Beauty, Skin

Natural vs. Organic and what it all means!


There are some products that are natural. There are some that are organic. They are NOT the same. Do you know the difference? Let me explain so you know when you are shopping for products. Let’s be wise, label reading consumers who care about our health!

First know this:

just because a product is natural does not mean its safe.

For example, petroleum is natural. So is a horse. That doesn’t mean we want to use anything that contains either of them- although they are both natural.  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate cosmetics, so there are no standards by which to measure such products. This lack of regulation means that manufacturers can put a variety of labels on their products that may or may not be considered pure and safe.

Organic refers to how an ingredient is grown. These products contain ingredients that are harvested under conditions where there are no harmful pestcides, herbicides, growth hormones, chemicals or dyes. You want to look for the  national USDA Organic seal which products earn if they are created from at least 95% organic ingredients.


According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program, organic is “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) evaluates makeup for organic products. A “certified organic” label means that 95% of the ingredients are organic, while “made with organic ingredients” means that at least 70% of the ingredients are organic.

On the flip side, there are no regulations regarding natural products. Products can call themselves natural, then go on to also contain mineral oils, parabens etc. A so called “natural” product may contain one natural ingredient and a host of others that are not-so-natural.   Natural products typically don’t contain petrochemicals, parabens, sodium lauryl / laureth sulfates, phthalates, or synthetic dyes but again, you need to read every ingredient on the label because this is not regulated.

A natural product can contain some certified organic ingredients and boast the label “ORGANIC” although only one or two items is indeed organic. For example, Josie Maran’s Argan Oil is Organic. If you  ask anyone at Sephora for natural makeup they will lead you to her products. But closely read ingredients and there are some not-so-clean ingredients in there AS WELL as the Certified Organic Argan oil.

Don’t assume that a product with the Organic label is totally safe, green and clean because it may contain a cocktail of other chemicals in addition to one or two certified organic items. I didn’t know until recently that Organic is an adjective thrown around just like Natural. A product must bear the Certified Organic label to be truly Organic. Don’t believe a label.  

In my humble opinion, a product that is clean, green, eco-friendly and safe will contain several certified organic ingredients as well as genuinely natural ones too.


3 thoughts on “Natural vs. Organic and what it all means!

  1. You facts in this article are not correct. The FDA does regulate cosmetics. There are Organic standards and Natural standards for cosmetics – and there are regulations about the marketing of natural and organic. You should read sites like NaTrue which is the best source for truly clean raw materials and personal care/csmetic products.

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for commenting. Everything that I read indicates that cosmetics are not in fact regulated.
    I did my research and over and over again, the reports are that the cosmetics industry is not regulated when
    it comes to ingredients. I will check out the site you recommended for another point of view.

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