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Natural Vs Organic: Telling The Difference Between Natural & Organic

If you’re beginning to take a more considered approach to the beauty and healthcare products you use daily, you may want to think about the difference between ‘natural vs organic’, and what this means when perusing over the labels in the beauty store.

Of course, it’s thought that the difference between ‘natural vs organic’ is simple but it can actually be a very misunderstood concept. Although the two words are associated with one another, when it comes to beauty and healthcare products, they do have a very different meaning… 

Natural Vs Organic: What’s The Big Deal?

The subtle difference of ‘natural vs organic’ may be something you’ve already explored when it comes to what you put on your plate. Food is often labelled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ and you may believe the words are interchangeable: but this is not the case.

When it comes to food, you may assume ‘natural’ food is food that hasn’t been processed, and contains no ‘nasties'. But this isn’t the truth. The word ‘natural’ can be used for food that contains processed ingredients but is sourced from natural sources.

However, the word ‘organic’ is strictly monitored and regulated, and can only be used when the produce contains no toxic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

So, when you’re choosing your food, always look out for ‘organic’ produce where possible.

Natural Vs Organic: Beauty & Healthcare

However, when it comes to beauty and healthcare products, ‘organic’ isn’t always the best word to look for when shopping. To distinguish between natural and organic when looking at beauty and healthcare products, you should take a look at the order of ingredients that are listed on the label.

The highest up listed ingredient means that this item makes up the majority of the product’s formula. The lower down the list the ingredient is, the less it is included. Therefore, this allows you to make your own decisions about the ‘naturalness’ of products. You can clearly see what the majority of the product is made up of, by seeing the order the ingredients appear in on the label. 

When a product says a certain percentage of the product is natural or organic, take a deeper look into the ‘natural vs organic’ percentage. For example, many beauty products are created with a high level of water. Water cannot be listed as ‘organic’, but it can be listed as ‘natural’. Therefore take a ‘natural’ listing on a beauty product with a pinch of salt: you may be looking for all ‘organic’ products, but in this case, you may actually be happy with ‘natural’.

Every product should be taken on a case-by-case basis when it comes to natural vs organic. The best way to truly evaluate whether a product is right for you is to analyse the ingredients, and take into consideration the quantity of the ones that matter to you!

Natural vs Organic… What Should I Look Out For?

When it comes to health and beauty products, you might find yourself in a sticky situation if you’re looking for 100% organic. For example, ingredients like salt, clay botanicals, and herbs and berries are technically natural ingredients, but if they haven’t been organically farmed or harvested from a certified organic forest, the product cannot be listed as ‘organic’. Seems confusing, right?

It can be a bit overwhelming nit-picking aspects of a product down to its origin of its claimed natural ingredients, so here’s a simple rule of thumb: look out for products with the highest number of natural ingredients possible, and take any organic certification as a bonus.

If you are vegan, you should also give the list of ingredients a ‘once over’. Things like beeswax and honey appear often on beauty ingredient lists and are classed as ‘natural’, but are not vegan - so always check the label to see if you are comfortable with what’s included.

You may also want to look for the Cruelty Free International logo or “cruelty-free” labelled items to be sure that no animal has been harmed or tested on during the whole process of the product being made, like the entirety of Cel’s product range.

Switching to products that are ethical, and invested in nature shouldn’t be a chore - you should be able to find great, natural based items, without compromising on the finished product. Cel’s range of skin and haircare products champion the power of plant-based stem cell ingredients, whilst utilizing science for beautiful results.

Read up on what’s inside our products here.

Have you seen Cels' new sustainably sourced packaging? 

Our Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner duo set has a whole new look! This fantastic pair is not only great for your hair, but great for the planet too as they're both now sporting a fully recyclable aluminum body (at present, only available in the US). 

Aluminum is one of the most recycled and most recyclable materials on the market today! That's right, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced in the U.S. is still in use right now. 

In addition, because of its weight, aluminum is lighter to ship around the world than any other material, so that means there is less carbon being released during shipping. Plus, we’re using less components to help cut down on packaging waste. By eliminating the extra cap and unit carton Cel is lessening its waste footprint! 

Check out our amazing Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner now!



Rachel Cleverley

Part writer, part skin-care enthusiast, I can usually be found blogging away with the latest facemask or eye cream on! With specific interest in how our health and fitness can affect our beauty routine, and how science can boost regular, drugstore products.