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  • Writer's pictureRyan Kane

The Dirt on Getting Clean

With the growing use of palm oil in personal care items, finding palm oil free soap has been a struggle for me and my family. Whether visiting the local grocery store or even in specialty soap boutiques and natural body care shops, locating truly palm oil free soap is a challenge. To conquer these formidable soap shelves, one must first know how to identify “safe” soap ingredients, environmentally responsible brands, and palm oil free symbols.


When reading through the ingredients of soap it can be difficult to distinguish what is palm oil and what is not. Personally, I find that Products Without Palm Oil does a fantastic job at listing out the names of common soap ingredients that contain palm oil such as cetyl palmitate, elaeis guineensis, hydrated palm glycerides as well as providing the names of recommended palm oil free soaps such as Kiss My Face.


Over the years I have found a number of brands of soap that have demonstrated their commitment to only creating palm oil free soap for the public’s consumption.

With palm oil free soaps, many often have a harsh consistency or smell too natural, like tree sap or even pine needles, which I consider a little unpleasant to the nose. The soap that I always recommend and my family’s favorite is Hand In Hand. I use this brand of soap everyday. It is soft to the skin and offered in numerous lovely fresh scents. It’s currently available at Whole Foods Market and it clearly states on the packaging that it is“Palm Oil Free”.

Note: Although LUSH claims to be environmentally responsible, they are not palm oil free!


With more and more environmental organizations being created each year, recognizing what each emblem means in regard to the product ingredients is crucial in determining the palm oil degree of soap.

Rainforest Alliance Certified Palm Oil = “Sustainable Palm Oil”
RSPO Certified = “Sustainable Palm Oil”
Orangutan Alliance Certified = Palm Oil Free (THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE)!

Remember “sustainable” is often just a mask for palm oil companies. Rarely are these certified plantations actually benefiting the people and the environment.

Why Palm Oil In Soap:

Palm oil has become such a common ingredient in soaps today due to one of the most essential chemicals in it’s makeup...palmitic acid. This fatty acid, unlike it’s cousins such as Oleic Acid, is able to create hardened, long lasting soap that delivers a creamy lather. Although palmitic acid can come from sources other than palm oil, such as rabbit fat, due to cheap and easy production the vast majority of products come from the plant.

While it can take extra effort to locate palm oil free soaps, high quality, great smelling, sudsy soaps can be found. Being a responsible consumer takes effort. But, in my opinion, the effort is worth the benefit. Don’t take the easy way out.

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Alison Kane
Alison Kane

I love Hand in Hand soap...sudsy with a great scent. AND zero palm oil.

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