Elaeis guineesis (palm) kernel oil

What is it?

Elaeis guineesis (palm) kernel oil is a highly stable saturated oil from the seed of the palm plant. It is used in many personal care products because of the skin feel it provides. It is used as one of the primary ingredients in our antiperspirants and natural strength deodorants.

What does it do?

Palm kernel oil essentially provides the body or base material which the other oils and waxes combine with in order to provide a pleasant experience of the product on our skin (for example how soft it feels on application and how well it glides over the skin).

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

The palm kernel oil is obtained by mechanical extraction from the seed or kernel of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), the same plant which provides palm oil (palm oil comes from the pulp of the palm fruit as opposed to the seed). It is then exposed to clay to absorb some of its original colour and some odours are removed by distilling the substance under a vacuum. This process produces the palm kernel oil ingredient we use.

At Tom’s of Maine, we are committed to promoting sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil production and we believe working with members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) has been an important first step. We are committed to procure only palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil derivatives certified by the RSPO or equivalent standard.

What are the alternatives?

Other commonly used base ingredients to create a stick product body include other natural oils or waxes, petrolatum or mineral oil, or synthetic silicone fluids like cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, cyclomethicone, or phenyl trimethicone.

Is this the right option for me?

Palm kernel oil is widely used in food and cosmetic products.

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.