Natural beauty is definitely a trend and so many charlatans try to make profit out of it, this is called green washing. It basically means that marketers could re brand a classic product and allege it is natural. You need to be careful. As an example, organic and natural are often used interchangeably even though they mean completely different thing. So do not let marketers and brands confuse you and read a bit. You would not want to use on your face a cream claimed as natural by the brand, understood as bio cosmetics by you and actually full of chemicals. Are you already lost? It is understandable. As a start, read the below article and you will end up knowing a bit more about how to read your cosmetics labels.
As the name seems to indicate it, natural cosmetics care should be fully natural. It would make sense, wouldn’t it? Well it is not that easy. Let’s try to explain it easily: a rose shampoo could be made out of GMO rose and only the name will then be natural. The reason why you could be mislead is that the term ‘natural’ is not regulated. Thus a cosmetic that is produced with a low percentage of natural ingredients can still be claimed as natural and advertised under that term by brands.
In the opposite, real natural skin care, that is produced by small farms and local producers can hold their promises. The only way to be sure of what to buy is to read the label. Keep in mind that the ingredients appear in the quantity order (the higher percentage is listed first) so if you cannot pronounce the first words, it is a bad sign. You can learn more about how to read label now.
Green, eco, eco/friendly cosmetics:
The issue is the same for those cosmetics than for the natural skin care. Those terms are not regulated. So a green face cream could be better for the environment but would potentially be full of chemicals. Once again, buy smart and spend an extra couple of minutes reading the label.
“Organic” is a term strictly regulated by the FDA. YES, you can finally be relieved and rely on a simple logo if you have no time to go through the ingredients list. Organic means that the ingredients are organically farmed. Organic cosmetics are then guaranteed synthetic pesticides free, petroleum fertilizers free, and not genetically modified. It needs to reach a certain percentage to legally be labelled organic and there are different levels of organic. Cosmetics labelled “Made With Organic Ingredients.” are made from at least 70% of organic ingredients. The best would be to buy “organic” labelled products (95% of organic ingredients). You can blind trust them!
Top of the top, those organic products are ecologically produced, the packaging is eco friendly and recyclable, as well as cruelty free.
Bio dynamic / Bio cosmetics:
Those bio cosmetics are probably the best for you if you are concerned about both the origin of the ingredients you layer on your skin and the environment. Indeed, they go a step further than organic products as caring for the soil. It sounds like it settles all your hesitations, right?
Cruelty free cosmetics:
If your main concern is not the origin of the ingredients but our little animal friends, you should consider cruelty free and vegan cosmetics. A cruelty free product has not been tested on animal. This is guaranteed by certifications such as the leaping Bunny.
As for natural cosmetics, some beauty products could be cruelty free but not be certified as it, once again, google is your best friend.
A vegan cosmetic contains no animal products and is not tested on animals. However they can contain chemicals. Thus a product can be vegan, but organic. If you are still a bit lost, do not worry, a clear explanation table is available at the end of the article.
So What is the difference between natural, organic & bio cosmetics? IN SHORT
- Natural Cosmetics are supposed to be natural but it is not regulated. Thus you have no guarantee until you read the composition.
- Organic Cosmetics are regulated so it is the safest options. However, it requires money to brands to be certified so small brands might be as good as certified ones without certifications.
- Bio Cosmetics are also certified. They have the same benefits than the organic ones but it also implies that the ingredients used come from bio farms. Meaning that they care for soils.
Last remark, you are a bright woman, prove it and use your common sense. Getting a certification is time consuming, long and a hassle, discouraging small producers. It is very possible that the cosmetics they offer to you are much more organic than the ones labelled natural in super markets. So maybe it is worthy to spend 10-15 minutes to really understand how to read labels, don’t you think? Once you will have bought you bio cosmetics on your favorite market in Bali, you will be grateful.