The Differences Between Natural and Clean Beauty Products
Skin is porous and absorbs whatever you apply to it. As your body’s largest organ, protective barrier, and key defining feature, your skin requires the best care. Having a solid skin-care routine is a step in the right direction. However, even if you follow all the right steps, from cleanser to SPF, you can still miss out on quality care. The ingredients in your beauty products play an influential role in your skin-care. Using a cleanser on your skin with parabens—methyl-, isobutyl-, or propyl-—can do more harm to your skin than good. What you use on your skin matters.
Between complicated technical terminology and vast information pools, it can be challenging to determine what ingredients to avoid and which are safe to use. As a means to help the general public better search, find, and comprehend the products they buy, the beauty industry uses overarching terms to describe the ingredients listed in a product. The most common product descriptors are “natural” and “clean.” However, these terms are still very vague. Don’t worry! BeautyProphet is here to help! Explore the differences between natural and clean beauty products and find the best ingredients and skin care for you.
Aside from distinguishing ingredient types, natural and clean terminology also refer to specific beauty goals. Both clean and natural beauty products aim to address a bigger overarching idea.
Natural beauty products refer to any cosmetics or skin-care products formulated with nature-derived ingredients. The aim of natural beauty is to provide a more holistic and environmentally friendly approach to skin care. Natural beauty products make the most of the many benefits that nature’s ingredients offer while minimizing harm to your skin and the planet. Many natural beauty brands take their mission one step further by limiting their ingredient list to natural products grown organically. The Organic Pharmacy aims to do just that. When possible, they use natural formulations made from organic ingredients infused with herbal and homeopathic knowledge.
Clean beauty is a more vague beauty category with many aspired goals, from sustainability to transparency. Most people refer to clean beauty as non-toxic in relation to ingredients, the environment, or animals. Clean beauty can be sustainable, cruelty-free, or ethically made, among many other things. Clean beauty is not synonymous across the globe, and different brands have varying definitions of clean beauty.
The biggest distinction between clean and natural beauty is their sourced ingredients. Natural products consist of ingredients sourced from nature, such as plants, minerals, and other naturally occurring substances. Natural beauty products are free from synthetics and artificial additives, such as artificial fragrances, colors, and preservatives. Natural beauty brands use natural—typically plant-derived—alternatives for fragrances, colors, and preservatives. For example, The Organic Pharmacy’s Double Rose Rejuvenation Face Cream exudes a delicate rose aroma deriving from natural floral extracts.
Clean beauty consists of a much broader ingredient list. Generally, clean beauty ingredient lists are free from sulfates, parabens, and questionable chemicals. Unlike natural beauty, clean beauty does include lab-created or synthetic ingredients, as long as they are safe and don’t cause harmful reactions or negative environmental effects. The FDA currently bans around 10 chemicals, including mercury compounds and chloroform, from cosmetics, which leaves companies to decide and define the safety of other chemicals and synthetics on their own terms.
Environmental sustainability and ethical practices are prominent features of both clean and natural beauty. In clean beauty, their philosophies include sustainability through recyclable or recycled packaging, cruelty-free testing, and humane production and trade procedures.
Natural beauty’s philosophies include natural ingredient sourcing, organic ingredients—free from pesticides—when possible, and an emphasis on ethical practices, such as fair trade and local community support.
Philosophies and ethical emphasis for natural and clean beauty products can vary per brand. For The Organic Pharmacy, natural beauty refers to sustainably sourced and, where available, organic products that are vegan or cruelty-free.
Neither natural nor clean beauty products have any universally mandated qualifications. However, for a product to be in either category, they have to meet some basic expectations.
Common Standards for Natural Beauty Products
The biggest requirement for natural beauty products is they must contain ingredients derived from nature, such as plant extracts, herbs, and charcoal from organic substances. Other common standards for natural beauty products include:
- No synthetic or artificial additives
- Limited or no chemical processing
- Avoidance of harmful substances, like parabens
- Environmental sustainability efforts
Common Standards for Clean Beauty Products
Clean beauty standards are more varied per brand. Some of the most common requirements for clean beauty products include:
- Environmental efforts
- Cruelty-free and vegan practices
- Conscious manufacturing and resourcing
- Transparent ingredient disclosure
- Philothranpic support
- Free from toxins like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates
Although natural and clean beauty products don’t have official certifications, many popular associations establish and enforce their seal of approval to what qualifies as either natural or clean.
EcoCert is a popular international association that provides organic and natural certifications for beauty products. According to EcoCert, natural beauty products use nature all while caring for it. EcoCert compliance involves:
- The use of natural and organic ingredients
- Prohibition of synthetic fragrances and colors, parabens, mineral oils, and certain silicones
- Environmental and sustainable manufacturing, from production to waste management
- Sustainable packaging
- Clear, accurate labeling
Other certifications and associations that give out natural beauty certifications are the Natural Products Association (NPA) seal and the USDA Organic certification.
Many associations provide seals of approval for clean beauty philosophies, from recognized ethical practices to vegan certification. Some of the most popular associations affiliated with clean and sometimes natural beauty products include Animal Welfare and their cruelty-free leaping bunny, Made Safe, and Fair Trade. You can commonly find many of these certifications and associations on natural beauty products.
Many people commonly interchange the phrases clean beauty and natural beauty with one another. Knowing the differences between natural and clean beauty products highlights their distinctive features and helps you find products that best match your needs and philosophies.
At BeautyProphet, we’re here to help you with your beauty journey by giving you access to the best and healthiest beauty products for your skin. Our product selection undergoes a thorough screening process that looks for natural ingredients, toxic-free formulas, and eco-friendly initiatives. We believe in the power of natural beauty products made from nature-derived ingredients and designed to protect both you and the planet.
Our handpicked selection of The Organic Pharmacy skin care gives you plenty of natural beauty products that will feed your skin healthy and beneficial nutrients. Explore our selection of The Organic Pharmacy products and protect your skin with natural beauty.