Day 265 / 365

One of the things I regret not concentrating more time on in this series are the issues of palm-oil in pretty much every product we touch. I've received a huge education from the editor of Selva Beat, Magdalena Antuñawho along with the rest of the writers on her blog and magazine, have uncovered the hidden baddies in our goods. Selva Beat just launched their third print / digital magazine of the year which you can either download or purchase a copy of HERE (it's full of vegan recipes, palm-oil free beauty products, ethical fashion, and interviews) and is a fun and informative way to start to learn about the deforestation and environmental issues of palm-oil production. Below are Magdalena's words. Be sure to head over to Selva Beat to read more of their righteous rhetoric HERE

Which of these two items seems most “natural” to you: a tube of mascara or a pot of eyeshadow? 

You might be tempted to choose the eyeshadow, which in its purest and simplest forms is just pressed pigment. But it would seem the industry is a bit more complex than that, and neither the mascara nor the eyeshadow in this scenario are really off the hook.

Scientific discovery has been invigorating the beauty industry in a big way for decades; products can now boast 24-hour wear, color stay, and crease-less finishes. All-natural make-up is great but even the strongest proponents (us included) of its value cannot argue its longevity. To achieve all-day, no fade make-up, you must explore commercially manufactured chemical compounds. There’s nothing wrong with the science behind this; the trouble begins when companies, in the interest of profit, act with haste and utilize either ill-researched or unsustainable resources. The back and forth regarding the ultimate safety of these ingredients do make me wonder: Do our collective smoky eyes really need it? Is any of this genuinely worth the trouble?

While the jury may still be out on the enduring toxicity of certain chemical compounds in your make-up, the environmental destruction linked to sourcing some ingredients can be viewed in real time. Conflict palm oil, one of the world’s leading drivers of tropical deforestation, is found in nearly all mainstream cosmetics - even eyeshadow. Most popular shadow today (seen below) use one or more of the following ingredients:

Caprylic/Capric Trigylceride
Caprylyl Glycol
Cetearyl Isononanoate
Ethylhexyl Palmitate
Ethylhexyl Stearate
Magnesium Stearate
Magnesium Myristate
Octyldecyl Stearoyl Stearate
Polyglycerol-3 Diisostearate
Zinc Stearate

All of these ingredients utilize fatty acid building blocks that are likely derived from palm-oil. In fact, sixty-percent of palm-oil consumed globally is in the form of palm-oil derivatives, a subgroup of products that is majorly under-regulated. While the 10+ ingredients above could be made from another kind of oil, like coconut or soy, it’s impossible to know without direct confirmation. And though we could easily give you the answer for several of the brands below, it’s important that we as a group ask these questions, letting companies know that conflict palm-oil is a concern for the many, not the few. 

Click any of the familiar brands below (click through to original post and scroll to the bottom here) to be directly linked to their contact form. Please, consider engaging in a constructive discourse with these brands today and inquire about their sourcing practices:

- Do these eyeshadows contain unregulated palm-oil?
- If the palm-oil is claimed to be sustainable or certified, is it actually fully traceable?
- Is said palm-oil deforestation free

These are all important factors we have to consider when trying to decipher both the sustainability and impact of our make-up.

- If you ever have a question or concern about taking this kind of action, comment below or say hello to Magdelena here.
- Be sure to head over to Selva Beat to read more of their righteous rhetoric HERE
- You can download or purchase a copy of their magazine HERE
- Images via Anthropologie