Organic versus Natural – The battle of two rights

The world is full of ingredients which we all use everyday. Some we choose to use; some unfortunately get into our bodies without our knowledge.  I have a golden rule – if you don’t understand the ingredients on your cosmetic products packaging don’t use it! It is more than likely full of harmful chemicals and should definitely be avoided for the sake of your health! Furthermore there is a little confusion out there about the difference between organic and natural ingredients. I’m going to do my best to clear this grey area up for you now.


Firstly, what is the difference between Natural and Organic?

Natural cosmetics are made with as few as possible synthetic chemicals and they use a wide variety of plants, fruit extracts, minerals and vitamins as their ingredients.

Organic cosmetics take this to a whole new level. Through certification organic cosmetics guarantee that the natural ingredients have not been treated with any harmful chemicals!  This certification process, which cosmetics go through, is very rigid and therefore can be trusted.  Unfortunately this does not mean that if a product says it is organic, it truly is.  This is the tricky bit! If the packaging says ‘organic’ make sure there is a certification body stamp on the product, otherwise you have no assurance that the product is free of harmful chemicals.  Certification bodies like the Soil Association, USDA, COSMOS and Eco Cert are four of the most popular within the cosmetics industry.  If you want a product that is 100% organic ensure you read the information on the pack as sometimes the organic percentage within the product is tiny.  Misleading claims like this are unfortunately very common, be aware!!
You can rest easy that when a company is certified organic they even have their labelling inspected so that all the products claims are true and proven.  When you are starting to explore the scary world of chemicals in our daily products its comforting to know that there are so many natural and even better again, organic alternatives out there for us to use which are not harmful.  Wholly as a public, we are becoming more informed and with that we are being supplied with a healthier option.


Why Organic?
Organic and natural ingredients are more effective than petroleum derivatives & waxes (e.g. Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil and Petrolatum) and synthetic fillers found in conventional skincare. Natural ingredients work in harmony with your skin and body to enhance your body’s natural healing and regenerative capabilities. Who doesn’t want that?


More and more research is emerging about the richer nutritional benefits of organically farmed products. Organic farming does not deplete the soil’s natural minerals, unlike modern farming methods, and so your skin benefits from more potent and effective ingredients.


Organic farming methods avoid the use of unnecessary chemicals & pesticides; chemicals that pollute the environment, our water system and your body as a high proportion of what you put on your skin is absorbed by it.


Organic Ingredients
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of commonly used Pesticides according to strict guidelines issued by various regulatory bodies. Where ingredient listings for products show a particular ingredient to be organic, the ingredient has been grown under approved conditions and given a stamp of approval by an organic standards body.


Natural Ingredients
Natural ingredients are from a natural source and are either untreated or treated and processed with other natural ingredients. These ingredients will have a Latin name on the INCI listing.


Semi Synthetic
Sometimes natural ingredients are treated with synthetic substances to produce the final ingredient – which bares a chemical rather than a Latin name. Foaming agents in natural skincare and bodycare products often fall into this category.


The Soil Association recognises the necessity of this when creating certain products such as body washes and shampoos and allows certain semi synthetic ingredients in organic beauty products, such as Cocamidopropyl Betaine.


Beware though that these ingredients can also be chemically, rather than naturally, derived. Read up about the manufacturer to find out which they use.


Ingredients to avoid
The term ‘Organic’ refers to the method by which an ingredient has been farmed. However ‘Organic Skincare’ does not mean that no harmful chemicals have been added to a skincare product in formulation. Learn all about the ingredients commonly found in skincare, such as Parabens and Phthalates, and look for retailers and manufacturers with a clear ingredient policy showing what they don’t allow in their products.


The Soil Association
If you are feeling confused, and are looking for assurance about the quality and integrity of organic and natural cosmetics, don’t panic as the Soil Association certifies all our cosmetics at Lucy Annabella!  We are the only Irish Soil Association accredited Health & Beauty Manufacturer. Check out the Soil Association – Organic Beauty Standards


Certified products carry the Soil Association symbol, guaranteeing organic content and ensuring that suspect chemicals such as Parabens and Phthalates are not used.


Chemicals Not to Use
It is well known that a large number of chemicals commonly used in toiletries and skincare are known to be carcinogenic in lab animals or can disrupt hormones. Whether these compounds are in fact harmful to humans in the quantities found in cosmetics is in some cases inconclusive. However for those who prefer a holistic & natural approach to wellbeing and beauty, using products containing these chemicals on a regular basis can feel incompatible with the lifestyle choices we make about our food or environment. In some cases people find they experience symptoms such as dizziness, eczema, irritation or nausea from some chemical based toiletries.

If you would like more information on particular harmful ingredients to watch out for read ‘Do you read your beauty labels?’ @


A question I often get asked is why is organic products more expensive than standard products and hopefully the answer to that is clear above. The price tag is worth it for the health benefits it provides you with. Organic products are the same as other beauty products on the market, like them there are many products on the market at differing price brackets. So no matter what budget you have for your beauty regime there will be organic products out there that you can buy. As I always say, your health is your wealth, so why not spend the money on it?


In my professional opinion I would suggest everyone use organic skincare, where this is not possible, natural skincare. Our skin is exposed to enough chemicals daily so why not limit this number in a simple and manageable way by switching your skincare regime? Remember to read your beauty labels, if you don’t understand something on the label you most likely wont want it on your skin either! Be weary of what they are saying is true, look out for the organic accreditation stamps so you know what you’re buying is actually certified as organic. The main ‘baddie’ ingredients to avoid at all costs are ‘Parabens’ and ‘Phthalates’. Try erasing them from your beauty regime. Lets get your skin glowing the organic way!


I hope the grey is more black and white now or at least a little less cloudy!


Love Lucy A x