Updated: Jun 13, 2019
Is natural the same as organic? Product labels can be confusing so we thought it would be a good idea to be clear on what natural and organic actually mean when we are talking about skin care products.
In the US, natural is a completely unregulated term and should be seen as purely marketing. Any product can be marked with the word natural and it holds no meaning whatsoever. Despite widespread use of the term natural by skin care companies, the Food and Drug Administration has never legally defined the term. Therefore, it legally means nothing to label a skin care product as natural. A skin care product can therefore consist of only trace amounts of natural ingredients or none at all and still be labeled as natural. Since it is legal for companies to do this, we consumers are the ones to determine wether the product is natural or not. We can easily do this by being label savvy. Look at the ingredients label and if the product is full of chemicals born in a lab and the only straight from nature one you recognize is buried at the bottom, that means the product is hardly natural.
Thankfully, the use of the term organic is highly regulated. In the US, if the term organic appears on the label or in the marketing material of a skincare product it means it has been certified by the USDA. The laws regulating USDA make sure that at least 95% of the ingredients in an organic skin care product have been grown and manufactured under a very strict code of cleanliness, with no pesticides or fertilizers, and absolutely no genetically modified organisms.