Natural vs. Organic: Is There Really a Difference?

Have you ever wondered what organic means, how do we know it is really organic and why we should use organic products instead of regular cosmetic products?

The bio-organic products represent without question the newest and hottest trend of the moment. The natural vs organic debate is very popular nowadays, too, as well as what is the organic definition, what does organic mean, and what does all-natural mean.

To be able to answer all these questions by yourself and have a clear understanding of the terms, we need to have a look at the rules and regulations in the field.

In the end, it is all about living healthy and more and more people are focusing on this as a way to live better, more fulfilling lives and enjoy their health for longer. But still, what are the differences?

All-Natural Products – What You Should Know

The products marked all-natural can sometimes contain as little as 2% natural ingredients, and the rest can be practically anything, including chemicals. This is not the case for all products listed on our site!

Most people struggle with the organic definition. They suspect that the product doesn’t contain any chemicals or has been handmade.

Unfortunately, there is no clear legislation to bring under regulation the use of these terms in hair and skin care products. For organic products, the regulation is, however, very strict.

For example, in Europe, it is required by law that a product marked as with organic ingredients to have at least 70% organic ingredients. The products labeled as an organic need to have at least 95% organic ingredients.

Also, they need to be free of certain substances such as sodium laurel sulfate or others. In this case, the requirement is for the fabrication process to not involve radiation. At the same time, the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or any genetic modification of the seeds is not allowed.

Organic: What Does It Mean and Why You Should Buy Organic Products Only

When it comes to bio products, either bio food, bio-skin or hair care, bio cleaning products, or natural bio supplements are made out of plants. This means out of organic ingredients. In other words, the ingredients have not been genetically modified. More than this, there are no chemical ingredients added.

There are strict requirements for manufacturers who want to label their products as “bio.” The process of getting the product you can buy is straightforward. The plant seeds need to grow in fields without any chemical fertilizers.

After harvest, the plant is subject to the manufacturing process without having to go through chemical processes.

In the end, these products are packaged without adding preservatives or other chemical ingredients.

One of the first questions everyone asks is: How do I know and check if the cosmetic product is organic? What I should be looking for?!

When it comes to cosmetic products, if the label mentions 100% organic, this is probably the type of product you want to buy. It means that the product has only organic ingredients. The product should have a certification mark from the accreditation agency. Unfortunately, this kind of product is very rare.

The next best thing is a cosmetic product that has organic ingredients. This means that at least 70% of the contents are organic. These products often mention the ingredients and don’t have the mark of the certification.

If the cosmetic product has less than 70% organic ingredients, the ingredients should be mentioned on the label. Still, the product should not be marked as organic.

Last but not least, we have the all-natural products that can have as little as 2% natural ingredients.

While organic and bio often mean the same thing, when it comes to natural vs. organic, things are different. By knowing what organic means, you can make wise decisions and invest money in the products that are good for you.

So, let’s see some of the differences between all-natural and organic products. Join us in the next chapter!

Natural vs Organic

As explained above in the organic definition, the main difference between the bio, organic products, and all-natural products is the manufacturing process.

The products that we buy that are labeled as “all-natural” are made out of plants. However, these plants are not from crops in organic fields. More than this, the processes they have been subjected to are not without chemical substances and ingredients. We often see products marked as all-natural or 100% natural, and we might be tempted to think they are bio or organic.

Usually, this is not the case. The marketing industry has been very focused in the last years to made the consumer believe that all-natural is practically the same thing is organic. Hence the confusion is understandable. The all-natural term has been used so much and applied to different types of products, which is hard to make an educated choice anymore.

Why Use Organic Products

What is wrong with regular cosmetic products? Aren’t they safe enough?! After all the companies strictly follow the regulations set in this legislation. So, why spend a fortune on organic products?

Well, let’s first see and answer this question:

What’s Possibly the Most Dangerous Thing in a Handbag?

Well, the next time you pick up that bottle of perfume, think again. The innocent-looking cosmetic, while considered harmless by many, may have far more side effects than one might think.

In our everyday lives, we often give little thought to using products like body sprays, makeup, deodorant, nail polish, or even shampoo.

But few are aware of the potentially life-threatening risks behind these synthetic products. Let’s see some of the reasons why use organic products and check some of the harmful effects of chemicals in cosmetics.

