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Palm Oil Free Makeup | Cosmetics Without Palm Oil

Palm Oil Free Makeup | Cosmetics Without Palm Oil

Palm oil is prevalent in cosmetics. Here we discuss how to find palm oil free makeup. It’s important to know that palm oil ingredients are likely in every beauty product you see in stores. This includes eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, lip liner, powder, blush, foundation, and more.

Please note, I saw several articles online that listed out palm oil free cosmetic companies. In each list, I found at least one company whose products likely contain palm oil. 

On one of them, we pulled up a random eye shadow. I found these potential palm oil derivatives in the ingredients: 

  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Hexylene Glycol
  • Decyl Glucoside
  • Polysorbate 80

Because they weren’t certified Palm Oil Free and didn’t list the source of the above ingredients, it’s likely they are derived from palm oil. Palm oil hides in makeup under many names. There are hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives.

Companies use palm oil in makeup for many reasons, including as an emollient, skin conditioning agent, and solvent. See below for further explanation. 

Tip: Mineral powders will be less likely to contain palm oil than creams, sticks, and liquids.

Makeup you find at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Meijer, CVS Pharmacy, grocery stores, etc. ALL contain palm oil.

palm oil is in all store-bought cosmetics

All types of makeup and cosmetics contain palm oil.

Palm Oil Free Makeup

Please note, unless a product has earned Palm Oil Free certification from Orangutan Alliance or the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark POFCAP, it is difficult to know if it for certain palm oil free.

If the products below are not Certified Palm Oil Free, they may contain palm oil.

I have relied on communication with companies, researching their ingredients, and other data. Please use this list as a starting point; it is not guaranteed. Do not use this for medical advice. 

I am hoping this information will help you learn about ways palm oil hides in cosmetics. Read ingredients. Buy makeup with as few ingredients as possible. 

Cosmetic companies who advertise as organic, vegan, cruelty-free, etc., may be less likely to use palm oil; however, it’s not always the case. Eco-friendly makeup does not mean it’s palm oil free.

Palm oil is “natural” and “plant derived” making it common in cosmetics and other beauty products.

Why Companies Use Palm Oil in Cosmetics

Palm oil is cheap

Because it costs less than other higher-quality ingredients, companies use it. It costs more for companies to make palm oil free makeup.

It doesn’t have a taste

In addition, palm oil is tasteless. This is a reason manufacturers use it in lipsticks, pencils, and lip balms.

Palm oil is versatile

There are many palm oil uses in cosmetics. It can do many things. Manufacturers use palm oil ingredients in makeup and cosmetics in different ways and for many reasons.

As a preservative 

Manufacturers use palm oil as a preservative in cosmetics to prevent bacteria and to decrease contamination. Companies use it to extend the expiration date from six months and to a year, depending on the product.

Think of products that you apply with your finger… like liquid foundation. You touch the bottle, then your face, and then the bottle again.

Other types of cosmetics — like those with wands such as mascara and lip gloss — you apply the product and then put it back into the container. Palm oil is an inexpensive way to keep bacteria away.

In liquids and creams, it’s used as a preservative. Liquid cosmetics could mean liquid foundation, concealers, lip gloss, mascara, liquid eye liners and lip liners, etc.

Makes makeup pearly 

Shimmery and pearlized cosmetics likely contain palm oil. You will especially see this in eye shadows and lipsticks.

As an emollient

Manufacturers use palm oil ingredients in cosmetics and other beauty products to soften the skin. Some examples include creams, lotions, foundations and sticks. 

Keeps products together

There are many different types of makeup sold in sticks, creams, and liquids. Some examples include lipsticks, concealers, stick blushers, and more. Companies use palm oil to keep the ingredients together and to combine ingredients.

As an example, think about liquid foundation and all the ingredients in it. Palm oil is used to help those ingredients mix and combine together as well as stay together.

As a humectant

Think about mascara, lash enhancers, and lip gloss tubes. Companies use palm oil to add moisture to these types of cosmetics. Glycerin is a popular humectant in makeup, beauty products, and soap.

