Palm oil is frequently used as a gentle moisturizer in skin and hair care products. It also serves as a product thickener in formulations. There are no known health risks associated with the use of palm oil in personal care applications.

The primary concerns linked to palm oil apply to specific social and environmental problems. Demand for palm oil has increased significantly in recent years and palm oil plantations have become a growing concern due to their impact on rainforests in particular. 

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was established to deal with the problems associated with the production of palm oil, however, environmentalist groups are critical of the likelihood that the RSPO plan is sufficient to address the problem. The Rainforest Action Network has developed its own model policy that addresses weaknesses they feel exist in the plan created by the RSPO.

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