Natural VS Organic

Ever wondered the difference between natural and organic in beauty products?
Depending on the country where the product is manufactured, the regulations on organic certification varies. However, on an average, a product needs to be 100% Natural with at least 70% Organic Ingredients (from organic farming) to be classified as an organic product. This means that there is no room for any synthetic chemicals. Natural products, on the other hand, may still contain synthetic chemicals and as such, they are not classified as organic. However, as the natural and organic market are evolving, there are many manufacturers that are able to manufacture products that are 100% natural without any harmful chemicals.
What type of synthetic chemicals are there?
Carcinogens – Cancer causing agents Allergens – Causing allergies, i.e. skin irritation, nasal allergies etc Hormone disruptors – Altering your hormones to achieve results with adverse consequences, i.e. pre-menopause Penetration enhancers – Opening up of your pores to allow maximum absorption of all of the above As the market for natural and organic products are growing, many organisations have stepped out to award certifications to products. Below are some examples of the logs used in natural and organic products certifications.
Most organisations have 2 types of certifications that differentiate natural and organic. Lets take a look at some of the certification breakdown below:


The Cosmos Group Representing Cosmetic Organic Standard, this certification is specially for cosmetics and this means that the products with any of this label are SAFE and EFFECTIVE for use. The founding organisations include Soil Association, Ecocert, BDIH, Cosmebio and ICEA. The COSMOS standard main principles are to: • Promote organic agriculture and respect biodiversity. • Respect the environment and use natural resources in a responsible way. • Use respectful ways to manufacture and process the products, to protect human health and the environment. • Develop sustainable chemistry to minimise the use of hazardous substances. These standards cover all the processes that the product has to go through to get to market. These include sourcing, manufacturing and marketing. All processes must follow these requirements: • Any water used in products must comply with hygiene standards. • Minerals must be of natural origin, but may be modified by chemical reactions, only if they respect the principles of sustainable chemistry. • No genetically modified organisms, or endangered species are to be used.


One of the main associations in France that certify ecologically made products and organic cosmetics. They provide 2 labels, the ECO Label and the BIO Label. BIO Label: • Contains at least 95% natural ingredients, or created from natural sources. • Contains at least 95% of organic plant ingredients. • At least 10% of the product is made from organic farming. (psst.. our PHYT’S Facial Treatment bears this label) ECO Label: • Contains at least 95% natural ingredients, or created from natural sources. • Contains at least 50% of organic plant ingredients. • At least 5% of the product is made from organic farming.


One of the most trusted and recognised international certifications for organic products. Founded in France in 1951, it is an independent organization that performs quality control and reliability for products in the organic market, including food, textiles and cosmetics. Ecocert certifications are given to companies that show high levels of respect to the environment and the customer. Ecocert certifies companies that can prove their products are environmentally friendly by ensuring: • All ingredients are formulated from renewable resources and produced using environmentally friendly processes. • There is no genetically modified organisms (GMO), parabens, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, phenoxyethanol, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them, e.g. milk and honey) • Products are biodegradable and recyclable. • There is a minimum amount of natural ingredients in the product obtained from organic farming. Ecocert can provide 2 labels for cosmetics. A ‘natural and organic cosmetic label’ and a ‘natural cosmetic label’. For both labels, a minimum of 95% of all ingredients must come from natural origin. Natural and Organic Cosmetic Label: A minimum of 95% of all plant based ingredients and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients in the formula must come from organic farming. Natural Cosmetics Label: A minimum of 50% of all plant based ingredients and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients in the formula must come from organic formula. Note: Most products do not show the full label differentiating between the 2 types of Ecocert labels (see pic for the cosmos group). So make sure you enquire. There are many other types of natural organic certifications all over the world. Do feel free to google and research more. But in short, Organic is Natural. But Natural is NOT Organic. Credit to Mel Jenkinson for the content on labels. Extra Reading taken from The Straits Times on Organic VS Natural can be found here:

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