You may see it as Glycerin or Vegetable Glycerin on labels. Typically, if Glycerin is made with Coconut, the company will spell that out, as in Glycerin (Coconut).

Most often, however, you will simply see Glycerin or Vegetable Glycerin without an explanation. These are typically made with palm oil.

As an emulsifier

Think of all of the ingredients in makeup. Emulsifiers help them stay together and to keep them from separating. Some examples in cosmetics include Polysorbate, Stearic Acid, Potassium Cetyl Sulfate, and Laureth-4. 

Choose Cosmetics with Less Ingredients

Remember, the fewer ingredients something has, the less palm oil it contains.

What Palm Oil Ingredients Are in Makeup?

Here are some of the palm oil ingredients you will find in most makeup items. There are others as well. Please note, even companies who make it seem like they are selling eco-friendly makeup typically use palm oil.

Common Palm Oil Derivatives in Cosmetics

These are among the most common — and easiest to remember — palm oil ingredients in makeup.

  • Tocopherol
  • Glycerin
  • Ingredients with “Gly” in them
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Stearate and Steareth ingredients

In addition, when you see “palm” in the name, you will know it’s made with palm oil. Examples include:

  • Sorbitan Palmitate
  • Cetyl Palmitate
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate
  • Hydrogenated Palm Oil
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate

How to Find Cosmetics Without Palm Oil

Note the ingredients below. When in stores or online looking for products, look for products that don’t contain these ingredients. 

Palm Oil in Mascara

Most mascaras contain 30+ ingredients, and they contain 10+ palm oil derivatives.To find mascara without palm oil, look for labels without these ingredients.

Unless otherwise noted on the ingredient label and on the company’s website, these are typically derived from palm oil:

  • Glycerin
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Caprylic/Capric Glycerides
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Sorbitan Palmitate
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Palmitate
  • Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Glyceryl
  • Glyceryl Behenate
  • Hydrogenated Palm Oil
  • Glyceryl Dibehenate
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Steareth-2
  • Steareth-20
  • Tocopherol

Palm Oil in Tinted Moisturizer

  • Tocopherol
  • Cetyl Ethylhexanoate
  • Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate
  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate
  • Cetyl Dimethicone
  • Glycerin
  • Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate
  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate
  • Isostearic Acid
  • Polyglycerin-3
  • Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Disteardimonium Hectorite
  • Lauroyl Lysine
  • Cetyl Ethylhexanoate
  • Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate
  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate
  • Cetyl Dimethicone
  • Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate
  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate
  • Isostearic Acid
  • Polyglycerin-3
  • Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate
  • Ethylhexylglycerin

Palm Oil in Eye Shadow

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Tocopherol
  • Zinc Stearate
  • Glyceryl Caprylate
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Isostearyl Alcohol
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Sorbitan Isostearate
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate
  • Triethoxycaprylylsilane,
  • Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate
  • Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2
  • Triethoxycaprylylsilane
  • Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Phenoxyethanol

Palm Oil in Lip Crayons

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Glyceryl Caprylate,
  • Glyceryl Undecylenate
  • Tocopherol

Palm Oil in Liquid Lip Sticks

  • Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Coco-Caprylate/Caprate
  • Stearalkonium Hectorite
  • Propylene Carbonate
  • Tocopherol

Palm Oil in Lip Balm

  • Tocopherol
  • Polyhydroxystearic Acid
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Oleic Acid
  • Linolenic Acid
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Citric Acid
  • Glyceryl Undecylenate

These are some of the palm oil derivatives common in makeup. There are others as well. Remember, palm oil is common in all types of makeup and cosmetics.

palm oil free cosmetics

Makeup Without Palm Oil United States

Please note, unless they are certified as palm oil free, they may still contain palm oil. Do your own due diligence. Contact companies. Let them know you are paying attention and care about this issue.


They describe their lipsticks as 100% evil-free. I love that Axiology spells out their Vitamin E is derived from sunflower oil. Many lipsticks and lip crayons use Tocopherol and/or Vitamin E from palm oil.

Axiology offers palm oil free lipsticks, lip crayons, and eye / lip / cheek balms.

