4 Jul 2018

I make it a point of duty to ask some of my students what kind of brand do they want to build?  Natural or Organics? It's a tricky question but I use it to highlight one of the less discussed topics in skincare. Most of them usually think since they are using basically natural ingredients for their formulations, then it equally means their brands can be labelled 'organics'.

Now come these questions:
What is the difference between organic and natural skincare? What exactly classifies your product as organic and natural? Can they be used interchangeably? 

From what I have read, these are my findings

Based on the dictionary definitions,

Nat·u·ral means:
existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.
Or·gan·ic means:
relating to, or derived from living matter.

You can see that there seems to be no much difference between the terms. However, I have come to find out that ‘organic’ is a strictly regulated term by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other regulatory boards all over the world. 

According to the USDA website , “organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances.”

Therefore, for a product to be recognised as an ‘organic’ product, it must meet strict standards set and approved by the National Organic Programs around the world. This means that an organic final product has undergone rigorous testing processes and has been approved/endorsed by a regulatory board before it can be labelled. 

Hence when buying anything labelled and certified as organic, you can be assured that no synthethic ingredient or additives has been used in the manufacturing process.

 ‘Natural’, on the other hand is a term that can be applied to almost anything that comes from nature. Unlike ‘organic,’ there is no legal procedure  when using the term ‘natural’. It can be used for any product which has been formulated with natural ingredients but has not been certified.
In Nigeria, the term organic is widely used on so many products. Infact, the term has been abused to a large extent that there have been reports of formulators using synthetic ingredients and claiming theirs is an organic brand. I tell my students, there is absolutely nothing wrong with starting with a natural brand, then graduating to being certified an organic brand if that's the goal. If not, there are also synthetic products which have been derived from natural products such as whitening powders, gels and serums which help solve skincare issues and can be a blessing to your formulation. I use both and recommend organic, natural and synthetic products as long as they are safe and help solve skin issues.

In summary, ensure your brand is safe for use on the skin no matter the type of product you choose to make.

Until my next post, remain beautifulšŸ˜‰