Palm Kernel Oil
What is it?Palm kernel oil is an oil obtained by mechanical extraction from the kernel or seed 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). Palm kernel oil has also been used in many processed foods and as a cooking oil and, like other vegetable oils, can be used to prepare biofuels.
Oil palms are native to the tropical rain forest region of West Africa along the coastal belt from Liberia to Angola. The palm has spread east to the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar and Malagasy and is now cultivated widely throughout the tropics. Other parts of value besides the oil-producing fruits and seeds of the palm include the leaves, which are used as a thatch, and the leaf stalks for fencing and as cooking fuel. The palm kernel oil we use originates from plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.
What does it do?Palm kernel oil is a highly stable saturated oil and is used as one of the primary ingredients in our antiperspirant stick. It essentially provides the body or base material which the other oils and waxes modify 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).
What are the alternatives?Other commonly used base ingredients to give a stick product body include other natural oils or waxes, petrolatum or mineral oil, or synthetic silicone fluids like cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasilioxane, cyclomethicone, or phenyl trimethicone.
What are the risks?Palm kernel oil is widely used in food and is considered safe when applied to the skin based on current as well as historical uses.
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural 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.
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