Harmful Effects of Chemicals in Cosmetics
Source: Pinterest

1. Harmful Effects of Cosmetics

The brutal truth is that many of the scented products contain chemical fragrance. Manufacturers are legally allowed to hide the specific ingredients that went into that artificial scent.

Even if they do mention something along the lines of “fragrance” – considered to be a trade secret in the industry – that could point to as many as a few thousand separate components, most of which are artificial.

What Is the Deal With Synthetic Fragrance?

So what’s the deal with synthetic fragrance? Many of the compounds used in creating fragrance tend to be toxic or even carcinogenic. They are derived from petrochemicals, including benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and other known toxins that are responsible for causing problems like cancer, congenital disabilities, allergies, nervous system disorders, and endocrine disorders.

Pregnant women should be especially careful of chemicals in cosmetics – exposure of these substances to fetuses is shown to have a hand in causing autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders.

On top of that, some people may experience uncomfortable symptoms relating to fragrance sensitivity, including dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, rashes, or allergic reactions. It’s also a well-known fact that people with asthma or respiratory problems suffer when exposed to artificially scented products.

This also concerns the Environment too 

Even in healthy individuals, one study has shown a decline in exhalation volume by a whopping 58 percent when exposed to synthetic cologne. So respiratory concerns or not, you should be cautious of artificial fragrance.

But that’s not all. Because exposure to fragrance can affect the central nervous system, there may also be more long-term side effects, such as depression, hyperactivity, and other behavioral problems.

Synthetic fragrance does not just affect the user of the cosmetic product, but also everyone around the area of use which may come into contact with it. That’s something worth keeping in mind the next time you whip out a bottle of spray.

2. Health Hazards

Makeup is an everyday affair for many women. Those rainbow shades may look aesthetically pleasing, but let’s give some thought to the ingredients that lie behind them. What many women don’t notice is that by applying these colors onto their faces, they could be inadvertently using cancer and numerous other health hazards.

Known as Food, Drug, and Cosmetics (FD&C) color pigments, these synthetic colors are found in a myriad of products, from everyday makeup like mascara and lipstick to baby wipes and also food coloring. Although FD&C color pigments are FDA-certified, that isn’t any testament to their safety in the products we use daily.

Regular cosmetics can cause skin sensitivity and irritation!

Cosmetic colorants can be classified as either “organic” or “inorganic.” While organic dyes may sound safe, the truth is they are derived from coal tar. Most of these are synthetic. They contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin and can penetrate the surface in some cases, potentially causing skin sensitivity and irritation.

On the other hand, inorganic colorants are typically made of insoluble metallic compounds derived from natural sources, like china clay or carbon deposits. They aren’t thought to pose the health risks that organic colorants do, but organic dyes come in a broader range of shades and are inexpensive to produce in bulk. As such, many cosmetic products opt to use more hazardous natural dyes.

As far as humans are concerned, almost all these organic colorants are carcinogenic. But the real shocker is that some of these colors can cause oxygen depletion in the body, and in the most extreme cases, it could even result in death.

Many cosmetic labels usually don’t list “FD&C color pigments” or anything related to suggest you might be using synthetic colorants. However, they do list the color followed by a number, like “Red 40” or “Blue 1 Lake”, which is something you should steer clear of.

Harmful Effects of Chemicals in Cosmetics
Source: Pinterest

So What Products Are Safe?

Are you concerned about your health? It’s better late than never. Make the switch today from dangerous artificial products to safe, natural cosmetics.

If this article has sounded discouraging thus far, it doesn’t have to be. Although the health hazards of synthetic products are many and we have a lot of chemicals in cosmetics these days, the good news is there are many more organic and natural cosmetics that can achieve the same goal as manufactured products, but without the side effects.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have more knowledge of all the harmful effects of chemicals in cosmetics and understand why using organic products may be the best solution for you and the environment.


Five ‘Must-Knows’ on the Dangers of Synthetic Fragrance – HuffPost

Toxic Timeout – The Chalkboard

10 Harmful Side Effects Of Makeup – CureJoy

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About The Author

Elena D. is a passionate advocate for ethical consumer choices and sustainable living. With a deep commitment to clean, organic, and non-toxic products, Elena is on a mission to promote a healthier, planet-friendly lifestyle. Her expertise in non-toxic skincare and eco-conscious alternatives to traditional beauty products reflects her dedication to a more sustainable and compassionate world. Elena's goal is to empower readers to make informed choices that benefit both their well-being and the environment. Join her on the journey towards a cleaner, greener future.