Palm oil is a very popular ingredient in cosmetic products. The manufacturers like to add it to their products, whereas we like to avoid it. Is palm oil really that harmful? Get to know the most popular facts and myths about palm oil.
Many people associate this oil with harmful preservatives. Is it really that damaging to our health?
Palm oil – introduction
Where does the oil come from? This is vegetable fat processed from the pulp of the oil palm. It is an easy to grow and cheap plant. Palm oil used to be produced only in Africa but today the largest amounts are produced in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Unrefined palm oil has a very intense red colour because it is rich in carotenoids. However, it is refined palm oil that is most often used in cosmetics. Unfortunately, in the process it loses its beautiful colour (it becomes light yellow or white) and valuable nutrients.
What does palm oil contain?
Palm oil is a valuable plant product. This is a rich source of vitamins A,E and K, as well as flavonoids, coenzyme Q10, beta-carotene and valuable fatty acids, such as stearic acid.
Unfortunately, it refers to the freshly pressed, unprocessed palm oil. During refining, the oil loses its valuable nutrients. What is even worse – the valuable acids often turn into harmful trans fat.
Once cured, the palm oil becomes more durable and can be used as a preservative.
Palm oil – application
This is one of the most versatile oils used in care and in the kitchen. Palm oil can be found in such foods as chocolate, chips, mayonnaise and margarine, where it occurs under the name of hardened vegetable fat. When it comes to cosmetics, it can be found in body lotions, creams and hair styling products.
Did you know that palm oil is used also in candles and lubricants?
Palm oil – cosmetic properties
Palm oil is very popular in cosmetics. However, there are many myths about the properties of palm oil and its effects. What properties does it actually have and how can it be used in cosmetics?
How does palm oil affect the skin? It:
- has rejuvenating properties;
- prevents the formation of wrinkles;
- supports cell renewal;
- ensures proper skin hydration;
- has antibacterial properties;
- has anti-inflammatory properties;
- regulates normal function of sebaceous glands;
- makes the skin elastic and smoothes it.
How does palm oil affect the hair? It:
- has a moisturizing effect;
- makes the hair elastic;
- smooths the hair structure and gives the hair a nice shine;
- prevents split ends;
- facilitates hair styling.
Which palm oil is suitable for skin and hair care?
The best is unrefined, freshly pressed oil. Only unrefined oil has nourishing properties and is rich in valuable nutrients. Its hardened version can damage both the skin and the hair.
Palm oil – is it harmful?
Why do we often hear that the products which contain palm oil are harmful? It is because most of the cosmetics contain hardened palm oil with trans fat. They have a negative impact on the cellular metabolism and increase the risk of cancer.
If you want to buy products that contain palm oil, make sure it is the unrefined one. In case you are unsure which type of it is included, it’s best to avoid such a product.
Keep in mind that about 100 different oils are used in cosmetics. There are many products based on oils that are perfectly safe for our health. There is a was array of choice.