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What does natural or organic mean

October 28, 2017

Nowadays many of the products you see in the market claim Natural and/or Organic skin care, hair care or food ingredients. What do all these terms actually mean?

Natural simply means the ingredients used are derived from nature and not synthetically produced. When you purchase natural skin care, hair care or food,  you should be buying products with natural ingredients. But these ingredients may have been grown and harvested in environments where chemical pesticides and fertilisers have been used. Many products are labelled as natural. But those claiming to be natural aren’t regulated and brands can use the word natural on their packaging purely as a marketing strategy.

 Look at the ingredient list and see if there is a mix of natural & synthetic ingredients. If you look closer, you may perhaps find one or two ingredients as natural & the rest are synthetic.  

What does Organic really mean? Organic is a claim that the business uses toxin free ingredients in your products. Organic should mean that the ingredients in the product are organically grown and harvested. This means that no artificial fertilisers, pesticides or chemicals are used in the growing process of the ingredients or in the processing or manufacturing of the final product.  

How do you know they are organic? What are the checks & balances to ascertain that it is truly organic? Is it the manufacturer’s word that they are organic?

What does Certified Organic mean? Certified Organic is taking organic skin care, hair care or food products to the next level. The main distinction between organic and certified organic products is that in using certified organic labeling, the ingredients must pass a more rigorous standard by a third party. The ability to use certified organic is regulated and the certifying body allows the brand to use their certification logo. Certified Organic guarantees that the ingredients you are using is grown organically & if it is a product with multiple ingredients, that all the ingredients in that product pass their organic standard certification. Certified Organic Standard prohibits the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.

 What is the bottom line?

Should you buy – natural, organic or certified organic? That is a personal choice. Sometimes, some ingredients are just not available with organic certification. Some unique, wild harvested ingredients, cannot be cultivated & so cannot be grown organically.

If using organic products is important to you, then don’t take advertising claims at face value, look for third party certifications of claims. Packaging and advertising may be worded deliberately to mislead you into thinking you’re purchasing something you’re not and most often you are paying the price for it too.

Does it matter to you to pay a premium price for a product labeled organic, when there is no third party certification that the product is organic? 

Finally, a large percentage of what we put in or body or hair gets absorbed - so the choice is really yours.

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