulphate

Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate

Sodium lauryl sulphate

Sodium palm kernelate

Sodium palmate

Sodium palmitate

Sodium stearate

Sodium stearoyl lactylate

Sorbitan isotearate

Sorbitan laurate

Sorbitan monostearate (491)

Sorbitan oleate

Sorbitan palmitate

Sorbitan sesquioleate

Sorbitan trioleate

Sorbitan tristearate

Sorbitan tristearate (492)

Stearalkonium chloride

Stearalkonium hectorite

Stearamide MEA

Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine





Stearic acid (vegetable oil)

Stearic acid or fatty acid (570)

Stearoyl sarcosine

Stearyl alcohol

Stearyl dimethicone

Stearyl heptanoate

Sucrose stearate

Sucroseesters of fatty acids (473/E473)


TEA-lauryl sulphate


Tocopheryl linoleate


Triacetin (1518)




Vegetable glycerin

Vegetable Oil

Zinc stearate


  One Response to “Palm Oil and the Plight of the Orangutans:”

  1. You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue
    and found most individuals will go along with your views
    on this website.

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