There is a lot of confusion these days are what is “natural” when it comes to products for hair, body and face. And, even more confusing are designations (or lack thereof) for “organics”.
The entire industry of those companies making lotions, crèmes, shampoos, sunscreens, facial products and more don’t seem to know how to handle it.
Unfortunately, it leads to a lot of misinformation going to the consumer and a lot of greenwashing by many manufacturers. They don’t really have natural or organic products but want you to think they do.
Even the FDA doesn’t seem to know how to classify ingredients and recently refused to make a definition for natural products.
Let’s examine the two. This definition for natural products comes from Wikipedia:
A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients
The main distinction between natural and organic beauty products is that organic ingredients must pass more rigorous standards of purity. In order to be organic, an ingredient must have been derived without the use of synthetic pesticides, petroleum fertilizers or sewage sludge fertilizers, and it must not be a genetically modified organism (GMO.)
There are challenges with all of this. Sometimes natural raw materials may contain minute quantities of synthetically based additives that are not even listed on their data sheets. The provenance of the raw materials can be difficult to track.
For almost 25 years, Absolutely Natural has purchased natural raw materials and when available and when it can make a difference, organically grown raw materials. Is there a difference in quality? I have always been more concerned with buying “clean” products and formulating products that don’t rely on harsh chemicals.
This alone puts us in the minority. I know natural alternatives are better than traditional chemical laden formulas and we are always weighing the advantages (if any) of using organically grown products as well.
Our philosophy has remained the same for 24 years … use the best, clean raw materials possible; blend them in formulas that are real with nutritional amounts of product that are never added just for marketing and never have cost be the determining factor for what goes in the product.
We will always maintain those standards.