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Natural vs. Organic Skincare: What’s the Difference?

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Our skin absorbs up to 60% of whatever we put on it! Knowing that we should make every effort to apply pure, safe products, free of synthetic chemicals or toxic ingredients. There is a growing need nowadays for natural and/or organic skincare products, with society becoming more and more health-conscious.

What is the difference between natural and organic skincare? The difference between natural and organic skincare products is based primarily on the ingredients used to make it. Natural refers to components derived from plants with minimal to no processing. Organic alludes to elements obtained from non-genetically-modified plants grown without the use of artificial pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or other toxic matter.

Now that you know the main distinction regarding natural versus organic skincare ingredients, let’s take a closer look at this concept in more detail below. We will discuss the three fundamental differences between natural and organic products, why they are better than synthetic products, which one’s best for your skin and other facts you should know. So, if you’re ready to learn more all about natural versus organic skincare, then let’s get to it!

What is the Difference between Natural and Organic?

The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are often used interchangeably, even though they are not the same. Natural does not mean organic and comes with no quality guarantees. There are 3 main differences between natural and organic skincare products. These include the following:

Organic has a Strict Definition (as Opposed to Natural)

In most countries, the word ‘natural’ is used loosely and regulated in any real way. Basically, this means you can refer to a product as ‘natural’ even though it really isn’t! A product can be marketed as ‘naturally-derived’ even though it contains highly-processed, potentially harmful ingredients.

That’s not to say that all naturally-derived products are misleading, it just means you need to be more discerning as a consumer. The key is to read the content on the label carefully. Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest percentage. If you come across scientific, hard-to-pronounce words, the product is likely to contain chemical elements that are not natural.

For a product to be certified organic, it must have a strict definition, bearing the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) seal of approval and regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The contents must include at least 95% or more organic matter (pesticide-free, additive-free and chemical-free) for it to be classified as ‘organic’.

Organic Requires Specific Certifications

There are a number of different certifications regarding natural versus organic skincare products. The variations are usually based on the percentages of natural or organic ingredients needed to be meet the certification criteria.

As mentioned above, for a product to be deemed ‘organic’ it must contain no less than 95% pure ingredients, free of pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic chemicals. For a product to call ‘natural’ it simply must contain some (not 95% or more) ingredients of pure origin. It is usually free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and fragrances and not tested on animals.

You can trust a product to be organic if it is USDA certified and regulated by the FDA. It must be organically-farmed, not simply wild-harvested. Any product that contains more than 5% water (which so many do), is likely natural and not organic, as water cannot be certified as organic.

Origin of Ingredients is Significant

Certified organic products contain ingredients harvested by organic farmers. This means no pesticides or fertilizers have been used, taking into account the overall protection of the earth and the environment.

Natural ingredients in skincare, such as water, berries, botanicals, and herbs, maybe in their purest form but unless they come from a certified organic farm or forest, they cannot be called organic. As well, animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or honey are true, natural but not necessarily organic. A vegan product contains no animal ingredients and is free from animal testing as well.

Pay particular attention to the ingredients list and look for specific certifications. Sustainable skincare products are likely to be labeled ‘natural’, ‘organic’ or ‘vegan’, depending on the contents and how they are harvested.

Are Organic and Natural the Same?

Taking into consideration what we have just discussed above, it is indeed safe to say that ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ are not the same things. Natural simply means the absence of artificial ingredients with minimal processing involved. A natural ingredient is often considered to be anything containing a plant, mineral or animal by-product. So-called natural skincare products can (and usually do) contain additional synthetic or artificial ingredients.

According to the USDA, organic differs from natural (in terms of skincare) according to the following:

  • Toxic pesticides – organic (not allowed); natural (allowed)
  • Genetically modified organisms or GMO’s – organic (not allowed); natural (allowed)
  • Animal welfare requirements – organic (not allowed); natural (allowed)
  • Lower levels of environmental pollution – organic (yes); natural (not necessarily)
  • Certification required, including inspections – organic (yes); natural (no)
  • Legal restrictions on allowable materials – organic (yes); natural (no)

Why Organic Skincare Products Are Better?

