Is palm oil really the enemy? Sustainable, affordable, responsible beauty from The Body Shop

Many want to do the right thing by the environment, but rising price points for sustainable ingredients and material make this difficult. With palm oil a heavily-demonised but regularly-featured component of many beauty products, is there a way we can make the right choice by our wallets and the planet this Earth day?

For Earth Day 2023, we’re partnering with The Body Shop in support of Rainforest Trust. Our campaign will raise money for the Rainforest Trust when you use a The Body Shop discount code. We are also raising awareness about shopping for your earth-friendly beauty products with a classic Savoo money-saving focus. Keep reading to find out more!


  1. What is Earth Day?
  2. Why are sustainable beauty products more expensive?
  3. Deforestation and palm oil
  4. -What is palm oil?
    -How does farming palm oil impact the environment?
    -Why is palm oil used so much?

  5. The Body Shop’s pledge to rainforest-friendly beauty
  6. Support our campaign


What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event that takes place on April 22nd to raise awareness for climate concerns, while honouring the achievements of the environmental movement thus far. Some notable impacts of Earth Day since it began in 1970 include:

  • Helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro
  • 192 countries engaged with Earth Day in 2010
  • Runs campaigns for climate education, against plastic pollution, and for sustainable fashion, among others
  • Runs clean up and virtual events across the world during Earth Week (16/04-22/04 2023)

One of the key initiatives of Earth Day is calling on stakeholders to stop deforestation as we watch the effects of climate change in real-time. This includes guiding consumers to make the informed choices, while helping goods manufacturers and retailers offer sustainable options to shoppers when it comes to their beauty products.


Why are sustainable beauty products more expensive?

While the move to more eco-friendly ingredients within the beauty industry is significant for the aims of the Earth Day movement, it’s no secret that sustainable beauty products are considerably more expensive, ultimately meaning less consumers are rushing to make the switch with the cost of living crisis looming. As outlined by Mintel, the higher price points act as a barrier for many in accessing sustainable beauty products, instead, a reported 54% of consumers buy mass-market brands.

According to research by Kearney*, a consulting firm who works with some of the top nonprofit organisations, the price of sustainable products within the beauty, health and fashion industries experience the highest price hikes. Items, such as ‘lotions, creams, and serums have markups of well over 200 percent‘ more expensive than their high-street counterparts.

So, why are sustainable beauty products more expensive? Dinkm offers several key reasons for the higher prices, which include less demand due to affordability, raw materials are more expensive to produce and source and sustainable manufacturing requires more skilled labour and technology, increasing production costs.


Deforestation and beauty ingredients: the damaging inclusion of palm oil in skincare

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is an ingredient in half of all supermarket products. Harvested from the oil palm fruit and used for its remarkable versatility, it:

  • Makes soap bubbly
  • Removes dirt
  • Moisturises skin
  • Preserves food for longer by staying solid at room temperature
  • Holds its colour and is tasteless

Not only that, but the production of palm oil provides a living for around 7 million people and supports economies of the countries where it is produced.

How does farming palm oil impact the environment?

The problem with palm oil is the high demand results in deforestation in order to create space to supply the demand in agriculture. According to the WWF, palm oil is a “major driver” in the rate of deforestation in both the Amazon and other rainforests around the world.

The Rainforest Trust works hard to protect acres of the rainforest from being removed every year, but this is an uphill battle. In fact, according to the Rainforest Trust, “more than 10 million acres of rainforest were destroyed” in 2020 – a rise of 12% up from the year before.

Of course, rainforests play an essential part in removing CO2 from the atmosphere and hold a very biodiverse ecosystem. The plants and other fungi in the Amazon absorb 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Often refered to as the “lungs of the planet”, rainforests are a vital player in the fight to tackle climate change. What is more, deforestation itself is responsible for greenhouse gas emission: around 10% annually.

If it’s so bad, why is palm oil used so much?

So what is palm oil good for? Well, as a crop it has a very efficient use of space: the highest oil-to-land ratio than equivalent vegetable oil crops, according to the WWF. This means that less space (and therefore less deforestation) is needed to produce more oil. In fact, palm oil takes up just under 6% of land than other vegetable oils, while supplying 40% of the world’s vegetable oil demand.

While acknowledging the potential for damage that farming for palm oil has, the WWF says “boycotting palm oil is not the answer.” Instead, the globally-recognised governing body for producing palm oil – the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) has set out a list of standard that palm oil suppliers and producers must meet to call their product RSPO certified (RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, or CSPO). Bringing together key players from along the supply chain; from farmers and NGOs to goods manufacturers, retailers, and investors, means that you as the consumer can make an informed and responsible choice by looking out for CSPO products.


The Body Shop’s pledge to eco-friendly beauty

Beauty retailers like The Body Shop are regularly applauded for their efforts in attempting to change the nature of the beauty industry and move towards a more sustainable future. The brand has made changes to its environmental impact, such as altering ingredients and packaging, ultimately opening up accessibility of environmentally-friendly beauty products on the high-street with affordable prices.

Palm oil and The Body Shop

The Body Shop has confirmed through its answer forum that 100% of its beauty products that contain palm oil are produced in accordance with the standards set out by the RSPO. By shopping at The Body Shop, your beauty, skin and hair care products are planet-friendly, without the additional 200% markup found on “sustainable” beauty in Kearney’s research*.


Savoo’s Earth Day campaign

With the help of Savoo, The Body Shop are supporting the Rainforest Trust, their long-standing charity partner, for Earth Day 2023. This year, Saturday April 22nd, you can shop using our exclusive The Body Shop discount code (worth 10% off your order), save a bundle on your new skin care goodies, and do something wonderful for the planet all in one! On every order we’ll make an extra 6% donation to the Rainforest Trust, free of cost to you.


If you’re looking to make the switch for Earth Day 2023, finding new ways to tackle the higher price points is your best bet for obtaining a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and using our discount codes and deals are just one way to begin.

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