I am a big fan of soap – I much prefer it to using shower gel. But I’m aware that loads of people use handwash instead of soap, so I’m going to deal with this in a future post.

One of the reasons I like soap so much is that it can come with much less packaging than a bottle of shower gel or handwash. Obviously this does depend on the product itself and where you buy it from, as lots of soaps do come in boxes, or wrapped in plastic (or both!)

But, soap will very often contain palm oil. The way that palm oil is produced generally means that huge amounts of land are planted up with palm trees, making for a very unvaried ecosystem which doesn’t support a great amount of wildlife. These plantations often take the place of rainforests, meaning that a lot of the world’s fragile natural environments are being destroyed. It is often very hard to avoid palm oil as it is often just listed as ‘vegetable oil’ in lists of ingredients. There is a great article on Lush’s website about The Problem with Palm Oil – it’s an eye-opening read, so I would recommend you take the time to read it!

Lush sell palm-free soaps – the only problem is that they can be a bit expensive, so you might want to just buy a small bar to start with to make sure you feel you’re getting your money’s worth!

I’ve also tried natural soaps that use sustainable palm oil, such as those made by Handmade Norfolk Soaps. I’ve tried their rose petals and rose geranium essential oil soap, and it smells amazing! It’s likely there are plenty of other companies out there selling similar products, so take your time to find something that will suit you.

You could also try making your own soap. I would be careful when doing this as homemade doesn’t necessarily always mean natural or good for the environment! For now I’m happy to buy soaps as I enjoy using them and I feel content about where I’m getting them from.

Do you use soap regularly? Have you ever considered switching to a more environmentally friendly soap?


11 thoughts on “Soap

  1. Thanks for the info. I never thought of palm oil as being a problem. It is good to know that sometimes palm oil is listed as vegetable oil. I will read my labels more clearly!

  2. Thanks for the information. It made go and check the label on my soap. We have a bar shampoo that we use. Made by a small company. And there is no palm oil. Also minimal paper wrapping. Since I started reading your blog I am definitely paying more attention to packaging and contents. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for this post. I heard of an Asian country (can’t remember the name). They destroyed their forests and now the citizens regret planting the trees because native animals have not been able to survive without their habitat.

  4. How funny because I have just recently switched from shower gel to soap! I was buying a very expensive all natural shower gel but I never felt that it really worked…..and as I said it was so expensive! I decided to switch back to the old fashioned way. However, I chose to use Fair Trade soap but guess what? It contains Palm oil. What a shame. I’ll have to look around for an alternative. Great post! .

    • That’s a shame, but at least you’re heading in the right direction by going fair trade! You can’t always have everything. Thanks for checking out my blog.

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