Natural products are definitely better for the skin than synthetically-derived ones. However, organic products are the best! Plants grown on organic farms contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than non-organic plants. And, because they are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, they are free of contaminants and safer overall for the skin and the body. Organic skincare products are also non-allergenic, cruelty-free and safe for the environment.

You can find a wide selection of organic skincare products at Amazon. Go online and check them out now.

What is Considered All-Natural?

If a skincare product has ‘all-natural’ on the label, it means nothing artificial was used to make it. Therefore, it is free of anything synthetic, including perfumes and dyes. Other chemicals that are not natural and often found in beauty products include parabens, phthalates, triclosan, sodium sulfate, propylene glycol, mineral oil, and petroleum. If you see any one of these ingredients listed on the label, it is not all-natural, and therefore, potentially harmful.

The Environmental Working Group the EWG.org explains what types of personal skin care products may contain these potentially harmful chemicals. They also state that parabens act as a hormone known as estrogen and how it can both male and female reproductive systems. The study also states concerns exposure to environmental estrogens and cancer.

What Does Natural Skincare Mean?

For a company to call a skincare product ‘natural’ means nothing! Natural is an unregulated term as the FDA and USDA do not have standards to regulate it. Since there is no regulation for the term ‘natural’ in skincare, any beauty supplier can use it on their label. How to know if a product is more natural than synthetic? Read the label. If the natural components appear near the end of the ingredients list, then the product is hardly natural!

What are the Best Natural Beauty Products?

The best natural beauty products are actually organic and vegan in composition. Not only do they contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are vital for skin health, they are also less likely to irritate sensitive skin. They are also cruelty-free, 100% botanical-based and safe for the environment.

A line of skincare products called Acure is GMO-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan and certified organic. Each item, whether it be a scrub cleanser, toner, moisturizer or mask, is affordably-priced, highly-rated and readily-accessible through online retailers such as Amazon.com. Best of all, it can be delivered right to your front door in as little as two days! Go online and check it out today!

Why Natural Skincare Products Are Better?

Natural ingredients in skincare products are just as good (if not better) than most conventional products, which can cost a lot while providing very little nourishment to the skin. For example, natural ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter, propolis, buriti oil, walnut oil, raspberry extract, strawberry extract, and caffeine are just as effective as chemicals (namely zinc oxide, titanium oxide, avobenzone, and octisalate) in protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

Natural beauty ingredients including apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, green tea extract, avocado oil, aloe vera, and Manuka honey can also be used to successfully treat acne. Unlike chemicals remedies including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid, and benzoyl peroxide, natural elements are less likely to aggravate the skin or dry it out.

Natural skincare products are also less likely to cause breakouts, which are often associated with artificial additives such as dyes and perfumes. They are gentler on the skin overall and rarely cause irritation, especially if they are pure and unrefined. This is good news for those prone to sensitive skin as well as individuals with chronic skin conditions.

Using natural (especially organic) skincare products is much better for the environment as well. Synthetic ingredients in cosmetics can have a very damaging effect on the environment. Perfumes, dyes and other chemicals that are released into the atmosphere (when sprayed have been proven to negatively impact both the ozone layer and air quality.

Why Should We Use Natural Cosmetics?

Adopting an organic skincare regimen and using natural, herbal products can keep you from feeding your skin harmful chemicals. Many people use conventional skincare products, not realizing they contain artificial additives. Although considered safe in small doses, these synthetic elements are absorbed into the bloodstream and build-up on the skin overtime time, potentially causing chronic skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and acne.

A good rule of thumb when choosing skincare products is: if you wouldn’t eat it, then don’t use it on your face! Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it, so we need to be mindful of what we feed it, not only internally but topically as well. Next time you purchase a beauty item, read the label and ask yourself, ‘would I eat this?’ If the answer is ‘no’, then perhaps it’s time to trade-in your current brand for a more natural one!

