To Palm or not to Palm, that is the soapers question.

Hello, and welcome to the first post in a new blog by Jim Baker from the Hertfordshire Soap Company.

Controversy surrounds the use of Palm Oil in all products and there are many places on the web, where you can read about the pro’s and cons of Palm Oil. I thought it best to clarify our position and why we have decided to never use Palm oil.

Although responsibly sourced Palm oil does offer a cheap and stable oil for use in soaps, it’s quality, however, just doesn’t please me.

When I bought some Palm oil many months ago, I made a small test batch of soap using it on its own, to see what results I could achieve. Sure enough its a firm bar, dries quickly, stays firm when it has been soaked, generally, an all round good performer. But where it fell down was how it felt as I used it, the way my skin behaved once dry and the resulting condition of it. My skin tightened and felt a little rough, it was clean, but stripped of all the natural oils a good humectant should help to preserve.

Being quite a fussy chap, I want to make soap that has all the great qualities of lasting well, good cleansing capability and durability in a damp and busy bathroom, but I also wanted it to treat my skin at the same time as cleaning it. It took some weeks to come up with the balance of five oils that we have used in our first range of soaps and I was guided by the need to balance its quality as a soap bar and its ability to leave the skin with a great feeling of being clean, soft and, dare I say it, just great! It has all the qualities I was looking for and none of the normal poor results a bar made from Palm oil may give.

Now I’m left wondering why palm oil is used at all, in fact there are some soaps that use nothing but Palm! No wonder so many people have turned away from this beautiful, natural product that can be so much better for you. It’s economical, environmentally friendly and, in my opinion, so much better for your skin than many modern alternative liquid gels and washes.

Aside from the ethics there is also the cost. Palm oil can be significantly cheaper than pretty much all other oils used in soap. It offers the soap manufacturer a much better profit margin, but this is quite clearly at the expense of the quality. Some will try to bolster this drop in quality by adding other more conditioning oils that help, but unless Palm oil is reduced to less than 5% in a formulation, is there any point in adding anything else? You may as well just use 100% quality ingredients and omit the Palm oil, as we do.

So, while the ethics debate goes on, and while Palm oil continues to play a major role right across the range of beauty products and the food industry, here at the Hertfordshire Soap Company we have removed this oil as an option in search of a healthier, nicer, fairly-traded and often organic solution that make a fantastic soap your skin will love.

If you think your skin deserves the healthy benefits of a natural handmade soap, come and have a look at our range, you’re sure to find one you like and with gift ideas and new products coming online all the time, there may even be something there you’d like to give as a gift.

Thanks for reading our first post in our new blog. We welcome any thoughts or comments you may like to make.


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