We’re all more conscious about what we’re putting on our skin. Even with the best intentions, changing to a more green beauty routine might not be as easy as you think. With so many products labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly what’s in each one. Let’s face it, ingredient labels aren’t exactly a walk in the park!
We’ve put together some of the facts to help you understand what both ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skincare really are, so that you can make the right choice when it comes to going green.
Natural skincare products
A natural skincare ingredient is anything from natural origin – whether that’s mineral, vegetal (plant) or animal. If it comes from mother earth, it’s probably natural!
Natural skincare is less regulated than organic skincare, meaning many companies can claim their product is ‘natural’ when it only contains one natural ingredient. This could mean that your ‘natural’ product actually contains only 0.5% of natural ingredients, with the other 99.5% being non-natural; not as green as you thought, right? Reading the label should help to determine just how many natural ingredients are in each product (you may have to do a bit of research first!)
Even if the product does contain mostly ‘natural’ ingredients, they may have been sourced from farms using pesticides, chemicals and extracted using non-green methods that harm the environment. So, even though the ingredient itself is natural, the methods used to grow and produce it may have been completely unnatural and non-green.
Organic skincare products
Organic skincare products contain natural ingredients that have undergone a much more thorough process when it comes to labelling and regulations. The main principles for organic skincare ingredients are:
– From natural origin – mineral, vegetal (plant) or animal
– Non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms) – grown naturally, outside laboratories
– Responsibly sourced with respect for the environment and biodiversity
– Organically grown without pesticides, fertilizers, hormones or toxic chemicals
– Extracted using clean processes – respecting the environment and human health
– Processed naturally using ‘Green Chemistry’
– Products must not contain synthetic colours or fragrances
As you can see, the checklist is much longer for organic ingredients when compared to natural ones, which means that they are much harder to come by. Despite this, some skincare brands still claim that their products are ‘organic’ even if they only contain just 1% of organic ingredients.
So, how on earth can you determine just how much of a product is natural or organic?
You can make choosing the right product easier by reading labels and looking for certification logos.
When reading labels, you may be surprised to find that some ingredients can be found in products in both the synthetic and natural forms, like sodium hyaluronate, or they sometimes just sound synthetic when they are not, like benzyl alcohol. Both of those examples sound chemical, right? Well, they’re completely natural!
As for organic products, the label should indicate exactly which ingredients are organic, so you can see just how much of the product is made from organic ingredients.
If in doubt, we recommend you contact the brand or manufacturer and ask – many companies who promote natural products and ingredients will be happy to answer your questions. It’s all about transparency!
If a brand is truly passionate about claiming ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on their products, you’ll find a natural or organic ‘certified’ label on the packaging. Certification bodies such as COSMOS are helping to change the way organic and natural products are branded and set strict standards when it comes to skincare labelling. If you’re really concerned, find yourself a certified beauty brand or product to guarantee the origin and eco-friendly sourcing of its natural and organic ingredients.
All KIATA’s products are certified natural and organic under the COSMOS Organic standard and you’ll find the COSMOS label on our products and packaging, along with a clear list of ingredients. KIATA are committed to the COSMOS standard and we truly believe in providing transparency and visibility across our product range.
Learn more about the COSMOS Organic standard here.