Natural, Organic, and Vegan. What These Types of Skin Care Products Mean

Do you know that human skin absorbs up to 60% of the products you apply? That is why it is vital to use chemical-free products that do not cause harm to your skin even after prolonged use. 

There is a growing need for organic skincare products as they are the safest to use. But since most of the products claim to be organic or natural, which products should you trust? 

Besides this, it is also essential to know the difference between organic and natural skincare products.

Read below to find out everything about organic, natural, and vegan skincare!  

What Does Natural Skin Care Mean?

If a company uses the word ‘natural’ for their skincare products, it’s crucial to know that the FDA does not regulate this term. Since it is an unregulated word, any company can label its products as natural. 

A group of flowers.

However, many companies label their products as natural when they are actually synthesized and often contain many chemicals in reality. Some of these chemicals can cause significant harm to your skin; therefore, you must always read the ingredients list at the back of the product.

If the label at the back of a product contains natural components at the end of the list, the chances are that the product isn’t very natural. Besides this, you have to be discerning as a customer, so a beneficial tip would be to look out for products that do not contain hard-to-read chemical elements. 

What is the Meaning of Organic Skin Care?

The term ‘natural’ with skincare does not have a strict definition. However, this isn’t true with ‘organic skincare.’ The term natural is loosely used with many products, even though they contain highly processed and potentially harmful ingredients. 

In contrast, the term ‘organic’ is not used loosely as the FDA regulated it. For a product to be organic, it must have a strict definition and a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) seal. In addition, USDA and the FDA only regulate a product if it includes 95% or more organic matter.

Organic matter is chemical-free, additive-free, and pesticide-free. Therefore a product may only be deemed ‘organic’ when 95% or more organic matter is present in it.

Moreover, organic skincare products are also free of dyes, fragrances, phthalates, and parabens. Hence you can trust a product if it is USDA certified and FDA approved. 

Also, remember that if a product contains 5% water, it is likely natural and not organic as water is not certified as organic. 

What is Vegan Skin Care?

If a product has a label claiming that it is a vegan skincare product, then it means that it does not contain animal products or byproducts. For example, if you read the label of a vegan product, you’ll notice that it claims that neither the products nor the ingredients were tested on animals, nor are they derived from animals. 

All the ingredients used for vegan products are plant-derived and cruelty-free. Some popular vegan skincare products are serums, oils, and moisturizers that help nourish the skin. 

Vegan skincare ingredients are also less likely to cause skin irritation or other issues caused by synthetic chemicals. Vegan products are also free of additives; hence they do not cause any harm to your skin if you’re allergic to certain chemicals. 

Moreover, plants are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, vital in maintaining healthy skin. All these factors have contributed to the popularity of vegan products.

What is the Difference Between Natural, Organic, and Vegan?

People use the terms natural, organic, and vegan interchangeably even though they all have different meanings and certifications, as we mentioned above. It means that a company can label a product as natural, yet it may not be organic. 

So what are the main differences between these terms, and why can’t we use them interchangeably? Firstly, the products that are natural use components derived from plants.

These plants may be genetically engineered or may have been exposed to pesticides etc. At the same time, the term organic is reserved for products made from non-genetically-modified plants grown without synthetic fertilizers, toxins, or even artificial pesticides.

Some products also contain natural ingredients like benzyl alcohol. However, while it is a natural preservative, it doesn’t pass the organic criteria for a skincare product. Therefore, it is vital to buy botanical products such as vitamin C containing serums.

Reasons for Noninterchangeable Terms

  • Natural skin care products do not adhere to guidelines like organic products
  • ‘Natural’ may be a marketing trick 
  • Vegan is not a synonym for ‘natural’ or ‘organic’
  • Cruelty-free does not mean organic 
  • Organic skin care products may be more costly than natural products

Companies cannot use the following in organic skincare products.

  • Preservatives
  • Sulfates, parabens
  • Synthetic colors/dyes
  • Growth regulators
  • Manufactured herbicides
  • Artificial pesticides

Guidelines for natural skincare products:

  • Natural methods should extract the ingredients
  • Plant, flower, or seed-based ingredients only
  • Prohibition of use of sulfates, parabens, and petrochemical constituents 
  • Prohibition of use of the genetically modified organisms
  • No product should be tested on animals

How to Pick the Right Skin Care Product?

If you want to pick the right products, then it’s crucial to determine your skin type. Knowing your skin type is essential because it helps you choose a suitable product to replenish your skin with the necessary nutrients.

A woman's face.

Besides that, a suitable product wouldn’t affect your skin negatively. For example, you cannot use harsh exfoliators on sensitive skin. In addition to this, if you use the wrong beauty products, that may cause more harm to your skin. 

The basic skin types are oily, dry, and normal to combination skin. If you use products without knowing your skin type, your skin may also become prone to breakouts.

We suggest that you choose organic and vegan over natural skincare products for these reasons since the chemicals in natural products may strip your skin of essential oils.

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Final Words

With more awareness about the differences between natural, vegan, and organic skincare, fortunately, many companies are now making vegan and natural products but are certified as organic. 

However, it’s best to consult a dermatologist before incorporating a new product into your skincare routine! 

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