Axiology Lipstick:

  • Attitude
  • Bad
  • Bonafide
  • Brave
  • Clarity
  • Devotion
  • Dimension
  • Elusive
  • Enamor
  • Enlighten
  • Ethos
  • Fortune
  • Fundamental
  • Identity
  • Infinite
  • Instinct
  • Intrinsic
  • Joy
  • Loyalty
  • Noble
  • Phenomenon
  • Philosophy
  • Radiance
  • Reflection
  • Serene
  • Spirit
  • Strength
  • The Goodness
  • True
  • Worth

Axiology Crayons:

  • Bliss
  • Enduring
  • Intrique
  • Keen
  • Serene (also in lipstick)
  • Valor
  • Vibration

Axiology Lip-to-Lid Balmies:

Use their newest product, Lip-to-Lid Balmies, for lips, cheeks, and eyes. Check out Axiology’s versatile palm oil free makeup.

  • Watermelon
  • Nude Plum
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Caramel
  • Cherry
  • Chestnut
  • Clementine
  • Frosting
  • Peach
  • Rose
  • Sorbet
  • Champagne
  • Cotton Candy Skies 
  • Malibu Magic
  • Of the Earth

Fat and the Moon

This company has these makeup items without palm oil ingredients. 

Beam (highlighter)

Lip & Cheek Stain

Lip Paint: 

  • Clay Idol
  • Dusk
  • Hecate
  • Mortar & Pestle
  • Wood Nymph
  • Zlata Baba

The above products do not contain Cetyl Alcohol, which is often derived from palm oil.

100% Pure

100% Pure makes their natural makeup without synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, and chemical preservatives. They are certified Cruelty-Free and Vegan. Many of their products are also labeled Gluten Free. 

The Tocopherol / Vitamin E in these natural cosmetics is from rice bran or sunflower. Their Vegetable Glycerin is sourced from coconuts. 100% Pure uses colors from real fruit, not chemicals.

100% Pure is transparent in that they spell out each ingredient in their products.

Fruit Pigmented Lip Gloss:

  • Mauvely
  • Naked
  • Pink Caramel
  • Pomegranate Wine
  • Strawberry

Fruit Pigmented Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick:

With colors from coral pink, fuchsia, deep nudes, lush browns and deep berry, 100% Pure has 24 shades of Cocoa Butter Matte lipstick. Some of them include:

  • Agave
  • Aubergine
  • Currant
  • Marrakesh
  • Mirage
  • Plume Pink
  • Prickly Pear
  • Strawberry Cactus
  • Sandstone

Long Last Brows:

  • Blonde
  • Medium Brown
  • Soft Brown
  • Taupe

They make their natural beauty products in the United States. 

Unearth Malee

Unearth Malee advertises their products as palm oil free on their website. Note, unless they are Certified Palm Oil Free by either POFCAP or Orangutan Alliance, it is not certain if they are. 

Organic Lip Balm:

  • Cocoa Macadamia
  • Lemongrass Mint
  • Mango Butter Guava
  • Watermelon Coconut

See lip balm without palm oil for additional companies who make lip balm palm free.

cosmetics without palm oil

Makeup Without Palm Oil Australia

Adorn Cosmetics

Unfortunately, Adorn Cosmetics is no longer has their products Certified Palm Oil Free by Orangutan Alliance. This is disappointing. Thank you to the reader who commented below to let me know. 

In addition to being ethically sourced and sustainably packaged, Adorn Cosmetics has taken the extra step to certify the following cosmetics Palm Oil Free by Orangutan Alliance. They are in the process of having all of their cosmetics certified as well.

Even more, the ingredients they use are vegan, cruelty-free, organic, and gluten free. Adorn Cosmetics offer an earth-friendly refill program to reduce plastic waste that’s typical of one-time use, throwaway containers. Their packaging is biodegradable.

