This is a question we get asked frequently, and one that has as many different answers and interpretations. When it comes to defining ‘natural’ as it relates to the world of cosmetics, there is no simple answer. There are, however, a few different ways that it is generally defined:
Natural can be based on a standard, such as Whole Foods approved, NPA (Natural Products Association) or NSF (designated as “made with organic”).
It may also be initiated by one of the above groups. Additionally, natural might also be self-defined, particularly by larger companies with multiple brands. Often in those cases, the use of the word may be based on specific company goals.
Defining ‘natural’ is complicated since anything that comes from the Earth can be considered natural. As a rule, the acceptable meaning within the industry tends to mean renewable/plant-derived, non-petro chemical and non-ethoxylated. The important thing to remember is that natural means different things to different people. Whether you are a company looking to create products or a consumer buying finished goods, the best thing you can do is research-whether it means reading the labels on products that claim natural ingredients or asking the company making your products to explain the intricacies of what makes ingredients and formulas more natural than others. Asking the questions will enable you to fully understand the natural claims.
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