What does it mean to be “natural”? It’s a question we encounter often, and one that elicits a range of answers and interpretations, especially in the realm of personal care. Defining “natural” in this context is not a straightforward task.
The commonly cited meaning within the industry revolves around being renewable and plant-derived; However, its crucial to acknowledge the varied opinions of individuals. These complications arise from the fact that anything originating from the Earth could technically be considered “natural”.
One way top define “natural” involves adhering to previously established standards, such as COSMOS/Ecocert, EWG, Sephora Clean or USDA Organic. Alternatively, an organization can establish its own new standard (as was once the case with the organizations listed above). Moreover, larger companies with multiple brands might self-define what constitutes “natural”, often aligning with specific corporate objectives.
Where you are a company developing products or a consumer purchasing finished goods, thorough research is key. This may involve scrutinizing product labels that claim to contain natural ingredients or seeking clarification from the manufacturer about the intricacies that distinguish their ingredients and formulas as more natural than others. Asking these questions empowers you to grasp the nuances behind natural claims and answer for yourself the question: “What is natural?”