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Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products

Filed in: Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products

Ever since my menopause kicked in my skin began changing for the worse because of hormone imbalance. I had more wrinkles and pigmentation, my skin was more sensitive, drier, and looked dull.  

As I researched more about hormone imbalance, I became more mindful about how certain ingredients in skin care products can also cause a hormonal imbalance. Your endocrine system i.e., the system in which all your hormones are secreted into the blood, is affected by everyday toxins and pollutants. How do Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products help?

These pollutants trick our hormones into acting in different ways instead of the way they are naturally designed to behave— and so they’re called ‘endocrine disruptors’. These changes to your hormones can cause anything from irregular periods, hormonal breakouts and (in very extreme cases) birth defects, illnesses and cancer. Yikes. 

Among these endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), parabens, benzophenones, bisphenols, and phthalates are the most widely found in the skin care products. So, I became mindful of what I was putting on my face and body. I made sure that none of my products had any toxic ingredients in them and that’s when I realized that the label “natural” products doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t include dangerous chemicals. I was shocked to discover that “Natural” doesn’t mean toxin free at all. While you might think natural products sound safer than conventional brands, the fact is that many products labeled as “natural” do contain toxic ingredients. Next, how about “organic”, or “clean beauty”? Are they better? Safer, less toxic? Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skincare Products. Read on to find out! 


Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products


What Does Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Mean?

The words “clean”, “organic”, and “natural” are tossed around so often these days in the beauty industry that it literally makes your head spin. 

We can all agree that we want skin care products that are safe and effective right? So many products carry these labels, but unfortunately these terms are not regulated so it’s up to the brand to be honest. There are simply no official or legal definitions for the terms: Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products but I want you to know the difference so you can choose the best skin care products that will work for you, your values, and your budget.


Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skincare Products

Natural Skin care

40.2% of consumers say they look for natural ingredients when making a purchase decision (Neilson).

Natural skincare products have ingredients sourced from nature, often from plants, such as botanicals, herbs and essential oils. They come from organic or nonorganic farms.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they are proven to be safe for you or the environment and they may be used together with synthetic ingredients. For example, mineral oil is natural, but it can be harmful to the skin by reflecting UV rays and contributing to skin damage. It is also known to clog the pores and damage the skin’s natural barrier.

Just because a company claims that their product is natural, does not mean it is only made with natural ingredients, and it does not mean that the product has been inspected, tested, or certified in any way. There are plenty of natural ingredients that can be irritating or even harmful.

For example, a product can contain rose water, but it could also contain other ingredients mixed in there that are potentially harmful or even questionable, but a brand can technically still call it a natural product. Crazy I’d say but this is a typical marketing tactic. Just as “natural” doesn’t mean “good,” “synthetic” does not mean “bad.” In fact, in some cases, synthetic ingredients may be even more eco-friendly than the earth-made versions. Colorants fall into this category because natural colorants can contain concerning levels of heavy metals that need to be processed in order to remove them and meet FDA guidelines. Synthetic colorants are produced in a controlled environment and do not contain these heavy metal impurities. 

Clean beauty shoppers look for products that contain safe ingredients for them and the world—and that can be accomplished through sustainably culled natural ingredients or smartly made synthetics. Bottom line, just because it’s an ingredient found in nature doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic or that other toxic ingredients like preservatives aren’t mixed in with the natural ingredients.  Read the labels carefully. 

Clean Beauty Skin care

While the word “clean” is also unregulated, it does carry more weight than natural. It generally means safe cosmetics and is referred to as “non-toxic”. It also relies on sustainable sourcing, green, plant-based ingredients and some have organic certification. 

Clean beauty does not contain hazardous ingredients such as:

  • sulphates
  • parabens
  • formaldehyde
  • artificial fragrances
  • phthalates

which have all been linked to various irritations, allergies, increased cancer risk, and hormonal imbalances. Unlike natural and organic, clean beauty welcomes synthetic (manufactured in labs) ingredients—if they are safe. 

Here’s a breakdown of common phrases in the “clean beauty” world and what they mean:

All-natural: This term often implies that the product is sourced from nature, even though it might be modified in the labs. Look for the Ecocert Natural Cosmetic stamp, which means that at least half of the ingredients are plant-based.

Organic: This means the formula was produced without pesticides. It is one of the only government-regulated terms. USDA-Certified Organic products contain at least 95% organic formulas, while NSF Organic-Certified products contain at least 70%.

Non-toxic: When a product is labeled “non-toxic,” it means it is safe for humans. However, you can’t always trust this term because it is quite vague. Even if a product contains one harmful ingredient, brands often use “nontoxic” as a blanket term.

Vegan: This implies that there are no animal-derived byproducts, and products often show “proof” through a self-made emblem or company-specific term. Although a beauty product may contain vegan ingredients such as beeswax, honey and tallow, it could also contain chemicals.

Cruelty-free: This suggests that animals have not been tested when developing the product. It also means that animal-derived ingredients were not taken at the animal’s expense, such as fur for makeup brushes. Packaging often includes an indication of being cruelty-free.

Fair trade: This term means the product was made by workers who receive fair compensation. Fairtrade International, Fair-Trade USA and Fair for Life often put their emblem on a label as certification for fair standards.

The key difference between clean beauty vs natural beauty is that natural ingredients are not always safer or healthier for the skin, while clean ingredients have the requirement to be non-toxic and are as safe as possible.

Organic Skin care

Organic strictly refers to ingredients grown without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and any other synthetic ingredient. Of all the beauty terms, organic is the most regulated of them all. If a product has a USDA organic seal, it contains at least 95% organic ingredients.

In the U.S., organic products must also:

  • enable resource cycling
  • maintain or improve air and soil quality
  • conserve biodiversity
  • minimize the use of synthetics

The use of the word organic is highly regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. 

Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products: Key takeaway

Like we mentioned earlier, most of us want skin care products whether they are Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin care Products that are safe for our bodies while also delivering the results we’re after. So, the question is which one do we go with; Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin care Products? That depends on what you value. Do you want results but don’t want to harm the environment? Do you prefer natural but you’re okay if it has toxic ingredients because it works great on your skin? At the end of the day, consumers still want products that perform. For me personally I simply want products with non-toxic ingredients. Period. Regardless of what you decide on, Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skin Care Products make sure to read the labels, the ingredients, and check the brand’s certifications.   

Source: Tips for Natural Beauty 


Clean Beauty vs. Natural vs. Organic Skincare Products

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