Natural and Organic : Meanings and Methods

There are thousands of products out there that carry the label, “natural” or “all natural”. Unfortunately this does not necessarily mean all that much.

Anything and everything is derived from natural sources. To state that a product is natural because it is derived from natural sources is therefore misleading. It’s the processes involved in converting these natural materials into synthetic ones that render it very much less than natural and possibly even harmful. Vodka and potato chips are derived from potatoes, but this does not mean they are healthy and natural (in excess anyway).

When it comes to skincare, it is useful to find some common ground in defining what is natural and what is organic. The following is acceptable.

Natural - is defined by the USDA National Organic Program as a substance that is derived from mineral, plant, or animal matter and does not undergo a synthetic process. Present in or produced by nature; not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned; not altered, treated, or disguised; faithfully representing nature. Ie it exists in, or is formed by nature.

The classic definition of natural skin care is based on using botanically sourced ingredients currently existing in or formed by nature, without the use of synthetic chemicals manufactured in such a way to preserve the integrity of the ingredients

Organic - the definition applies to food as well as skincare. The ingredients used have been harvested from plants grown without the use of (synthetic) pesticides, fungicides, or inorganic fertilizers, and prepared without the use of preservatives.

Synthetic - is defined by the USDA National Organic Program as a substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral source, such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes. Synthetic ingredients are artificial or contrived; prepared or made artificially; manufactured by chemical processes.As a general standard of acceptability, a product containing 95% unprocessed natural ingredients can be accepted as organic… Be sure to read the label in this regard. A label is required to list products in descending order as regards percentage volume in the product. So the top listed ingredients should be natural plant oils etc, and NOT long-sounding chemical names that mean nothing to the average consumer. A product packaged in glass is also less likely to contain leached plastic components.

If natural is important to you, be sure to scrutinise the label of any skincare product you intend buying. Keep in mind that “natural” and “organic” to the cosmetic industry mean something very different to the classic definitions above.

reNu Organic Skincare products are mostly 100% organic grade NATURAL plant oil blends. The plant oil blends have a fairly long shelf life, as there is no aqueous component. Only the anti-aging lotion has an aqueous component and falls into the 95% category of unprocessed organic formulation. It is also preserved as far as possible using natural means (colloidal silver). However the shelf life is limited and the product should be used within three months of purchase.