Sustainable Trends: The Use of Palm Oil in Cosmetics

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Keeping up with new trends within the cosmetic market is vital from a commercial perspective. Identifying and developing top-quality products aligned with them is one of the keys to our continued success at Jarvis. With our team of skilled formulators, in our laboratories both in the UK and in Tuscany, actively monitoring these trends, we are able to create something exciting and unique to bring to the industry.

Popular Cosmetic Trends for 2019 – 2020

A few key trends which are already showing signs of becoming mainstream include: the use of cannabinols (CBD), the creation of custom/personalised cosmetics, the encouragement of pollution protection, and the movement of going back to basics by stripping back the number of ingredients.

However, one of the main trends that has been making headlines is the use of palm oil in cosmetics; there is a great deal of controversy when it comes this raw material and the impact it is having on our environment. As responsible players in this debate, Jarvis would like to explore both sides of the argument to understand the impact of palm oil and the developments being made to encourage sustainability.

Negative Environmental Impacts of Palm Oil Production

Palm oil is obtained from the fruit of oil palms and the farming practises to grow the palms have been held responsible for devastating effects on the environment. Major deforestation, threatening endangered wildlife and their habitats, and encouraging climate change are some of the consequences palm oil production can generate.

A real life example of this is the destruction of Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem; tigers and orangutans depend on this habitat, alongside Sumatran elephants. It is believed that the Sumatran elephant population has decreased by over 70% in the last 10 years due to the destruction of their home. As the demand grows higher for the raw material, it is believed that these negative environmental impacts will increase for the foreseeable future.

Palm Oil Production Changes for the Future

However, there are organisations that are working hard in trying to move the industry towards a sustainable future. Communities have come together to initiate a resolution called Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a non-profit organisation to develop and implement the best practises for sustainable palm oil.

Instead of diminishing the palm oil industry and turning to other vegetable oils that may exacerbate deforestation rather than stop it, the decision to support Certified Sustainable Palm Oil seems to be the best long-term solution. Palm oil production is still permitted but the issue is not with palm oil itself; the way it is produced is problematic, so effective changes are being made in order for deforestation to be eliminated.

Sustainability by Jarvis

At Jarvis, we have been made aware of the difficulty palm oil production presents to us in the cosmetic market. We understand that striving towards using sustainable resources is vital for both ourselves and our consumers which is why we are constantly doing our research regarding this trend.

We do need to look at the full picture, consider the alternative materials we would need to use and their environmental effects, as well as what could be a potentially devastating effect on the people who have come to rely on this raw material to lift them from poverty.

As industry leaders in the development, manufacture and filling of premium cosmetic preparations, we need to look at the consequences of our actions on the local economies and the people behind them. We are working towards a better understanding of the wider picture on the palm oil debate and will be happy to share our views and information with our clients, as well as hearing their own.


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