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The Hidden Dangers of Palm Oil

The Hidden Dangers of Palm Oil

Palm oil is in nearly everything, and it happened overnight. This popular oil is becoming a silent threat to our health and to our environment. 

What is Palm Oil?

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of tropical oil palm trees. It is very inexpensive to grow and produce – making it very attractive to farmers.

Because it’s so cheap, palm oil is in nearly everything – it’s in close to 50% of the packaged products we find in supermarkets, everything from pizza, doughnuts and chocolate, to deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and lipstick.

Today, more than 70% of personal care products such as soaps, shampoo, skincare, contain one or more palm oil derivatives.

Palm oil and oil bottle

The Danger to Our Health

Palm oil has been linked to cancer risk, because it contains high amounts of glycidol, a known carcinogen.

Scientists have also discovered that a fat molecule found in palm oil, called palmitic acid, that alters to the cancer genome and increases the likelihood cancer will spread.

The Danger to Our Environment 

Palm oil is not only bad for our health, but it is also becoming a much larger issue for our environment.

Palm oil plantations have been replacing massive tracts of rainforests, especially in southeast Asian countries. Indonesia increased its palm oil production by 400% between 1994 and 2004. These rainforests are quickly burned down to make way for the palm oil industry's growth and demand.

Deforestation from Palm oil in Southeast Asia

As palm oil continues to be a major driver of deforestation, it will continue to destroy the homes of many already endangered species, including the pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. 

The orangutan is in more danger. During the past decade, the orangutan population has decreased by approximately 50% in the wild.

Due to the rapid deforestation for palm oil plantations, palm oil has been cited as the leading cause of orangutan extinction.

Orangutan extinction and palm oil


The simplest step to take for our health and environment: opt for soaps made without palm oil.

Since most products have begun changing the name of palm oil on labels, this is easier said than done. 

Written on the back label, you could see any of these: Vegetable oil, vegetable fat, palm kernel, palm kernel oil, palm fruit oil, palmate, elaeis guineensis, octyl palmiatate, glyceryl, hydrogenated palm glycerides, octyl palmitate, etc.

Even most "all-natural" soaps are made primarily with palm oil.

Seek Skin: Skin Care Simplified

This is why we've made Seek Skin - soaps hand-crafted from pure ingredients and essential oils found in nature. 

Instead of palm oil, our soaps are made from:


seek skin: skin care, simplified


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