What It Really Means When A Beauty Product Is ‘All Natural’
There are so many natural beauty products on the market that it can be hard to know exactly what phrases like “all natural,” GMO, and organic even mean.
Patrick Kelly, founder of the all-natural scent brand Sigil Scent, agrees.
“With the number of companies making generic, ambiguous, or grandiose claims on the rise, it’s increasingly difficult to know how to measure the authentic purity of a product by its packaging,” he says.
Here are some quick tips, straight from an expert, to help you on your journey toward a cleaner beauty routine, bullshit not included.
1. Natural Means Nada
“Let’s start with a quick reality check: natural means nada,” Kelly says. “Well, perhaps a bit more than nothing, but consumer understanding of the term “natural” is a mixed bag at best, and there are little to no official regulations on use of the term for food and cosmetics. From the FDA’s own website: ‘FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.’ Instead, look for certifications like Non-GMO and Certified Organic.”
2. Learn What GMO Means
“Non-GMO means that the plants grown and cultivated for use in your product did not come from genetically modified seeds,” Kelly says. The argument against GMOs come from an ethical standpoint, highlighting the issues that come with growing genetically modified seeds, but also makes it complicated, since as Kelly points out, “Unfortunately, buying Non-GMO does not also make for a sure bet that your product’s ingredients are also certified organic.”
3. A Good Rule Of Thumb
” The silver lining: any ingredient certified as organic is also assuredly sourced from crops grown with Non-GMO plants,” Kelly explains.
4. The Bottom Line
The best and easiest answer for buying green products? Look for brands that use primarily, or wholly certified organic ingredients. Your health will benefit, Kelly explains, from the absence of pesticides and chemicals used on non-organic farms. And, he says, “The health of the farmers working to grow and process your ingredients benefit from your purchase, too. They aren’t inhaling and absorbing the nasty chemicals typically used in conventional methods of agriculture. The soil and environment benefit from your choice to purchase organic as well, because healthy soil is proven to hold more water (and so is more tolerant to drought). Plus, healthy soil has been demonstrated to effectively absorb and retain CO2.”
Helping your skin, and helping the drought? Can’t beat that.