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June 05, 2022

An orangutan relaxes on a wooden deck. World's first certified palm oil free sunscreen.

Gather ‘round, friends, and let us tell you a tale. It’s the tale of creating a Certified Palm Oil Free sunscreen.

More specifically, it’s the tale of how we became the first sunscreen company in the world to be Certified Palm Oil Free, and the journey we took to get here. It’s a story of obstacles, persistence and, in the end, huge celebration.

A close-up image of green palm tree leaves. Certified palm oil free sunscreen.

Our journey to Palm Oil Free Certification

You see, from the very beginning we wanted every single one of our products to be palm oil free. As we’ve detailed in a blog we wrote a while back, the palm oil industry presents huge environmental issues. It’s multifaceted and complex, but basically the problems involve everything from deforestation and the disruption of soil carbon to the decimation of local animal populations (193 species are currently classified as endangered or vulnerable because of the palm oil industry). With a motto like, “Protecting people and the planet”, it was a given that palm oil just couldn’t be part of the SunButter party.

And yet, things weren’t always so straightforward. Our sunscreen was originally certified “palm oil free” by the Orangutan Alliance in 2019. Then, one of our suppliers (of a cheeky little ingredient called Coco-caprylate/Caprate) changed and, because international supply chains involve so much smoke and mirrors, we could no longer be certain that this ingredient wasn’t derived from palm oil somewhere along the way. Hence, we had to kiss our palm oil free certification goodbye.

But we never stopped working to get things back on track. We brought more and more of our manufacturing process in-house to a local factory so that we had greater certainty and control over our supply chains. We worked closely with the Orangutan Alliance and enlisted the help of Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark (POFCAP), who dived into the nitty-gritty production of all our ingredients and made flow-charts that illustrated where every single thing came from — even the ones that already sounded palm oil free. We left no stone unturned.

A woman applies sunscreen to a laughing man outdoors. Certified palm oil free sunscreen.

Certification (and celebration!)

Today, we are ecstatic to announce that we’ve achieved the seemingly impossible and earned ourselves a POFCAP Palm Oil Free Certification. Every product in the SunButter range is now Certified Palm Oil Free. It hasn’t been easy or cheap (but don’t worry — we’re not passing any of that cost onto you guys!). There were plenty of moments where we struggled, or hit roadblocks, or felt like it would never happen. Thankfully, the certifying bodies were there to keep us going ­— and we’re so glad we persisted.  

Shop SunButter Certified Palm Oil Free Sunscreen here

To our gorgeous community, thanks for coming along on the journey with us. For those wanting to ensure they’re not using products containing palm oil, head to the POFCAP website to learn more about the different names used to disguise palm oil (Vitamin C, anyone?), or check out Biome, who do plenty of their own research and only sell palm oil free items.  

If you’re a fellow cosmetics business, we wholeheartedly encourage you to go down the palm oil free certification path. It’s not a cake walk, but there’s plenty of support along the way — and the planet is worth it!