Check out their certified Palm Oil Free cosmetics for cruelty-free beauty:

Lipstick Vegan ~ Classic Mineral Lipstick:

  • Dusty Pink
  • Natural Pink
  • Natural
  • Rustic Mocha
  • Toffee

Oil Control Mineral Setting Powder

Powder Blush ~ Cheeky Mineral Blush:

  • Autumn Rose
  • Coral Radiance
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Winter

Powder Bronzer ~ Natural Glow Mineral Bronzer:

  • Milan Winter
  • Monaco Autumn
  • Saint Tropez Summer

Powder Brow Dust ~ Loose Mineral Brow Define:

  • Betty
  • Joanie
  • Megan
  • Peggie

Powder Foundation ~ Anti-Aging SPF 20+ Mineral Foundation:

  • Fair
  • Light
  • Light-Medium
  • Medium Olive
  • Olive
  • Medium Tan
  • Dark Tan
  • Coco
  • Ebony

Powder Shadow Intensive/Powder Shadow Matte ~ Loose Mineral Eye Shadow:

  • Allure
  • Base/Matte
  • Carnelian
  • Charity
  • Copper
  • Coral Pearl
  • Golden Emerald
  • Golden Quartz
  • Invincible
  • Jasper
  • Golden Topaz
  • Obsidian
  • Pink Pearl
  • Quartz
  • Topaz
  • Unity

Adorn Cosmetics uses palm oil free ingredients

Adorn Cosmetics is transparent on their website. In addition to certifying their cosmetics palm oil free, they spell out the source of their ingredients. Some examples of their palm oil free ingredients include: 

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride from coconut oil
  • Cetearyl Glucoside derived from corn or coconut
  • Glycerin – Certified Organic Soya or Maze. It is now NOP certified (National Organic Program) and therefore must only come from sustainable sources. No palm oil is used in the making of their Glycerin.

Sugar Venom

All of Sugar Venom’s cosmetics are Certified Palm Oil Free (CPOF) by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP). This means that all of the ingredients they use — including the source of each ingredient — does not contain palm oil.

Sugar Venom’s mineral vegan makeup is available in Australia. 

Sugar Venom Organic Lip & Cheek Creme: 

  • Crush
  • Fling
  • HeartBreaker

Organic Mineral Lip Gloss:

  • Aiko
  • Amy
  • Carys
  • Cherie
  • Milla
  • Rachel

Longwear Lipstick:

  • Candy Hearts
  • GobStopper
  • Grape Cloud
  • Jelly Wine
  • MoonPie
  • Toffee Apple
  • Truffles

Eye Pencil:

  • Natural Black
  • Natural Brown

Mineral Eyeshadow:

  • AAA+ Prime & Proper
  • Angelou
  • Austen
  • Bardot
  • Blyton
  • Crawford
  • Curie
  • Harry
  • Holiday
  • Hutton
  • Kelly
  • Klum
  • Monroe
  • Moss
  • Page
  • Parks
  • Schiffer
  • Taylor
  • Twiggy
  • Westwood
  • Yousafzai

Natural High Performance Mascara

Liquid Foundation:

  • Fair
  • Maple
  • Nude
  • Sand
  • Tan

Contour and highlighting blending sticks:

  • Beige
  • Caramel
  • Fudge
  • Malt
  • Saturn

Cosmetics Without Palm Oil Europe

Amaranthine Skincare

Amaranthine’s products are the first skincare company in the world to earn a Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Programme. They are located in Scotland.

Their portfolio of Palm Oil Free beauty products include Facial Oil, Cleansing Balm, Body Creme, and a variety of Face Masks.

Amaranthine Skincare Lip Balm:

  • Cocoa & Peppermint

Odylique Skincare 

Made by hand in the UK, Odylique is Organic Soil Association certified as well as PETA Cruelty-Free.

Organic Mineral Concealer:

  • Fair
  • Medium 
  • Dark

Mineral Eye Shadow:

  • Bark
  • Gold
  • Lagoon
  • Sand
  • Seaweed
  • Shell
  • Slate

Mineral Lipstick:

  • Apricot Sorbet
  • Blackberry Smoothie
  • Cherry Tart
  • Fig Fondant
  • Marshmallow
  • Mocha
  • Peach Melba
  • Praline
  • Raspberry Coulis
  • Rose Parfait

Organic Eye Liner:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Grey

Organic Lip Liner:

  • Rose

palm oil free makeup

Eco-Friendly Makeup

Know that many cosmetics companies may say they don’t use palm oil but you really need to count on a Palm Oil Free Certification. If the company isn’t certified, you need to look at each ingredient separately.

