Status update

I think it’s fair to say, that even though I was somewhat prepared, I had no idea Orangutanuary would be this hard. We’re 10 days in and I feel like we’re drowning in palm oil! I hope you’re succeeding more than me, but here’s how I stand…

After the kerfuffle (great word) with LUSH I am still without palm oil free cosmetics.


I have tried washing my hair with baking soda and apply cyder vinegar, but I’m not sure this is really for me long term! I have therefore used my Superdrug Caring Coconut set once more. Although vegan, they’re yet to come back to me on whether the palm oil derivatives in their own brand products are sustainably sourced. However, I have put in an order with PHB Ethical Beauty for their Balancing shampoo and conditioner set. They say all new PHB Beauty products are palm oil free, although some clearance products still contain sustainable palm oil. It’s not cheap, but I already don’t shower every day (haha, go on who cringed?!) so they should last.


I am still using my homemade deodorant (recipe from Wellness Mama) and I’m really pleased with it. Admittedly I haven’t tried exercising with it to see if it can cope but general day to day life has been pleasantly lavender smelling.

Putting to one side my Superdrug B.Active Day Cream I have only moisturised my face and body with extra virgin coconut oil or this mycoco body tonic. On my body this had initially seemed OK but my eczema is definitely worse than ever. On my face coconut oil definitely isn’t cutting it and I have tight, dry, flaky skin. I’ve swapped to sweet almond oil for now, which does seem far more nourishing, and I have ordered a new moisturiser: PHB Beauty’s Hydrating Moisturiser with Frankincense and Sandalwood.


I’ve no palm oil free shower gel yet, but the Method pink grapefruit gel hand wash has been confirmed as palm oil free so apart from water-only washing I’ve used this for the odd wash or just stretched the shampoo suds downwards in the shower.


I am still using the Optima Aloe Dent Whitening toothpaste, but I know now this not only contains palm oil but the manufacturers don’t know if its even sustainable. I really don’t like this but I seem to be struggling with what to swap to. I think it’s likely to be Sarakan, but I’m just waiting on confirmation their glycerine is palm oil free.


Generally I have managed to be palm oil free with make-up this month, but that’s only because I have only worn makeup for one day! The cost of replacing every make-up item this month is holding me back, so I just opted for au naturel instead. Probably not to everyone’s style, so I will do my best to find some alternatives this month!


Generally eating palm oil free is easy. Just make it yourself and stick to whole foods. But whilst it’s been simple enough to ‘say’ just cut the bread and vegetable oil spread out, I’ve still been preparing palm oil inclusive meals for my toddler, and I hate waste, it’s so hard not to nibble!


I have found palm oil free bread mixes from Wright’s Baking, and Warburton’s have confirmed their White Danish and Weight Watcher’s loaves are suitable.

There’s no palm oil free spread in the UK at the moment, but I have been given a recipe to make my own, from the Fork and Beans site, so I’m hoping to try that this week. See here for Pure Dairy Free’s palm oil status.

Once I had finished the Alpro yoghurts I’d already bought (which contain palm oil derived Ascorbyl Palmitate), I’ve only bought Tesco Free From yoghurts. I also bought their Free From Strawberry Soya Fromage Frais but I’ve just realised this has vitamin D added so I’ve asked them to clarify if this is suitable for vegans.

I’ve tried making vegan meringues this weekend, but that’s another story! Ice cream has been another failing of mine, but I promise now it’s gone I’ll not buy any more! I’m waiting on Unilever to confirm the palm oil status of Swedish Glace frozen dessert. In the meantime, I have discovered the joys of ‘nicecream’! Who knew a bowl of frozen blended bananas could be so good! Thank you Nutribullet and Instagram inspiration.



This month we’ve only eaten out at Carluccio’s in Cambridge (post here). They served a delicious vegan pasta and cook everything in olive oil or sunflower oil, so all palm oil free. The only way you can find out what you’re eating though is to ask, and if you’re too shy to speak up there and then, try calling in advance to check things like the cooking oil. You may be able to specifically ask they cook in olive oil for you if a generic vegetable oil is being used. One thing I have learned though is to not be backward in coming forward on issues important to you. Unless you speak out no one will know there is anything to be questioned. A moments awkwardness for me is nowhere near the suffering of the animals we are trying to protect.


I’ve been lazy on this issue, I know. I have now got a giant tub of baking soda and I plan on a visit to Holland & Barrett tomorrow for some lemon oil. I’ll then have a go at replacing my standard products with some homemade eco-friendly house cleaners!


This is my current lineup for laundry. You see I’ve switched across to The Co-operative’s cruelty free laundry products, apart from old Vanish and Mr Muscle items that need using up.


I do have an eco-egg however and I’m ashamed I’ve not been using it more. Laundry day tomorrow so I’m back on it! It should help my eczema too. Just to reassure myself I have sent them a tweet confirming their range is vegan and palm oil free.

So tomorrow is Monday, as good a day as any to draw a line under previous failures and move onwards and upwards in my Orangutanuary palm oil free journey. Without a doubt I am much more aware already of where palm oil is hiding, but I’ve a lot of work to do if I am going to achieve a wholly satisfactory day before the end of the month.


How are you getting on?





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