Friday, 16 April 2010

Updates - shampoo/conditioner, Hob Brite

The anti-dandruff shampoo and a couple of other palm oil free products (conditioner and dry skin moisturiser) I blogged about a few days ago have arrived from Health Monthly. The smell of them isn't unpleasant, very neutral (which means my husband won't moan about whiffing of girly-stuff like he does with some of the Lush soap I buy! But I wouldn't describe it as pleasant either.

Anyway, if the anti-dandruff shampoo works on Geoff and in the absence of a response from Proctor & Gamble, it will mean one less suspected product removed from our cupboards for good.

I chased P&G up a couple of weeks ago about Head & Shoulders shampoo as well as Fairy Liquid, Oil of Olay
and Flash One for All. If I don't get a reply soon, I think it's safe to assume they're ignoring me in the same way as Unilever are and therefore all those products will not be purchased again. Actually, whilst they've been delaying, I started buying Sainsbury's washing up liquid as they were really quick to let me know that it was palm oil free. I'm also using Little Satsuma's moisturiser on my face so if Proctor and Gamble are indeed ignoring me, I only really need to replace Flash One for All.

I chased up Reckitt Benckiser at the same time; they they have responded as follows:

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am waiting to hear from the relevant department so I can pass the correct information onto you Ms Doran.

As soon as I have an answer I will be in contact with you.

I'll let you know when they do.

On Hob Brite, I have received a further letter from Homecare Technology who make it.

Thank you for your recent letter in which you have listed the chemicals that can contain palm oil or are derived from palm oil.

The production staff has looked over the list to see which products are used here in our manufacturing plant and there are four items that we do purchase; none of which are used in Hob Brite

For your information they are:

Caprylyl glycol
Mono-glycerides of fatty acids
Sodium Laureth Sulfate

So, it sounds as if Hob Brite may well be palm oil free. The reason I'm not 100% sure is that they have ignored the concern that I raised in my letter stating that if my list of euphemisms for palm oil/palm oil derivatives is not complete, there may be other suspect ingredients that are contained in Hob Brite that I'm just not aware of yet. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt though (as well as that, I haven't found anything else that does a good job except for Cif which Unilever won't tell me about).


  1. Hi Sue, Firstly congratulations on the wonderful work you have started and continue to do! I thought I might just comment on Lush products as I, like you and many others, are trying to rid our lives of palm oil and Lush actively promote some of their soaps as having a palm oil free base. I contacted them as I noticed that some ingredients, e.g. sodium lauryl sulphate were included in their soap. They came back and stated that they could not catagorically say that all ingredients in all of their products were palm oil free but I do note that on their product ingredients now that the some of the soaps do actually stated that e.g sodium lauryl suplhate does appear naturally in essential oils. Whilst I am no expert I would have accepted this if essential oil was blended with some carrier oil but not if 100% essential oil. It is a minefine, but I do see Lush as one of the more ethical retailers having looked at the packaging they use which is compostable/biodegradable etc combined with at least some effort to stop using palm oil in their soap base. They have also assured me that they have reduced the amount of palm oil by 250,000kg, 250 tonnes a year, whilst this is a
    reasonable amount I always believe more can be done.
    Keep up the fantastic work! Alice

  2. Hi Alice, thanks for your kind words. I was aware that Lush aren't totally palm oil free and I always look through the list of ingredients when I'm buying, the bubble bath cakes are a particular problem area for them. They do have a stated aim though to be palm oil free at some point in the future. They also have supported the Orang Rimba in Indonesia and Penan people in Malaysia in their fight against the Palm Oil plantations stealing their land to grow yet more. Lush have also offered to make their palm oil free soap base formulation available free to other manufacturers but no-one took them up on their offer. No cosmetic/soap manufacturing company is doing more in my opinion. But cosmetics use a small proportion of palm oil produced worldwide and so the organisations to target are food manufacturers and our government/fuel suppliers to stop palm oil based biofuel getting into our petrol and diesel.

  3. Hi Sue, I appreciate the feedback on Lush products, I just thought it was worth mentioning my findings for other bloggers to take into consideration why purchasing their products. I agree that the larger fish, so to speak, is to target food manufacturers and government/fuel supplies. For anyone that is interested there is a campaign being launched against the application around the Bristol area for a proposed bio diesel power station which potentially would burn palm oil, which whilst originally turned down is now up for appeal by W4B Ltd. The attached link may help with some of the detail. It would certainly not be in "our" interests for this to go ahead, what do you think?

    Hopefully together we can all make a difference! :o)

  4. Hi Alice, many thanks, I don't live near to Bristol but the implications of burning palm oil are global so I'll be writing a letter of objection in the hope that it helps. :-)

  5. Hi Sue, Thanks for your positive feedback in relation to the Bristol proposed biofuel power station. If you, and the rest of your followers, are interested in support against a proposal in the Leeds area for a similar power station that would potential use massive quantities of palm oil, please see attached link. I am not sure how far afield they consider objections from in terms of geographic location, but I also believe what they are trying to do affects everyone on a global scale.

    Kind regards, Alice