I looked at a company who advertised they didn’t use palm oil and chose a random product on their site: a mascara.

I found these possible palm oil derivatives in it:

  • Stearic Acid
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Glyceryl Stearate
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate: It’s definitely made with palm oil as it has “palm” in the name.
  • Tocopherol
  • Glycerin
  • Caprylyl Glycol

If they don’t SPELL OUT the source of these ingredients, you would be wise to assume they are made with palm oil.

It’s often difficult to read ingredient labels on cosmetics. This is because the boxes, packages, and jars are small. The print/font will also be small. In addition, most cosmetics and makeup contain well over 10+ ingredients each.

Learn more about other palm oil free products in these posts about self-care items:

Consumers avoid palm oil for many reasons. Some avoid it because of the deforestation and the displacement of orangutans and other wildlife.

Others avoid it for health reasons, dietary reasons, or because of a palm oil intolerance or allergic reactions to palm oil. My child has allergic reactions to palm oil ingredients. These are the personal-care products he uses.

pure makeup without palm oil





Palm Oil Free Certified Cosmetics

Unless a product is certified Palm Oil Free by an independent certification trademark, you won’t know if a product is palm oil free.

Several of the products above are certified Palm Oil Free by the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark (POFCAP) and Orangutan Alliance

While I researched extensively, I cannot guarantee the others are 100% palm oil free cosmetics. Please do your own due diligence. When companies SPELL OUT the source of each ingredient, you will know they have nothing to hide.

  1. Encourage companies to apply for Palm Oil Free certification.
  2. Use this list as a starting point and to learn about the palm oil ingredients common in makeup.

Companies use palm oil and palm oil derivatives in all types of beauty products, including cosmetics and makeup. Even “earth friendly” and natural-seeming “honest” and “simple” brands of makeup contain palm oil.

Thank you for being an Informed Consumer and for being interesting in palm oil free makeup and cruelty-free beauty products. 

If you know of other cosmetics, makeup, and beauty products without palm oil, please let us know in the Comments.

Donna Palmer

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Check out River Organics. Pretty sure palm oil/derivative free. They have a wonderful highlighter sticks. I was not crazy about the mascara but they do have one .

Donna Palmer

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Even though Vyanabeauty is in Sweden, shipping cost was not too bad to the US.

Donna Palmer

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Check out Vyana Beauty on Etsy. I am pretty sure it is palm oil/derivative free makeup. The website states the stearic acid is NOT derived from palm oil. PHB Ethical in the UK is a cosmetic company that states they do not use palm oil and only derivatives if a replacement can’t be found. You can read their policy on palm oil use under their ingredient section.

Donna Palmer

Saturday 18th of November 2023

You should check out Dab Herb makeup. www dot dabhms dot com Also Bee You Organics beeyouorganics dot com. Pretty sure both are palm oil/derivative free. I just verified with Dab that their mascara is palm oil/derivative free.


Saturday 11th of November 2023

"Adorn Cosmetics uses palm oil free ingredients"

No they don't, and they say so right on their website: Under Palm Oil accreditation https://www. adorncosmetics.

They say, "Adorn products where possible are palm oil free or contain certified sustainable palm oil."

There IS no "certified sustainable palm oil". Even when stated as so, palm oil plantations have made orangs and an entire ecosystem WITHOUT a home, gone, soon: extinct.

Adorn offers a link to "Palm Oil Free Products" which returns a 404 error page: https:// orangutanalliance. org/portfolio/adorn/


Sunday 12th of November 2023

Thank you very much for letting me know. I will update this week with this info. I appreciate it. It's unfortunate that Adorn Cosmetics is no longer certifying their products palm oil free. How very disappointing... Again, thanks for the info and for being interested in this topic.