Back to basics
There are some fabulous companies listed on this website, all of whom make products that are completely free from both palm oil and palm derivatives. Sometimes though, cutting out palm oil can make you think a bit more deeply about ingredients for yourself. For me, this has resulted in a realisation that many of the things that I buy from other people are actually products that I could make myself.
This might mean cutting down on processed food at mealtimes. I’m terribly guilty of buying cake and biscuits at every available opportunity. And yet I’m actually more than capable of making them myself. Examining ingredients lists made me realise that most processed snacks contain not only palm oil but innumerate other things that I don’t even recognise. Definitely not things I want to be eating or feeding to my children.
And skincare and cosmetic products are even worse. Ingredients lists tend to look something like this:
Aqua (seriously why can’t you just write water)
Unpronounceable word that indicates a palm oil derivative
Strawberries (this apparently gives companies the right to make claims about being natural)
Which got me thinking, can’t I make some of these things myself using natural ingredients? Well it turns out I absolutely can. Beetroot powder is a gorgeous natural red colour that makes a fabulous blusher when mixed with ground arrowroot, or lip balm when combined with coconut oil. Ground arrowroot also makes a great base for a beautifully soft powder foundation that can be coloured with natural things like cocoa powder and nutmeg.
But my favourite thing that I’ve made so far was my moisturiser. It’s totally natural, doesn’t melt horribly when it gets warm and my skin feels amazing. But best of all it contains nothing nasty. Here are my ingredients:
Coconut butter or oil
Aloe vera gel
I just heated up a tablespoon each of the coconut and cacao butters over a really low heat until they turned to liquid and combined. I left them to cool for about 20 minutes before mixing in a teaspoon of aloe vera gel and half a teaspoon of bentonite clay. Then I popped them in the fridge for a few minutes until they were solid.
The result is a really solid moisturiser, it takes a little bit of getting out of the pot but that doesn’t bother me too much. If you wanted something a little less solid you could try using a greater proportion of coconut butter and not quite so much cocoa butter.
When I remember to put this on, I don’t seem to be getting any dry skin or spots. I suffer terribly from chapped hands in the winter (mainly as a result of being a serial glove loser) so I’ll be interested to see if this miracle moisturiser prevents that too.
Either way, there’s no going back for me, homemade products are definitely the future.