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Clean vs. Natural: Know the Difference Between These Terms in Skincare Clean vs. Natural: Know the Difference Between These Terms in Skincare

Clean vs. Natural: Know the Difference Between These Terms in Skincare

Learn the difference between clean vs natural skincare and what to look for when buying skincare products


When it comes to skincare, we like to know what’s in the beauty products we apply daily. As new trends emerge different terms like “clean beauty” or “natural beauty” gain popularity, but what exactly do they mean? Words like “clean”, “organic”, and “natural” are used so often in the beauty industry, but most of us don’t have any clear understanding of exactly what these terms mean when they’re listed on our products. 

While we are all searching for products that are safe and effective, it's important to understand that not all of these terms are regulated which means that their definitions can vary. We did some research for you so we can break down exactly what it means to buy clean, organic, or natural cosmetics.

What is natural skincare?

Natural skincare is an unregulated term that refers to products that use ingredients that are produced in naturel. Some of these ingredients include water, plants, and natural oils like olive oil or even the coconut oil found in our Daily Essentials Soothing Milk Cleanser

The term “natural” has become a popular marketing tool in recent years, but just because a product contains natural ingredients doesn't mean it's made with only natural ingredients. For example, as long as a product contains water, it can be labeled “natural”.  

It’s important to remember that just because an ingredient is found in nature, doesn’t mean it's better for your skin. Similarly, there are lab-created and synthetic ingredients that are non-toxic and beneficial for your skin. For example, hyaluronic acid is only considered natural when it is derived from cows and horses. However, the synthetic version is safe, effective and can be found in many vegan products without ever harming animals. 

What is clean skincare?

The term “clean” is not regulated, but definitely carries more weight than “natural”. Clean skincare refers to products that are made without synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates, phthalates and other chemicals that can be harmful to your body and to the environment. Clean brands often use ingredients like essential oils or extracts from plants. Clean skincare often incorporates lab-created ingredients as long as they are healthy and safe. 

Transparency is a priority when it comes to clean skincare and most companies will list every single ingredient on their packaging. Most of the packaging that the products come in and are shipped in is also normally reusable, biodegradable, or able to be recycled. 

What is organic skincare?

Organic is the only term of the three that is strictly regulated. This term means that ingredients used in the products are grown without any pesticides or artificial fertilizers and the products contain zero synthetic chemicals or ingredients. This term is regulated by the FDA which means the products must be certified by an accredited agent and must adhere to strict standards for production as well as packaging. 

So, how do you choose which type of skin care products are right for you? It's more than just reading a label of ingredients. Research the brand and check out any promises they make plus certifications the products may have so that you can make the best choice for your specific skin concerns.