Contrary to popular belief, natural cosmetics are more cost-effective than their chemically-comprised counterparts and will save you money in the long run! Because the ingredients in natural products are pure and potent, you only need very little to see results. Artificially-based products are highly-processed and therefore require more in order to be effective. So although they may be cheaper, you will purchase them (and use them) more often.

What Makes a Skincare Product Organic?

What makes a skincare product organic is a concept of working with nature rather than against it. Ingredients found in organic beauty items are grown and harvested without the use of GMO’s, herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. They also are free of artificial additives including dyes and perfumes and cannot be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation or genetic engineering.

Organic beauty products only are these products safer for the environment, they are safer for you as well. They are less likely to cause irritation or inflame sensitive skin. Organic skincare products are richer in essential nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Rather than stripping away the skin’s natural protective barrier with chemicals and synthetics, these products work in harmony with it, balancing moisture levels and nourishing the skin deep-down.

Can Cosmetics Be Organic?

Cosmetics and other skincare products can be classified as ‘organic’ if they contain agricultural ingredients that meet the USDA/NOP organic standards for production, processing, handling, and labeling. It is important to note that a beauty product cannot be certified organic in its final form. The only parts that can be certified are the individual ingredients within.

Is Organic Better Than Natural?

As far as skincare is concerned, organic products tend to be better than those claiming to be natural. Natural products are not less regulated and can contain some artificial ingredients with minimal processing. Organic products have a higher quality standard than natural ones. If a product is organic, it will be labeled in one of four ways. These include the following:

  1. ‘100% Organic’ seal – all ingredients are organic and meet the USDA standards for quality, meaning free of synthetic additives, herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers
  2. ‘Certified Organic’ seal – 95% of the ingredients are organic and the remaining 5% ingredients can only be processed with additives on the ‘approved’ list
  3. ‘Made with Organic Ingredients’ seal – less than 70% of the ingredients are organic and does not meet the USDA standard for quality
  4. No seal present – products containing less than 70% organic ingredients, cannot use the term ‘organic’ on their front label but can identify specific ingredients on the information label.

Why Are Organic Products So Expensive?

On average, prices for organic beauty products tend to be higher than those of simple natural products. The organic market is increasing in popularity nowadays, with the renewed desire to be as health-conscious as possible, not to mention the growing concern for environmental sustainability. It is an issue of supply and demand, with the demand for organic products being significantly greater than the supply.

Production costs for organic ingredients used in skincare products are also typically higher due to the increased labor input. As well, farmers don’t usually produce enough of a single organic ingredient to lower the overall costs. Post-harvesting handling of these organic ingredients also costs more because they must be labeled and transported separately.

Should I Buy Organic or Not?

Whether or not to buy organic skincare products depends entirely upon you, your needs and your budget. If you believe in environmental sustainability, then you have a very compelling reason for choosing organic over conventional beauty products. If you believe in using products with ingredients in their purest, most potent form and the price is no object, then once again, you have very good reason to choose organic products instead of commercially manufactured ones. If you are looking to buy organic skincare products Amazon has a great selection of products.

What Natural Ingredients Are Good for Your Face?

Contrary to popular belief, not everything natural is good for your skin. When we read ‘natural’ on the label, we automatically assume it means ‘better’. However, there, there are many beauty products on the market today that claim to be ‘natural’ yet also contain perfumes, dyes, and preservatives. The best products are GMO-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan and certified organic.

Beauty products containing natural ingredients, especially those certified organic, are better for your skin than those comprised of synthetic compounds. Natural products contain ‘active’ ingredients that begin to work immediately when applied topically to the skin. The eight best natural skin wonders include the following:

