Organic? Natural? Yea Right

Firstly, there is no standard regulation for the term “natural”. It’s just one of the marketing buzzwords used by cosmetic companies. As long as the product contains one or more non-synthetic ingredient, anybody can label their formulation with “natural”.

The word “natural” itself does not comply with any universal guidelines. Apparently, there’s no legal guidelines that govern such claims. Even for USDA, there are no regulations on how marketers are allowed to label their product as organic.

Manufacturers can make the “organic” claim as long as they used USDA certified organic ingredients in their products, be it entirely, or partially.

Just like vegetables grown with insecticides are available as “fresh vegetables” in the market, plants and herbs sprayed with insecticides can be processed into creams and sold as “natural products”. Since alcohol is formed by fermentation process, it can be considered as a natural substance as well.

Another issue is, “all natural” does not imply that the product is suitable for “all skin types”. Despite being natural, ingredients such as menthol, eucalyptus and rose can trigger allergic reactions in certain people.

Also, “all natural” means shorter shelf life, prone to fungal infection and contamination, especially in countries with humid climate such as Malaysia. How long can a freshly squeezed orange juice last? And you assumed that the “natural potion” on your dressing table is able to last the whole year?


If you manage to get your hands on some real natural skin care goodies, here’s some advice: store them in fridge, and if it comes in a jar, don’t stick your fingers in, use a spatula instead.

The golden rule is, read the ingredients. Be it natural or synthetic, what works for others might not work for you. Price is not an accurate indicator as well, there are over the counter products that do wonders and expensive brands that worsen your condition.

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