Natural, organic skincare: it’s what everyone wants in their bathroom and shower. But what do these words actually mean? What is the difference between them? Sometimes, organic and natural are used on the same label, but they have very different meanings—and they can be misleading if you don’t know what to look for.
Buzzwords in skincare get tossed around regularly, but knowing what they mean can help you make more informed purchases and keep you from choosing products laden with chemicals. Every country has different rules for what can be added to beauty products or advertised on packaging, so it can be very confusing when you’re trying to find the most pure and natural products, and avoid harmful ingredients.
Let’s clear up some of that confusion by defining what natural and organic mean in the context of skincare.
The Meaning of Organic
Organic is a regulated term, and you’ll only find it on products that have been grown according to strict rules. Generally, these ingredients are grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, which can all be harmful to humans. Though organic is no indication of quality, there are certain standards for organically grown plants, and organic ingredients are usually GMO-free. Keep in mind that in most cases, not all ingredients in each product will be organic, unless it’s a pure organic oil (like our Biconi Argan Oil!). Non-organic doesn’t necessarily mean toxic or that the product is not high-quality, it’s just a designation that tells you how a product’s ingredients were grown.
Organic standards vary greatly from country to country, so if you’re concerned about choosing products that meet tough standards, be sure to check out what “organic” means in your area.
The Meaning of Natural
In official terms, “natural” really has no meaning. There are no standards for the term, and it can be used freely as a marketing term. Some brands just add it to their packaging to make their products more appealing, while others use it honestly, to describe the purity of the ingredients they use. Be careful when it comes to natural products—the term can only tell you so much on its own, and you’ll have to do more research to understand the authenticity of a product.
What Should You Look For When Shopping?
When you’re evaluating natural organic skincare, look beyond the pretty packaging and the buzzwords on them. Read the label carefully. Do you recognize all the ingredients? Some high-quality, natural organic skincare products might have some unrecognizable ingredients, but these are usually the scientific names of the plant extracts and oils used. Most labels will have the common name of the ingredients in parentheses to help you see exactly what’s in the product.
Not sure what you’re looking at? Simply make a quick search to find out if you’re looking at a rare plant extract (like noni enzyme) or a chemical (like formaldehyde).
Beyond Organic Natural Skincare: Cruelty-Free and High Quality Products
Beyond organic and natural ingredients, what should you look for when you’re reading labels and doing your research? Cruelty-free products and high-quality ingredients.
Animal testing was once a common method for making sure products were ready to be sold. Today, we know that animal testing isn’t necessary, and it’s very cruel to the animals, who spend their lives in cages and are burned by products in development on a regular basis. If the packaging of your beauty products doesn’t state “cruelty-free” or “no animal testing”, there’s a good chance that the company uses animals in at least some stage of their testing. Even the phrase “this finished product is not tested on animals” is no guarantee that the ingredients haven’t been tested on animals—just the final product. The good news? Pressure from the market has made more manufacturers reconsider and offer products made without animal testing.
High-quality ingredients provide more benefits than lower-quality formulas, of course, but it’s hard to tell which manufacturers use the good stuff before you buy. Look for cold-pressed or organic oils on the ingredient list, check out product reviews, and dive deep into the company’s product information to get an idea of how they source their ingredients. Manufacturers who use the best ingredients are proud of it, and won’t hesitate to offer that information.
The Bottom Line
It pays to be cautious when it comes to terms like “organic” and “natural”, but savvy shoppers should have no trouble seeing the difference between the real deal and dishonest marketing tactics. Natural skincare is rapidly gaining popularity, and it’s getting easier all the time to find products that are good for you, your skin and the planet.
Celebrate this with us—our Biconi products are formulated with high-quality, natural ingredients (organic when possible), and you’ll love the way our products make your hair and skin glow.
Cruelty-free, Mother Nature approved—just the way you like it.