The Difference: Natural vs. Organic Cosmetics
Every morning the majority of women wake up to paint their faces with a collection of colors. What some don’t stop to think about is what they’re actually putting on their skin. Too many cosmetics and skin care products today are riddled with hormone-disrupting, skin-irritating, health-ruining chemicals. Many of which have been linked to cancer.
From formaldehyde and phthalates to BHA, BHT, parabens and other conservatives, cosmetic ingredients can be anything but pretty. It's a wild, wild west in the cosmetics industry, meaning it’s basically unregulated. Even the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act doesn’t require the FDA to approve every ingredient a cosmetic company uses.
Thankfully, awareness of safe cosmetics is growing. More and more consumers are becoming conscious of the necessity to buy natural and organic cosmetics. Wait - natural and organic? What do those two words even mean?
Glad you asked. The difference between a label of "natural" vs. "organic" comes down to multiple factors. Let’s distinguish the two:
Legally, “natural” means nothing. It’s mostly an unregulated marketing term. It means that at least some natural ingredients are used in a product. The catch: a product can contain up to 30% synthetic ingredients and still be “natural.” If you look at a label and its full of ingredients that sound like they’re produced in a lab, and only the ones that you recognize from the Earth are buried at the bottom, it’s hardly natural. An exception to this example would be if all the ingredients listed are just the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) Latin names for this you recognize. In that case, the product is all-natural.
Our Olive & Coconut Oil Body Wash provides an example of a safe, all-natural ingredients list. It contains Aqua (water), potassium olivate, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower water, potassium cocoate, althaea officinalis root extract, malva sylvestris (mallow) flower extract, prunus armeniaca fruit extract, glycerin, sodium chloride, citric acid.
A product may or may not be certified to be considered organic. In the world of certifications, many certification authorities exits around the world, such as the USDA, COSMOS, ECOCERT, and more. To qualify, a product’s ingredients must contain absolutely no toxic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers — and, in the case of animal products, no antibiotics or growth hormones. This is the gold standard in cosmetics, and it’s important to buy organic products like our Organic Modern Soap. Many chemicals used in non-organic makeup are downright poisonous to the endocrine system. Parabens and phthalates are two common examples of substances used extensively in cosmetics. Both of these compounds have been linked to cancer and type II diabetes, and the Environmental Protection Agency warns against their exposure.
The bottom line: when buying cosmetics, it's important to your health and wellbeing you buy organic. The negative effects of non-organic aren’t worth the few dollars difference. Natural will do, but be careful about the ingredients that make up your “all natural” cosmetic. Make sure it contains real natural ingredients like our Citrus Hand Soap.
Remember, beauty comes from within, and it starts with you!