  • Beta carotene – your body converts beta carotene (found in red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables) into vitamin A. An essential nutrient for healing wounds, protecting against sun damage and encouraging cellular turnover, beta carotene provides excellent antioxidant benefits for the skin.
  • Green tea extract – beauty products containing this ingredient are rich in flavonoids that contain high levels of natural antioxidants that help prevent and reverse sun damage. This extract is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties that heal and soothe the skin while protecting it from environmental pollutants.
  • Licorice extract – look for this ingredient in skincare products, especially if you suffer from rosacea. This extract reduces the appearance of redness and hyperpigmentation associated with this chronic skin condition. It also has the added benefit of lightening dark circles under the eyes.
  • Oats – colloidal oatmeal is one of the few ingredients that the FDA has approved to treat chronic skin conditions such as eczema. The lipids and proteins contained in the oats help replenish and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier. It is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help repair and heal the skin.
  • Soy – look for this ingredient in your beauty products, especially if you want to brighten and tone the skin. Topical soy has been proven to lighten skin discoloration and reduce the appearance of sun damage by inhibiting the overproduction of melanin. Soy-based products are a good alternative to prescription-strength ingredients such as retinoid.
  • Vitamin C – This nutrient is great at reducing the signs of skin aging, such as sagging, dullness and dark spots. It aids in collagen synthesis which is essential for the skin to look both firm and radiant. As well, it contains high levels of natural antioxidants that help fight free-radical damage and smooth uneven skin tone.
  • Willowherb – this ingredients comes from wildflowers and contains natural antiseptic properties that are great for soothing chronic skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema. Its anti-microbial and anti-irritant compounds kill acne-causing bacteria yet is gentle enough for most skin types.
  • Witch hazel – a natural astringent, this ingredient is excellent for controlling oil production in the skin. It provides light hydration while reducing redness and irritation. Be careful, however, when purchasing it in beauty products. It is often accompanied by alcohol in toners, which will strip the skin of vital moisture.

What are the Benefits of Natural Products?

Natural skincare products are rich in vital skin nutrients, nourishing and repairing the skin at the cellular level. Not only are they safer to use, but they are also milder and less likely to irritate the skin. There are eight main benefits of choosing natural over artificial. These include the following:

  • Protection from infections – chemical and synthetic ingredients found in beauty products often cause infections of the eyes, rashes around the nose and swelling of the lips. Natural skincare products are less likely to cause such adverse reactions.
  • Reducing sensitivity – many commercial skincare products use synthetic colors and fragrances, which are the most common causes of skin sensitizing. Natural (and especially organic) products avoid artificial dyes and perfumes so they are less likely to irritate the skin.
  • Healing skin damage – artificial ingredients are chock-full of irritants that reduce the skin’s ability to retain moisture and heal itself. Natural elements are rich in phytonutrients that promote skin regeneration because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Better hormone balance – a synthetic substance known as triclosan has been found to be toxic to the immune system and can also disrupt hormones. Phthalates act as endocrine disruptors and can negatively affect the body’s carefully regulated hormonal system.
  • Less irritation – artificial ingredients are harsher on the skin and can easily irritate it, disrupting its natural balance. Natural ingredients are gentler and safer. Be sure to choose products that are lanolin-free. Although it is natural, it is known to cause allergic skin reactions.
  • Less risk of developing cancer – artificial ingredients such as dyes, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, formaldehyde, oxybenzone, propylene glycol, benzoyl peroxide all pose potential cancer risks.
  • More nutrients to feed the skin – natural ingredients are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which not only feed the skin but prevent it from aging prematurely. Organic skincare products tend to be made from elements even higher is beneficial nutrients.
  • Increased anti-aging benefits – applying synthetic products to your skin contributes to premature aging, as the chemicals and preservatives do little to nourish, heal or hydrate the skin. Benzoyl peroxide, which is often used to reduce acne can lead to skin aging and hyperpigmentation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the main difference between natural and organic skincare products is primarily based on the ingredients used to make it. Natural refers to elements derived from plants with minimal to no processing involved. Organic, on the other hand, refers to ingredients obtained from non-genetically-modified plants grown without the use of artificial herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

In general, certified organic skincare products are better for your skin than those simply claiming to be ‘natural’. If the product is not only organic but vegan as well, even better! Always read the labels carefully to ensure you are getting the best quality products available. And remember, not everything ‘natural’ is good for your skin so shop smart. Live healthily, be responsible and let your natural beauty shine through!