Skin IQ (60 of 60) – What Does ‘Natural’ Really Mean?

August 12, 2011

One thing that irritates us here at Ego is when advertising or product packaging makes claims that simply aren’t true.  Many advertisements and product packaging these days claim products as ‘natural’, including cosmetics and sunscreens.

The term natural should refer to an ingredient that is straight from a natural source, such as zinc oxide straight from the ground or oil straight from a seed.

In reality many ingredients are manufactured synthetically rather than sourced from the ground.  As pointed out by the American Academy of Dermatology: “Most compounds as they exist in their natural state cannot be formulated into skin care products.  They first must be chemically altered before they can be incorporated into cosmetics, thereby negating the claim of being natural.”1

The Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia (CHC) presents the following in their Marketing Code of Practice: “Claims around the words natural, organic, environmental and sustainable or similar must be verifiable.”

So what should you do? If you are going to spend your money on a product because it’s claimed as natural or organic, ask the company some more specific questions, particularly when they claim a product is 100% organic or natural.

Ask them to show you evidence that the ingredients are actually organic or natural.  Are the ingredients natural because they are derived from the soil or from a seed, or is it a synthetically derived source?  Does the company have accreditation of the ingredients as organic?  Are all or only some ingredients actually organic or natural?

Anyone can write these claims on a pack or advertisement, but are they actually correct?

 

1 American Academy of Dermatology. Cosmeceuticals [online]. [cited 07/10/2013]. Available from URL: http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/cosmetic-treatments/cosmeceuticals#.Ud45ukEweCg

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