Palm Oil and the Pursuit of Beauty
The section of the Stack Magazine, It’s Freezing in LA!, that I was most interested reading was the chapter on Palm Oil and the Pursuit of Beauty.
As a consumer, I have made the conscious effort to avoid food products with Palm Oil in. However before reading this, I was naive to palm oil being used in beauty products. Reports continue to be released with the cosmetic industry disappointing consumers with their unethical practices.
I now realise that palm oil is in most lipsticks, and its production is increasing the destruction of native areas of biodiversity landscapes. I am amazed that more than 27 million hectares on the Earth’s surface is currently comprised of plantations of palm oil trees alone.
As a society, we are willing to do a lot in pursuit of what we perceive visual beauty is but I feel that it is now we can also express our identity through empowerment. Commonly used raw materials are directly contributing to the environment’s destruction but we have the individual power to start doing something about this. I believe that the cosmetics industry is only one piece of an environmentally destructive puzzle. But as consumers of beauty products, demand lies in our power so we as a collective can start a change.
Organic makeup could be the way forward. Lush seem to be ahead of the game for this. They have phased out its use of palm oil and are experimenting with packaging free stores, which I was excited by when I visited in Berlin.
I understand that prices are determined by the cost of the raw materials; however, for some people the expensive more ethical products are just not accessible to them at their current premium price. This is why I hope that brands are looking at how they can cut their costs and pass these savings on to the consumer. Without lower prices, I really don’t feel that the large proportion of consumers will switch their already loved products.
Education here will be key. If increasing numbers of cosmetic wearers become aware of the extent of the problem, there could be a gradual shift away from products damaging the natural world. I am making a choice to buy less, but buy better, saving my money for quality products from brands I trust. Furthermore, I am absolutely sure that many females have far more beauty products than they actually use.
I now realise that beauty is killing the environment and I will no longer turn a blind eye to the ingredients included or the brands’ attitudes towards the growing issue.