Palm Oil (And Why We Use It)

Soap has had a long history of different formulations. From animal fats to vegetable oils, functional pumice to visually pleasing fruit bits, soap can be created in a seemingly infinite number of ways.

At Superior Shave Co, we’ve chosen to forgo the use of animal fats (tallow). Traditionally, beef tallow makes for one of the longest lasting, most hydrating and comfortable soaps one could experience. To replicate this experience, soapers have turned to palm oil, more commonly known as vegetable shortening. So what’s the big issue with palm oil? 

As it turns out, palm oil has become an increasingly popular resource in the world for cooking, cosmetics, and bio fuel. Each palm oil tree produces significantly more oil than other popular beans (such as soy, sunflower, and rapeseed), and thus is very economically advantageous to produce. This has lead to mass deforestation in Southeast Asian countries, significantly impacting local ecosystems and communities in favor of producing the palm oil tress.

Riau palm oil 2007.jpg
Riau palm oil 2007” by HaydenOil Palm Concession. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve done our research, and we can see all palm oil is not created equally. That’s why we only purchase organic, certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). CSPO is currently about 12% of the palm oil on the global market. We hope our products will leave a minimal impact on the environment. It is our goal to help leave the planet better than we’ve found it, one step at a time.

Some products produced by Superior Shave Co forgo the use palm oil, but why do we use it at all? Palm oil has a unique makeup of fatty acids and carotenes, namely monounsaturated oleic fatty acid, and palmitic saturated fatty acid, along smaller amounts of other fatty acids. These contribute to a hard, longer lasting bar of soap which with a creamy, luxurious, lather – perfect for our shave soap and facial bars while still holding title as a vegetarian (and almost always vegan) soap.

We hope you’ll enjoy our responsibly made soaps as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them.